By: Elizabeth Hannon
The end of January and the first week of February marked many big release dates for rock fans. Out of all of these releases, I chose to pick up Dark Adrenaline, the sixth album from Italian metal band, Lacuna Coil. I was first introduced to Lacuna Coil several years ago, when a friend had me listen to an early album. “It’s like Evanescence, but more hardcore,” she told me smugly, pro-offering the band’s fourth album, Karmacode for my inspection.
Indeed, like Evanescence, Lacuna Coil is just one of many Goth metal bands that utilizes a dark-haired female vocalist with male band members (In addition to Evanescence, others that come to mind include Within Temptation, and Nightwish). So, how does the group measure up?The first track off the album, “Trip the Darkness,” is not unimpressive. It showcases the vocal range of lead singer, Christina Scabbia, with a haunting melody. “Intoxicated” is similarly enjoyable, with just enough backup vocals provided by Andrea Ferro to elevate, but not overpower the lilting, dramatic vocal gymnastics of Scabbia. However, lyrics like “Set it free, superstition/I gave up on this fairy tale – die!/In the world that I created/I’m intoxicated” are trite and juvenile for a band that is nearly 18 years old.I found “Kill the Light” to be generic in lyrics and melody, and was barely able to differentiate it from “Against You.” “End of Time” runs the middle of the road, with unimpressive lyrics but a soulful and melancholy ballad put forth in the mingling of the vocalists. “End of Fire,” however, was completely overpowered by Ferro’s gravelly, angered bellowing.
This album also contains the cover of R.E.M’s most famous song. “Losing My Religion” takes a unique approach to the song, which I actually appreciated. In fact, the band accomplishes what I feel a good cover should: it is recognizable, but ultimately its own song–a darker, and fairly dramatic entity under the ministrations of LC. This is a considerable upgrade from a previous cover of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence,” which neither stayed true to the original nor added anything particularly new or interesting in the new interpretation.
Unfortunately, I feel that Dark Adrenaline lacks the vibrancy of previous albums, like Karmacode. Overall, the songs lack individual viewpoints, and its focus on a heavier bass line and more direct, less expressive melodies have set the band back. Strangely enough, this new album has received more praise than the band’s previous works—something I just can’t comprehend. Dark Adrenaline may have some high points, but overall it is a definite step in the wrong direction, and I can only hope Lacuna Coil makes progress with future albums.
Contact Elizabeth Hannon at email@example.com with any questions or comments.