Karmacode Review / sereneserpentine

Lacuna Coil Finds Vocal Serenity

Karmacode Cover

The long awaited follow up to Lacuna Coil’s 2002 release “Comalies” is finally here. Those expecting this album to ride the coat-tails of previous albums will be sadly mistaken. Their fourth full length album has been subject to much speculation and anticipation by fans and music critics alike. Before its release, “Karmacode” was already deemed to be the defining album of Lacuna Coil’s career, as well as the best metal album release this year. While older fans fear a sell out for commercial
success, others longed for something new from the band with it’s signature style. The complexities of this album and heavier riffs are sure to upstage previous attempts at churning out a defining album.

Female fronted metal is nothing new, but in a sea of recycled garbage presented in a carefully crafted package of mediocre talent and cloned beauties, the magnificent and angelic vocals of singer Cristina Scabbia and the raspy powerful vocals of her male counterpart Andrea Ferro show that”Karmacode” is not an album that will fall into the dark pits of the clone sea, but rather rise with a gleaming brilliancy of – dare I say – originality and grace. The harmonies of the two vocalists pair to
present a “beauty and the beast” effect. The raspier vocals of Ferro intertwined with the enchantment of Scabbia’s have a velvet-like result – smooth and soothing on one side, and rough yet comforting on the other. “Karmacode” showcases the luminosity of this velvet effect by presenting several songs with what fans have come to love so much – the dueling out and love affair of the vocals.

It appears that while American music has influenced this album, Middle Eastern vibes and chants have also become a forte of the band, which has been carefully sculpted and mastered them into a work of art. Songs like”OurTruth,” the first single, beautifully reflect how emotionally evoking the simplicity of a chant can be. “Within Me,” the following song,
conveys the same feeling, letting Scabbia show off her trademark vocal range. Not to be forgotten are the amazing efforts
put forth by Ferro. His voice has evolved from past albums; “Karmacode” is what Ferro’s fans have been waiting for. Devoted” is the defining song for his vocals, with the female vocals subtly underlying them, adding a framework to his work of art.

Not to go unmentioned is the musicianship on this album. Heavier bass, melodic undertones, use of keyboards, and the pairing of intricate guitar riffs all blend to create a defining album. Songs vary from heavy to grooveworthy to emotionally tantalizing. How they’ve managed to inculcate so many genres and facets of music into one 47-minute album is beyond me. I’d love to review each song, but I fear justice could not be served. This album is a full evolution on Lacuna Coil’s behalf;
it also puts this band on a pedestal of new heights in regards to the music world. This is clearly the year of the “Coil.”

10 out of 10 Stars.

– sereneserpentine

This review won third place in the Emptyspiral.net Karmacode Review Competition