on 31 March 2014
How is this possible? Who do they think they are?
Lacuna Coil have for nearly ten years been my favourite band. Fair enough, a five-star review seems inevitable for such a long time "fanboy", but it is no lie to say that I have loved everything they have ever released. Still, with every new album announcement, I suspect I will be let down, just because it seems ridiculous to expect a winning effort every time.
However, it still doesn't change the fact that I really enjoyed the three previously released songs, Nothing Stands In Our Way, Die And Rise and I Forgive (But I Won't Forget Your Name), even if I did sense a bit of of a sonic carry over from Dark Adrenaline, released in 2012. To be honest, I did think there was a slight chance this could be a very standard LC release.
However, when I popped the album in my CD player, my jaw dropped through the floor. I will give you three reasons for why this happened:
1) Zombies: is that a hint of djent? It works!
2) Victims: Cristina Scabbia, you almost sound like Stevie Nicks! Hold on, are you now punkishly shouting at me? Scabbia once again ups her game. Bravo.
3) One Cold Day: hold on, are you telling me this IS NOT In A Reverie? This is a dream come true!
Broken Crown Halo is everything Lacuna Coil should and need to be in 2014, but truth be told, I thought there was little chance they could be this great 20 years into the game. To achieve what they have achieved with their seventh album is unprecedented. I loved Dark Adrenaline, but this is a step up from even that classy masterpiece!
The creativity on display is astonishing, there are moments of stunning invention never before heard by this band, and on Victims and In The End I Feel Alive, Lacuna experiment with complex arrangements in a way that recalls the wonderful Halflife EP from way back in 2000. Lacuna Coil promised anger, told us to believe in them, and rewarded us with an epic album.
Say goodbye to the blatant (though endearing) commerciality of Shallow Life and the superior Dark Adrenaline, and welcome back the metallic sheen of fan favourites Comalies and In A Reverie. One Cold Day and Hostage To The Light sound like vintage Lacuna Coil in the most forward thinking and masterful way imaginable, and the contrasting vocals of Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro delight and empower the listener to joyous screamalongs on tracks such as Zombies (the heaviest LC song ever?) and the brilliantly anthemic I Burn In You. In terms of quality, this is a consistnetly enjoyable collection of eleven powerful rock songs, the bands strongest set since 2006's Karmacode.
I Forgive and Cybersleep are two of the finest Cristina focused songs in the bands history, whilst One Cold Day provides us finally with a slow ballad that matches up to the crystalline perfection of such classics like Falling, Cold Heritage and Entwined. Cristina Scabbia never fails to enchant. She continues to push the boundaries of her voice, and it is a wonder to behold! Andrea Ferro delivers his finest moments on Zombies, Victims, Infection and Nothing Stands In Our Way. Lacuna Coil have always needed him, and on this album he truly becomes Cristina's equal.
Unfortunately, guitarist Cristiano Migliore and drummer Cristiano Mozzati decided to amicably split from the band just weeks before the release of Broken Crown Halo. Long time fans of the band, such as myself, were devestated to see the break up of what may turn out to be Lacuna Coil's classic line up. But rest assured, they left on the highest note imaginable.
I have never been let down by Lacuna Coil, and possibly never will be. I have no idea where this band could go next, and if this really is the Italian stallions final album I will be sad to see them go, yet delighted to see them bow out on a career high.