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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:37 am 
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I've written my review of Comalies, which you can read at http://www.emptyspiral.net/reviews/coma ... ar-review/

Let me know what you think, and share your own experiences of this classic Lacuna Coil album!


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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:30 am 
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Fantastic review. I agree in particular about the album's freshness. Granted, I'm just coming up on 5 years of Comalies' goodness myself, but I have to have heard it in its entirety over 200 times now, and without fail it feels as fresh as my fourth or fifth listen, something absolutely no other album I've heard has ever managed to do. It doesn't hurt that I always found little nuances I didn't hear before with each listen; hell, I'm willing to bet there's a few bits here and there I'm still unaware of. But regardless, Comalies has a timelessness to it that strikes me as absolutely surreal, and it's outstanding production only furthers that feeling. I can't put my finger on what it is exactly that keeps me coming back, but you know, the mystery is half the fun of Comalies. It just is, and I'm alright with that.

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:46 pm 
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I admire your stamina to write so much about the album :P

However, I don't believe it's correct to say that Karmacode sold twice as many units as Comalies. It was certainly the Lacuna Coil album that sold the most upon initial release (largely due to the breakthrough they made with Comalies), but overall I think the sales numbers for the two albums are pretty close, if anything I would say Comalies is still ahead.


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 Post Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:15 pm 
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I'm going to be controversial here and state that I don't understand why it is that Comalies is the most loved LC album. Sure it has many fine moments, but as a whole I don't think it's anywhere near as beautiful as Unleashed Memories, it's metal moments don't sound anywhere near as inspired as what went on with In a Reverie, and the vocals are not a patch on the quality heard on Karmacode.

Heavens a Lie, Swamped, Unspoken, Tightrope, Entwined, Daylight Dancer...heck I love every song on this album immensely. But as far as I'm concerned, Comalies is not a diamond in the rough. It's not massively superior to anything else that came before it, and I personally don't think Karmacode was a weak follow up.

If anything, I believe the problem is that the time between the two releases was to long. People built such a strong relationship with the older material they couldn't come to terms with something different. Which surprises me, because the releases from the debut EP through to Comalies all sound so varied. Diversiy was a key ingredient to LC's credibility, so im still surprised when people then complained they changed their sound. For me, Comalies sounded like a great band perfecting a sound that had no where else to go. In many ways it improved upon what came before, aside from songwriting, because as a whole Unleashed Memories still sounds a lot more adventurous and sincere.

Karmacode just took it all up a notch further, only we didn't realise it because we all wanted Comalies 2. I still don't think Karmacode sounds all that Americanized. The songwriting has a lot of eastern sound textures that make me think of the Mediterranean, the lyrics are deeply poetic and personal, and take longer to understand, and the musicianship is inventive without ever sounding self indulgent. They took the power of the best elements of US rock and metal, and coupled it perfectly with the European sound they had previously mastered. They say that opposites attract, and the odd coupling of the US approach and the European roots of the band sounded divine. And to this day I still wouldn't say it sounds like a product of America, and i dont here Nu Metal, just great rock music.

Comalies sounds rushed to me. The keyboards are exquisite but the guitars are repetitive, and Andrea wasn't on top form, and for me Unleashed Memories is still vastly superior in all respects except production. Even the drum work lacks the sparks that Unleashed Memories had.

However, Comalies production values are flawless, and the work on Tightrope and Angels Punishment are amongst by favourite LC moments ever. But for me the melodies are not the strongest. I think a lot of the songs on this album have a similar melody. Karmacode to suffered this problem, but for me that album worked because lyrically the songs all shared a theme, and musically there is a lot more going on and the vocals flourish. The singles on Comalies are fine, but this album just doesn't have that massive hook that keeps you coming back in the way that Devoted, Cold Heritage, To Live Is To Hide, Not Enough or Veins Of Glass have that keeps me listening to the other albums on repeat. Dark Adrenaline is the closest relative to Comalies in the band's catalogue as far as I'm concerned, and I'm quite certain it's a stronger release than Comalies. Unspoken is the sole exception, and I was excited by Shallow Life because to me that album exploits the style of this song and uses the formula to near perfection! Heavens a Lie too is a great song, especially live, but I still think the later albums had better choice for lead singles.

