Italy’s beloved alternative goth-metal sextet, Lacuna Coil brings its six full-length studio album, Dark Adrenaline into the light this month. After more than a decade together and incredible success with its previous effort, Shallow Life, the band returns with its most cohesive and complete album to date. Having tested the various waters and myriad of styles in the band’s repertoire, drummer Cristiano “Criz” Mozzati, bassist Marco Coti Zelati, guitarists Marco “Maus” Biazzi and Cristiano “Pizza” Migliore, along with vocalists Andrea Ferro and Cristina Scabbia have found their collective signature.
The band once again turned to producer Don Gilmore (Escape the Fate, Linkin Park, Avril Lavigne, Hollywood Undead) who also co-wrote all of the album’s original tracks.
Dark Adrenaline pumps with sonic intensity, big hooks, memorable melodies, and even a hint of sex appeal. The latter can be found immediately on the first single and album opener, “Trip the Darkness”. From the twisted groove intro into the rolling verse, courtesy of Ferro’s sandpaper rasp, this is essential Lacuna Coil. And like a straight man building the set-up, vocalist Scabbia, with her evocative and power plea; “come to me, come to me…”, she grabs the listener and never lets go. You are like the charmed snake, swaying under her spell. “Follow me, follow me…”.
“Against You” finds Scabbia taking the lead, and delivering us to a soaring chorus laid over a heavy, banging rhythm. While this track doesn’t feel angry, there is an undercurrent of emotive rage.
Next up is the anthemic vibe of “Kill the Light”. This song may catch both vocalists at their best. This is one of the album’s real standout tracks.
“Give Me Something More” presents one of Ferro’s weaker vocal moments on the opening verse, but by the time the sweet harmony of the chorus arrives, it feels like splitting hairs. They have another radio-friendly number here.
There is an industrial feel to “Upsidedown”. Once again Scabbia’s rich vocals embellish the chorus, and make the song memorable. With Dark Adrenaline it is clear that Cristina has truly come into her own. She has gone from a complimentary female vocal against Ferro’s male rasp, to being the core of the band’s sound. Taking nothing away from Ferro, she simply elevates Lacuna Coil to another level.
This can be heard no better than what is arguably Dark Adrenaline’s finest track, “End of Time”. The entire band shines here. This may be as close to a power ballad as you’ll hear from Lacuna Coil. Scabbia dips into her deeper register here, and Ferro brings his ‘A’ game here.
Scabbia has some fun on the crushing, “Intoxicated”, one of the album’s heavier and more unique tracks.
The band’s cover of REM’s “Losing My Religion” seems like something of an odd choice for a cover song, and feels almost like a distraction among what is perhaps the band’s most decisive collection of original songs yet.
Song by song, there is more and more to appreciate and enjoy. There are a couple of songs that don’t live up to the rest of the album, yet there are truly no weak tracks—no filler.
Scabbia generally crafts excellent lyrics, and she has done so again here.
While every artist aspires to make each album better than the last, Milan’s Lacuna Coil, has achieved that goal on Dark Adrenaline. No small feat given how strong Shallow Life was for the band. Lacuna Coil touches on its past with this album, while remaining grounded in its recent growth and giving us a glimpse into the future. Old fans should embrace Dark Adrenaline, but they’ll have to move over to make room for the droves of new fans this record is sure to lure in.
Lacuna Coil has already set forth on a massive world tour in support of Dark Adrenaline. They are currently on the North American Gigantour with Megadeth, Motorhead and Volbeat. After some South American dates and a European tour, the band will be back on American soil. Expect a Boise date to be announced soon. They made their way through the Treasure Valley twice on their previous tour.
In the meantime, head downtown to The Record Exchange and pick up your copy of Dark Adrenaline, If you prefer digital downloads, vinyl or special editions go to CMDistro.com. For a special bonus track “Soul Inmates” pick up the album through iTunes.
Rustyn Rose is a veteran music journalist who owns and operates Metalholic Magazine and Mojo Radio.