Lacuna Coil have always been one of my favourite Gothic metal bands due to their distinctively dark approach and they’ve come out with a pretty stunning album this year, tweaking their usual Gothic/doom metal style just a little with more symphony and a more atmospheric feel.
Broken Crown Halo opens with the eerie ‘Nothing Stands in Our Way’ which made me fall in love almost instantly. I’ve always been enamoured of Cristina Scabbia’s voice and the way it so perfectly complements the fierce vocals of Andrea Ferro. Uplifting lyrics, headbanging-tempo: it’s a killer opening track. Down-tuned guitars playing at a mid-pace make for a classy death metal intro on ‘Zombies’ and build up into a more melodic tune courtesy of Scabbia’s charming voice. ‘Hostage to the Light’ is a beautifully dark track, while ‘Victims’ and ‘Die and Rise’ really bring out the Gothic element in Lacuna Coil, the former with the slow symphonic drawl of Scabbia and very relaxed drumming building up an obvious intensity. There’s a small dialogue in between the track that threw off the vibe a bit and seems unnecessary.
‘Die and Rise’ has a djent feel going on throughout, bringing out the gruffness of Ferro’s vocals and has a really catchy chorus. Highlight would definitely be the Italian lyrics toward the end of the track, exhibiting the extent of Scabbia’s vocal prowess. Definitely one of the more energetic tracks, ‘Cybersleep’ has a soothing tune courtesy of the prominence of keys. The powerful riffs and melodic wave on ‘Infection’ and the Oriental intro to ‘I Burn In You’ display the more creative side of Lacuna Coil’s music. ‘One Cold Day ‘ closes this beautiful album with the haunting bell-like sounds of the keys and slow drums creating a gradual, soft yet strong sound.
In all honesty, I thought that this would be something like their older albums with a subtle repetition in the tracks but Broken Crown Halo is a brilliant culmination of all the various genres that make up Lacuna Coil’s tremendously unique sound that cannot really be classified into one particular type. They’ve experimented a little here and there and although a few tracks in between break the rhythm, with the heaviness of their signature dark riffs and satisfyingly deep melodies, Broken Crown Halo is an album to keep an ear out for.
1. Nothing Stands in Our Way
3. Hostage to the Light
5. Die & Rise
6. I Forgive (But I Won’t Forget Your Name)
9. I Burn in You
10. In the End I Feel Alive
11. One Cold Day