I first heard Karmacode...liked it, then loved it (see below). The eps and In a Reverie came next. They blew me away, and Reverie was the first LC album i completely fell in love with. Karmacode affected me deeply only after months of having aquired it (on the day of its release i'll have you know!) Then I heard Comalies after having heard about how amazing it is. I have never understood it! Yes, it's a five star album because taken away from the rest of the band's discography it's a shiny jewel. But the rest of the band's music is still of such a high standard, and in my opinion most of it shines brighter than this release, with the exception of Shallow Life. That album is seriously let down by the fact that the best songs were relegated to B-Side material. I get the love for this album, but not the hype. And for me, when I hear that this is somebody's favourite LC album, my first thought is that either it's because it's the first one they listened to, or because the rest they haven't listened to properly yet. It's a great album, I just don't think it deserves to be Lacuna Coil's defining moment.


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 Post Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:59 pm 
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I think you've raised some very good points there. It's worth reiterating that music is a very personal thing, and I'm sure that everyone has their reasons for liking Comalies, or disliking it for that matter.

As I said in my article, it's not my favourite Lacuna Coil, but I do believe that it remains their most influential.


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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:16 pm 
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That's rather interesting. Karmacode was my first LC album, and yet Comalies is far and away my favorite. I don't get the sense that it was rushed at all. Truth be told, I wouldn't change anything about it. IAR, UM, and the EP's are all great, but Comalies is where it all gets taken to another level if you ask me. I do agree about the relationship between Comalies and Karmacode, though. It really isn't nearly as different from Comalies as people think it is; I actually find the two to be rather similar, if not outright indistinguishable in spirit. Aesthetically, there are obvious differences, but the feel of the album is pretty much Comalies 2. I do think it sounds Americanized, but in a sense that the European stylings of their early material blended seamlessly with a harder, more American rock sound. To that end, I find Karmacode to be their crowning achievement from a cultural perspective. There are so many ways it could've went disastrously wrong, but it didn't, and that's a real testament to the band's ability.

I also do admit that Comalies isn't one of my favorites from a lyrical perspective; that crown belongs safely to IAR and DA. But I find that there's a mystery to the lyrics that works beautifully with the equally mysterious nature of the music. I'm not gonna lie, I don't know what half the songs on Comalies are about, if even that. But because of the music, it just works. It creates an overwhelmingly enigmatic atmosphere when taken as a whole, and that might just be where its strength lies; in just trying to take everything in. It's almost like a dream-like controlled chaos, I suppose. IAR and UM may have better songwriting, and KC may show a very strong cultural competence, but when it comes to taking disparate elements and combining it into something greater than the sum of its parts, Comalies is unmatched.

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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:33 pm 
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Karmacode suffered much because of the 'Korn' bass and overall crappy production! After listening to the 5.1 version of that album with the bonus songs it became much much better. Comalies will always be my fav as it blended all the components that make Lacuna Coil great in 1 superb package. Sure if you consider all the elements seperatly it's flawed (every album has it's stronger and weaker points, UM,DA,Karmacode are better in some regards) but together it's magic. (songwriting/music/vocals/production). If they recapture that magic again I will be very happy :D

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 Post Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:13 am 
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Amazing review!! Comalies was my first LC album in 2004 and I fell in love with them through it. I quickly loved In A Reverie and Lacuna Coil, then Unleashed Memories. I love that sound they had going at the time. I think Comalies will forever remain my favorite LC album.

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 Post Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:34 pm 
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Comalies does have one advantage over all other albums: Cristina's vocals on Humane, Ghost Woman and Entwined are simply unmatched by anything else she has done. Good grief...entwined...how much do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

I stand by what I say...but I agree that comalies does have a certain spark about it...not my favourite but it's quite intoxicating in a very unique way. Only two other albums give me the same feeling: The Cure's Disintegration (especially) and Karmacode.


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 Post Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:19 am 
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laputa wrote:
Comalies does have one advantage over all other albums: Cristina's vocals on Humane, Ghost Woman and Entwined are simply unmatched by anything else she has done. Good grief...entwined...how much do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

I stand by what I say...but I agree that comalies does have a certain spark about it...not my favourite but it's quite intoxicating in a very unique way. Only two other albums give me the same feeling: The Cure's Disintegration (especially) and Karmacode.


Whoa, that's weird. I can kind of say the same thing in regards to that last sentence. Nothing quite matches Comalies, but 2 albums do come close, one of which happens to be Disintegration. However, the other one is My Bloody Valentine's Loveless. I'm almost comfortable in saying those are my 3 favorite albums period. Only MDB's The Angel And The Dark River puts up some kind of a fight, and I find that album to be virtually flawless.

But yeah, Disintegration. Amazing album, that one is.

