Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lacuna Coil "Broken Crown Halo" Review

   If you’re an existing fan of Lacuna Coil you know how each album is its own creature. There’s a musical diversity with their discography that can appeal to a lot of listeners while there’s that element that cannot be placed in a genre because it is simply the soul of the band itself. With their seventh release in their twenty year run I wasn't sure what to expect. With ‘Dark Adrenaline’ the band went darker, harder and in my personal opinion set the bar incredibly high for themselves. They created an album that was a testament to their past as well as what could be.

   ‘Broken Crown Halo’ surges past any expectations I could have even dreamed of and takes the band to a whole new level. The opening track and personal testament of the band “Nothing Stands in Our Way” begins with Andrea’s long absent harsh vocals in that in one word kick off the song. It’s a kick-your-teeth-in refusal to bow down to life’s problems ode and a hell of a way to open an album.  It’s also amazing to hear performed live (so hop to it and get tickets if they’re in your area)!

   What follows up next is “Zombies” which is absolutely relentless. Andrea is an unstoppable force with some of the tightest work he’s ever done with clean and harsh vocals. Cristina sounds epic with a solid chorus and the guitar solo is pretty killer as well. It’s a song that’s very connected into our way of life, where society is at and where our place is found in this day and age.

   ‘Hostages to the Light’ takes thing down a little bit and has a very cinematic vibe and presence to it that foreshadows hope in uncertainty. There’s a very ‘Comalies’ like style to the song that really catches me.  I swear ‘Victims’ could be something a modern day Paradise Lost came up with. It measures how chaotic things in our present day are and paints a picture of a darkening world. There’s a line of rebellion against what the world around is turning people into. Andi’s vocal opening of the chorus “we will not stand in line victims that that fall in vein” is full of some serious defiance.

   Much could be said about ‘Die & Rise’ and all of it in praise of the song. It seems much influenced by a horror movie theme and packs quite the punch. Cristina’s rocking some of their native Italian in the bridge too which in my book is always a huge plus.  They performed the song live at both the Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock Tour shows I attended and it was just killer! “I Forgive (But I Won’t Forget Your Name)” is very much a confrontation of someone who’s caused some serious hurt. One thing I have to say about this whole album is that it’s so emotionally raw. The members of the band have clearly been through some serious rough patches to come out with something like this. It’s beautiful, painful, honest and quite phenomenal.

   ‘Cybersleep’ caught me completely off guard. I remember reading the track listing when it was first released and raising an eyebrow. The song is something very unique and takes the listener on a journey through something totally new, dramatic and cinematic. There’s some vocal distortion in song that just adds just the right tweak to bookend the song from start to finish.

   “We’re falling down into a grave when all the trust has gone away. Now take this life and pull the trigger, stop my pain” is just a sliver of the lyrics to the song that paint the darkness of “Infection” on the wall for all to see. “I Burn in You” opens with something that has almost an Asian movie zen garden flavor to it. It’s got some great vocal work from both Cristina and Andi both and climbs above the horizon into something pretty amazing. It’s the perfect blend of the ‘Unleashed Memories’ era and the ‘Dark Adrenaline’’ sound. It’s one of my personal favorites on the album and I’m really hoping we get a music video out of it.

   Following up is another personal favorite ‘In the End I Feel Alive.’ It opens with this almost annoying sound and then blossoms into something extreme. It’s a crash, burn and rise kind of song that’s laced and nicely layered with some serious keyboard and bass work.

   Sadly, I've reached the album finale with ‘One Cold Day.’ It’s a slow piece that once again reminds me of the beginning albums that launched Lacuna Coil into where they are today. Cristina’s vocals are beautiful and the song really puts her up front and center. It’s a fine closing to such a fantastic album.

   Without a doubt, ‘Broken Crown Halo’ takes us to the darkest place Lacuna Coil has journeyed. There are old and new elements that connect with us die-hard fans as well as something that’s sure to create a whole new web to catch a whole new spectrum of listeners. The band’s very much put an angry, emotional and personal album out there full of some of the most intense work they've ever created. It’s by far in my personal opinion the best work the band has done to date and I cannot wait to see them perform more of these songs live!