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Metal - Released October 11, 2019 | Century Media

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On 2016's Delirium, Italian goth metal outfit Lacuna Coil hit a peak in their catalog with that album's psych-ward sideshow flourish and some of the catchiest songwriting in their careers. With their follow-up, Black Anima, they shed the theatrics and face the sobering reality that plagues us on a deeper, human level, revealing a harder-edged but equally grand version of themselves that mines vulnerability for maximum effect. In Italian, "anima" means soul, and the band bare theirs fully by processing personal growth, coming to grips with hardened adult perspectives, and struggling with real-life problems like loss and self-doubt. As an emotional journey, Black Anima processes rage and sadness while desperately clinging to tiny shards of optimism that eventually win in the end. On standout single "Layers of Time," twin vocalists Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro deliver a typically blockbuster performance. As Ferro's bellows tear through the band's ferocious attack, Scabbia swoops in with her gorgeous, soaring vocals, singing "Our road is paved with pain/the past we can't rewind" before reminding herself to "keep walking/we'll find the way." That balance of fatalism and optimism (and their ever-masterful vocals) elevates much of the album, providing catharsis through both the visceral and the spiritual. Fans of their mid-era work will welcome this back-to-basics approach, as fancy effects are restrained in favor of no-frills riffs, soul-stirring grooves, and pounding drums courtesy of bassist/producer Marco Coti-Zelati, guitarist Diego Cavallotti, and newly recruited drummer Richard Meiz. The album explodes to life with "Sword of Anger," maintaining its heightened state with highlights such as the dangerously seductive "Reckless," the punishing "Now or Never," and the hard-charging torrent "Under the Surface." On the penultimate track, "Save Me," Scabbia is nearly hopeless, disappointed by how life turned out but desperate for the strength to keep going, delivering an unflinching spoken-word confessional that is honest, real, and extremely vulnerable. When the force of the full band returns, they push that final sliver of hope with "Black Anima (Epilogue)," resolving to let go of past trauma, surrender control, and seek to rebuild a life from the broken pieces. Relatable in its emotional simplicity, Black Anima cuts to the core of human emotion and provides a welcome maturation for the band. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
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Metal - Released November 9, 2018 | Century Media

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Metal - Released May 27, 2016 | Century Media

Despite parting ways with two guitarists and a drummer, Lacuna Coil turn inward as a quartet and reveal a scope hitherto unseen in their catalog on Delirium, their eighth studio album. The band named the album after a foray to a sanitarium in northern Italy, and the songs were inspired by the struggles of mental illnesses, failed treatments, and the demons each bandmember had faced over the years. For such a bleak outlook, Delirium is a focused wonder. Forgoing outside production help, the band opted to stay in-house with bassist and principal songwriter Marco "Maki" Coti Zelati (who also took on most of the guitar and synth work for Delirium). The result is a sprawling epic that is their most exciting and melodic work since 2006's Karmacode. Guitar riffs chug and churn -- in addition to Zelati's work, a slew of guest shredders contribute killer solos, including Myles Kennedy on the chill-inducing "Downfall" -- while new drummer Ryan Blake Folden pounds the skins into the ground. Lacuna Coil's not-so-secret weapon of vocal pair Andrea Ferro and Cristina Scabbia stuns, especially when the band gives Scabbia enough space to work with her instrument. Her vocal gymnastics elicit shivers on the ethereal opener "The House of Shame," while her melismatic runs lend a groove to "Broken Things." Through the synthesized swirls on "Blood, Tears, Dust" and "Ultima Ratio," Scabbia's voice penetrates the instrumental sludge like a bolt of lightning. The Amy Lee comparisons can still be made here, but the theatrical dramatics of the various Nightwish vocalists also serve well. Scabbia has the ability to elevate each song into the heavens, both with pure force ("Delirium") and restraint ("Ghost in the Mist"). Ferro continues to complement her with his guttural growls, adding a feral grit that makes Scabbia's pristine singing even more prominent. Visceral and divine, Delirium is a highlight in the Lacuna Coil discography, breathing life into the newly altered lineup and sparking fresh creative avenues for the Italian metal crew. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
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Metal - Released October 16, 2012 | Century Media

