Published on Saturday, 21 May 2016 20:17
Band: Lacuna Coil
Album title: Delirium
Release date: 27 May 2016
Label: Century Media Records
01. The House Of Shame
02. Broken Things
04. Blood, Tears, Dust
06. Take Me Home
07. You Love Me 'Cause I Hate You
08. Ghost In The Mist
09. My Demons
11. Ultima Ratio
Probably the most popular Italian metal group, Lacuna Coil, is back with a new album, only two years after their highly succesfull album Broken Crown Halo. Huh, many things have changed since the band gained the status of one of the most prominent gothic metal acts with albums like were In A Reverie, Unleashed Memories or Comalies, and now we can't talk anymore about the same thing, but more than anything else Lacuna Coil, since the album Karmacode (2006) and even more with its successor Shallow Life (2009), went into more modern, alternative, rather americanized orientation. That's not necessary a bad thing if you ask me as with this approach the band adds kind of heaviness into their sound, even though partially it might sound a bit more simplistic and commercial. Since 2014 the band also went through some major line-up changes and now they remained as a quartet, with three former members, vocalists Andrea and Cristina, multiinstrumentalist Marco, and new member is the US drummer Ryan Blake Folden. This is certainly seen also in their sound, which now became heavier and more straight in your face than ever, the band claims that they have taken the full creative control over every aspect on Delirium.
The band has created an audio-visual setting which finds its origin in an old sanatorium up in the hills of Northern Italy. An old, abandoned, and decayed fortress whose corridors are filled with the ghosts of a thousand tortured minds and souls. Delirium is allowing flashing glimpses of a dark place that will take their listeners on an entrancing trip through those corridors. The album kicks off with unrelenting force already with a stunning opener "The House Of Shame" and what is immediately heard is that Andrea sings much more aggressive than ever and when his vocal parts are on everything sounds maybe even a bit too nu-metallic, sometimes almost at the edge of deathcore. There's as well a plentitude of gothic, cyber and insane industrialized elements, that make song compositions dynamic as hell. The charismatic Cristina shines like always, her powerful, but at the same time also sensual, emotional and seducing voice certainly adds that special pop/gothy emotive touch and most of all, what's really important, the typical Lacuna Coil atmosphere and character we all used to love in the past.
The band this time doesn't really make any creative surpluses, almost all of the songs on Delirium follow the same pattern, harsh male vocal part, followed by a catchy female refrain that will for sure be stuck in your head for awhile. There's a certain kind of catchiness like heard on several songs on their pivotal album Comalies, also song structures are similar, but played with different approach, and now we can hear a lot of elements that can be compared with the likes such are Slipknot, Korn, Coal Chamber and similar. Songs like are before mentioned opener, then "Blood, Tears, Dust", the mood setting melancholic "Downfall" or the captivating "My Demons" are all some of the best songs this band did in the last ten years. Of course, beside those ups there are also downs, like on every album Lacuna Coil did so far, we can hear some unnecessary fillers like is for example "Broken Things". But the album has some kind of fluency that was missing on their previous three or four albums, it has a drive and it has that needed flow that captivates the listener. I'm quite impressed by extensive use of electronics, crushing guitar riffs, pounding drums and blasts provided by tight rhythmic lines. The band doesn't forget about some sweet melodies and great gothy atmospheric lines that are nicely inserted into this new sound of theirs. Add to all that some well performed guitar solos played by their friend Marco Barusso, who worked before with them on albums Dark Adreanaline and Karmacode, plus with artists such are Eros Ramazzotti or Laura Pausini, and the good result is at hand. Beside Barusso, Mark Vollelunga of Nothing More added a solo to "Blood, Tears, Dust", while Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge, Slash,...) came up with a tailor-made one for "Downfall".
While the production is top notch, heavy and deep, I think that songs on Delirium, with plenty of sing along refrains, will shine best while played live, and I think that the band had exactly this in mind while they were composing this material. I know that old fans of the band will be sniffy about this album and if you expected the band return to their origins you couldn't be more wrong. Lacuna Coil might be in front of a new era in their artistical path, and if they will follow this trend I think that they have all the tendencies to expand even further their already huge fan base known as Coilers. You know what, I like this album, for me, after several spins it has became one of their best so far.
Review written by: T.V.