Album Review: Lacuna Coil - 'Dark Adrenaline'

25 March 2012 | 10:30 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Lacuna Coil return to their roots in their latest haunting record.

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Lacuna Coil ruffled a few feathers in 2009 with their ‘Shallow Life’ record, straying away from their signature gothic roots. Fortunately, ‘Dark Adrenaline should restore a lot of that faith once thought lost in the ether. It’s a fairly risk-free record that rarely strays out of a ‘Karmacode state of comfort.

It’s dark, brooding and it’s typical of these Italian goth-rockers when they’re on top of their game.

It’d eventually be mixed for the Underworld: Awakening OST, “Trip the Darkness” was the first single released from the album. The first thing that jumped out at me was just how cleanly Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro gel together. There are certainly times where I feel like Scabbia is a league above and beyond Ferro, but they generally complement each other well.

There’s a great use of the signature synth sound in the beginning of “Kill the Light”, which called to mind Lacuna Coil’s early work. It was perhaps a tad under cooked and gets lost in the mix under the much louder guitars; it is a disappointing result to say the least.

After a moody first minute, Give Me Something More” finds another gear as guitarists Cristiano Migliore and Marco Biazzi forge the framework for a “brought to you by Ferro” verse. The tempo and feel almost has a Drowning Pool’s “Bodies” vibe about it and is guaranteed to get crowds moving when they tour for this record.

If Scabbia told me over a beer – yeah, I wish – that she drew a lot of inspiration from poetry to pen the lyrics on ‘Dark Adrenaline’, I’d be inclined to believe her. She runs the gamut from predictably cheese-filled up to perfect for what the song demands.

Intoxicated” is such a track, as Scabbia begins “broken mirror, seven years of stolen luck” before throwing her voice into a haunting run as Ferro trades lines with her throughout the chorus. The incredible bridge also features duelling roles from both Scabbia and Ferro as they dart between harmonies and individual showboating.

One of the record’s biggest risks is the inclusion of a cover of Losing My Religion’ by the now defunct, but ever iconic, R.E.M. I’d almost consider it an unnecessary distraction from the main event; the event in question being ‘Dark Adrenaline’ itself.

Well, I would be saying that if the cover wasn’t so good.

Because I was flying blind, the cover was unrecognizable at first and I thought Lacuna Coil had just dealt up a tame offering. But then “that’s me in the corner...” appeared as if from nowhere and it registered. The transformation this song has taken is incredible and Lacuna Coil has done well to make it sound like one of their own. If only ‘Punk Goes Pop’ was this crisp.

Risk well worth it, I say.

If you’re a Coil enthusiast, you can rejoice. They’ve paid respect to their roots and have put out their most explosive and dark record since ‘Karmacode’. It’s not woven from the same silky satin and does have a few frayed ends, but it’s a compelling quilt while it lasts. Wait, what? Lacuna Coil is back on the right path. Plus, a good R.E.M. cover? Come on, guys.

1. Trip the Darkness
2. Against You
3. Kill the Light
4. Give Me Something More
5. Upsidedown
6. End of Time
7. I Don't Believe in Tomorrow
8. Intoxicated
9. The Army Inside
10. Losing My Religion (originally by R.E.M.)
11. Fire
12. My Spirit