Lacuna Coil's third full-length disc will not disappoint fans of the group's stately goth pop; led by the excellent tag-team vocals of Cristina Scabbia and (male vocalist) Andrea Ferro, the Italian sextet continues to produce top-notch atmospheric rock that defies easy categorization. Although there are occasional lapses into conservative craftsmanship ("Self Deception") and trite lyrics, there are also some nice experimental touches, like the attention-grabbing start/stop digital editing in "Aeon." ~ Andy Hinds
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Pop - Released July 24, 2012 | Century Media

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Metal - Released April 1, 2014 | Century Media

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Metal - Released July 13, 2012 | Century Media

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Metal - Released July 13, 2012 | Century Media

Having sold a few hundred thousand copies of each of their most recent albums in the U.S. alone (quite rarefied levels of unit-shifting for an independent heavy metal label like Century Media), Lacuna Coil was undoubtedly under pressure to deliver another winner while preparing 2009's Shallow Life -- the Italians' fifth full-length in a decade-plus career. With so much riding on the results, a promising preview single called "Spellbound" was released a few months ahead of the album, and it suggested a determined return to the dramatic, if ever concise, brand of goth-metal (tickled by reserved symphonics and electronics) of the band's breakthrough opus, Comalies. But instead, it turned out to be one of just a few exceptions (see also "Not Enough" and "I Like It") amid Shallow Life's concerted push towards ever more accessible, radio-friendly, and, despite the band's best efforts, homogenized electro-rock. For starters, there's the dizzying array of electronics absolutely dousing the album's initial couplet of "Survive" and "I Won't Tell You," and later the vaguely Depeche Mode-like "The Pain" and the title track's tepid balladry, to the point of subduing the higher and most sustained reaches of Cristina Scabbia's vocals -- or else layering them with counterpoint soccer chants in a bid to replicate Karmacode's top single, "Our Truth." And then there's the prevalent guitar tone utilized throughout, which will have listeners scrambling for their CD booklets to see if nu-metal's most infamous producer, Ross Robinson, was involved in the sessions. He wasn't, but most all of his trademark textures sure were (see the particularly painful "The Maze"), courtesy of his disciple Don Gilmore, who is best known for his work with Linkin Park and certainly earned his paycheck for these sessions if the directive was transforming Lacuna Coil into Evanescence. The primary conclusion being that songwriting versatility alone does not risk-taking music make, if those disparate elements have all of their edges sanded down, rather than serrated enough to leave indelible scars on the listener's memory banks. (Having said that, we should mention the gorgeous, densely orchestrated ballad, "Wide Awake," which will hardly convince the extreme metal masses to lay down their torches, but definitely harks back to Lacuna's most celebrated releases.) In all fairness, Shallow Life, does come on very much as expected based on Lacuna Coil's preceding career arc, and many observers would argue that backtracking isn't the solution either if a band is to prosper in the long run -- but it may have to be here, given the underwhelming sales and vociferous critical backlash bestowed upon the album. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
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Metal - Released July 13, 2012 | Century Media

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Metal - Released July 13, 2012 | Century Media

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Metal - Released July 13, 2012 | Century Media

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Metal - Released October 10, 2011 | Century Media

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Metal - Released December 9, 2016 | Century Media

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Metal - Released May 6, 2016 | Century Media

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Pop - Released August 30, 2002 | Century Media

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Pop - Released September 18, 2009 | Century Media

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Pop - Released April 22, 2016 | Century Media

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Pop - Released April 8, 2016 | Century Media

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Pop - Released March 18, 2014 | Century Media

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Pop - Released March 11, 2014 | Century Media