Saturday, April 5, 2014

Lacuna Coil - Broken Crown Halo (2014)

The Italian band Lacuna Coil came out during the late 90's as one of many gothic metal bands with a female lead vocalist, and it is safe to assume that they now a days are one of the more successful bands from that era. But the band has become more and more mainstream rock for every album and leaving their gothic heritage behind them. That trend continues on "Broken Crown Halo", the band's 7th album. So if you expected a album that took the band back to its roots, then you are sadly mistaken.

There are definitely some dark elements in Lacuna Coil's music that shows where they are originally from, but it is the simplistic song structures and the catchy melodies that dominates "Broken Crown Halo". And unfortunately, this album is not a step forward for the band. I highly enjoyed the predecessor, "Dark Adrenaline", for its good variety and its personality, and even if "Broken Crown Halo" is technically a darker album, it miss some attraction to make me really excited over it. The only song that really stuck to my mind was "Infection". The song has an interesting flow and it is one of few songs where the male singer Andrea Ferro does not feel either useless or in the way for the female singer Cristina Scabbia.

There are some other songs that persuades me to liking them after some time. "Hostage To The Light" , "Victims" and "I Forgive (But I Won't Forget Your Name)" are all examples of songs that grows inside one's mind. And that is one of "Broken Crown Halo"'s biggest strength, it has a good life length which makes it not feel boring after a short time. Sure, the catchiness is not as great as it was on other Lacuna Coil albums, but it is still pretty easy to remember most of the songs.

The only thing that is missing in "Broken Crown Halo" is some kind of a punch. Most of the songs in the record have been done before by the band, but in a better way. I think that the album would have gotten a bigger impact if it had one very heavy song or one faster song, so the variety would not feel so left out in this album. And also, even if Andrea Ferro probably does some of his best work here in "Broken Crown Halo", I still think he takes too much of the attention. For instance, he tries to imitate Rob Zombie in "In The End I Feel Alive", which makes you focus on that instead of Scabbia's impressive work on the chorus. He will probably never leave the band, but I would appreciate it more if he stepped back and let Scabbia do more of the work.

"Broken Crown Halo" is far from broken, but it is obvious that the band has followed the saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". The album is a mix of already used up ideas and some dark layers that gives the illusion of that the band is still gothic. There are still some intentions that are interesting and the band definitely know what they are doing, but they do not evolve very much and something tells me that they are satisfied with their current state, so the next album will probably sound a lot like this one. So if you did not like Lacuna Coil before, do not bother with "Broken Crown Halo", let the fans enjoy it instead.

Songs worthy of recognition: Infection, Hostage To The Light, I Forgive (But I Won't Forget Your Name)

Rating: 6/10 Zombies

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