I came back to reviewing after a long break & decided to take on an artist I have heard many times in the past known for their gothic imagery and music. The group once called Sleep of Right more than 2 decades ago comprises of founding band members Marco Zelati on bass and keyboards, Andrea Ferro on vocals and the most well-known Cristina Scabbia who joined the band in 1996 and has been an integral part of the band while also participating in other stints with Megadeth & Type O Negative. The band in discussion is Lacuna Coil and we discuss their latest album ‘Delirium’.
Before starting my journey into this album I have listened to and liked some of the bands older music including the lights of ‘Comalis & Dark Adrenaline’ which was in a top 15 of the Billboard 200 and also earned them an MTV Music award nomination. However post their last releases there has been a change in lineup with Diego Cavallotti replacing long time guitarist Marco Biazzi so I did not come in with a premeditated mindset. In fact I heard this album with no expectation, which change drastically over the course of the record which we will discuss.
To start with the artwork serves as a self-explanatory statement to the title having the leading lady pose staring into a mirror in all its grey and dark aura. It’s not extraordinary and neither does it try too hard. Now normally one would expect a very melodious gothic almost symphony start of a Lacuna Coil album having Cristina open vocals and Andrea accompany her with extremely unique melodies on the keyboard accompanied by guitars and drumming – not the case here. ‘Delirium’ blasts in with “The House of Shame” leaving you in a state of shock with its almost death-like elements of Ryan Folden’s fast paced drumming, ripping riffs and Andrea Ferra you have never heard roaring like the way he does, make note of this song because this one makes it to your playlist in an instant and from here on you would expect the album to slow down and make way for classic Lacuna Coil melody? Not the case here because this album is a rampage.
Songs like “Broken Things, Blood, Tears, Dust, & My Demons” continue to hit the listener hard outdoing each song with its frantic sound and the dominant guttural vocals. Of course what sets this album apart from its predecessor is the work of Zelati who has rejuvenated and completely reconstructed the sound of the group giving them far more intensity than ever before, and also manages to harmonize the keyboard melody and even compliment it with seriously good contributions of solo pieces. All is not lost for the melody fans as Cristina and Zelati hold their own in songs like “Downfall, Ghost in the Mist”, and My personal favorite Claustrophobia which scores full points on composition and lyrical content. Title track “Delirium” is one that grows on you with its very catchy chorus and cheeky yet mastered symphonic.
I can go on about this album in terms of its great recording quality, guitar work, solos, and drumming but after 5 listens I have a clear conclusion – Lacuna Coil have done a splendid job in breaking patterns by giving the listener completely new styles of songs and retaining their classic ways in some without letting the journey stutter under monotony or any stereotypical repetition. I am not saying there isn’t any, but it has been masked professionally and this I expect from a band as experienced and professional as this one. Band newbie Cavallotti is probably the best thing that has happened for them and I reckon will be a game changer for their future and I have to say that Cristina’s voice is more agile, intense and melodic than before! Watch out lead-ladies, because this tigress’ stripes still blaze in magnificence.
‘Delirium’ is a breath of fresh air from a rejuvenated Lacuna Coil and stands as a leading contender to being a milestone album and the highest point of their career. It’s full of memorable tunes and a unique break-the-pattern system that gives this album more mileage to stay in your favourites list. I see this one to be more than just a nomination in the upcoming music awards and if that does not convince you to get this album then I don’t know what does.