The heaviest they may have ever been

A lot of people have probably given up on this once highly promising band of Italians.

Springing out of no where in the late 90s before hitting a perfect blending of their style on Comalies in 2002, it has been a long road for the band, one of increasing sugary saturation as they attempted again and again to achieve similar success and attention without actually trying anything new or different.

Things began to change on their last album. Delirium mostly turned its back on pieces of the sugar and overly pop production and nu-metal elements, and began a return to the comfort of a darkness of their own making, with the oft times angelic vocal styling of Cristina Scabbia playing off once more against the harsher tones of Andrea Ferro.

The album seems to take a mis-step at first, opening with the electronic pulse of Anima Nera more coughing into existence than firmly planting itself out there, with the repetitive nature of the lyrics soon grinding. Sword of Anger makes up for that, with a solid djentish riff and some of the best vocals from Ferro in a very long time, menacing and angry, barely softened by the arrival of Sacbbia in the chorus.

Things are again turned around when Reckless drifts forth, showing  what Lacuna Coul have been searching for since their 2002 album, that delicate mix of light and dark without the extra dose of heavy production and the dull musical approach.  This is a band that have obviously taken stock and made a conscious decision to go back to their roots.

And they haven’t stopped experimenting either. Further down the track list Veneficium opens with layers of operatic vocals before the heavier vocal drags the ears back to the reality that this is metal.  Black Anima is also not without its faults, Now or Never being the prime example.  Apparently shooting for a heavy nu-metal track, it sounds odd to have Scabbia almost rapping parts of her vocals and detracts from what is going on around it.  For a band guilty of making a metric ton of uninteresting music in the last 17 years, however, it is great to see them giving it a red hot crack, in a different form.

Lacuna Coil have never stopped releasing decent singles. It is just their albums that have grown worse and far more formulaic than music like this should ever be. They have worked hard to rectify that here, keeping the listener interested right until the end, as well as managing to keep it the heaviest they may have ever been.  Black Anima sees a welcome return to all of the elements that once made this band both great and highly individual.

 

  1. Anima Nera
  2. Sword Of Anger
  3. Reckless
  4. Layers Of Time
  5. Apocalypse
  6. Now Or Never
  7. Under The Surface
  8. Veneficium
  9. The End Is All I Can See
  10. Save Me
  11. Black Anima