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 Post Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:22 am 
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I've been reading and seeing all of these point of views here, and I think that it's my turn to take a crack at this.


I was one of the people listed in laputa's post that my first album was Comalies. But I heard it a couple of months after it came out. I remember that day like it was yesterday actually. During that time period, I was getting into extreme metal, so it was a whole lot of Cradle of Filth (and I mean a lot, as in I abandoned all of my music for this), as well as Deicide, Opeth, Cannibal Corpse, Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, Immortal, etc. Needless to say, I remember looking through a hit parader January 2003 issue and saw an ad for Comalies. I was pretty interested in it even after looking at it. Needless to say, I was flipping through the music channels a couple of weeks later and on Music Choice Metal, Swamped was being played. I remember falling in love with Cristina's vocals the moment I first laid ears on it. I couldn't get it out of my head, despite it not being anywhere near like the music that I been listening to. Another week later, I turned on the same channel and My Wings came on and I knew that I had to get my hands on their stuff one way or another, despite not really having much access to their music. Thankfully, I got my first job and started to buy a lot of CDs.

So fast forward to that day, March 25th, 2003. It was the release date of Cradle of Filth's Damnation and a Day. I woke up early and went to the mall right when FYE opened. I did the first thing that I planned on doing and that was picked up a copy of DaaD from Cradle. But right when I started to walk up to the counter, I remembered Cristina's melody like a siren from the Odyssey. So I turned back and went to the L section. I searched hard for Lacuna Coil but to no avail, they didn't have a section, they were still not big in America at that time. But then I looked at the miscellaneous Ls and I like that I found Comalies right before my very eyes. Without hesitation, I grabbed the album and bought both albums that I had in my hands. When I got home, I did my first priority and listened to the new cradle album, and was completely disappointed in their direction, it was nothing like their greats and felt devastated. But before I could lament, the moment that would change my life forever happened. I laid my ears on Comalies.

Swamped locked me in from the moment you heard Cri's voice. And the yin-yang flow of Andi and her with the melodies of the music took me to places I never thought I'd be in my life. Heaven's a Lie didn't grab me like Swamped did but I've started to sing to it by the end of the song nonetheless. Daylight Dancer placed me in a deep meditated state setting up for Humane, for when I heard Humane, I fell in love at first listen, I think I almost cried the first time listening to it. Self-Deception made me think about the lyrics more than listening to the music. With Aeon, I was put back into my meditation with the atmosphere of the music and the acoustic guitars, and Cri's enchanting vocals; all setting up for Tight Rope. I started to rock out when I first heard said song and still felt captivated by the music. Following up with Ghost Women and The Hunter, I felt like I was taken out of my room and into another atmospheric dimension, and was officially under the spell of the music. Once again, I think I almost cried at first listened to this song. Unspoken got me back into the real world just a little bit but I've deeply enjoyed the end. Entwined had the melancholy of the album, and the melodies, and double vocals that the rest of the album had but it didn't captivate me like it should have. No, that was The Prophet Said. The one thing I was looking for the whole time, a song in D minor (I'm serious, I was being a picky little fucker at that time :lol: ) But even beyond that, It didn't have the triple chorus repeat like the other songs, but it had second half that made me fell in love with Lacuna Coil for the rest of my life. With the lines, "This is my harmony, I'm in your heart again, this is the place to live, where I'm alone again, this is my harmony, I'm here I lay again, this is the prayer to give, I'm all alone again", I felt like I've been converted into a coiler 4 life, (which needs to be made into a slogan or T-shirt if it hasn't happened yet). Angel's Punishment, showed me the band's disheartening feelings on the horror of war and I can feel their pain in their music (jesus, thinking about it, it kinda sounds pretentious of me doesn't it). And then the title track played and even though I didn't know what the Italian lyrics mean, I enjoyed it fully. But then I heard the chorus with it's melodies and harmonies, in which to this day I still consider the best I've heard along with the second half of The Prophet Said. I can officially tell you that it was so powerful that my 16 year old self did actually cry after hearing that song for the first time, and I kept on for years. I sometimes just put on that album and only have it on that song on repeat! It was a song that sealed the deal, if they already haven't. And I still consider it their most underrated song.

All and all, it was a beginning of a new era for me. I still gotten deeper into extreme metal, but it also opened another door for me with music and that is a deeper more atmospheric captivating side. From that point on, I gotten into bands that could replicate that special feeling like what this album did to me at first listen. Hell, I'm listening to this album right now as I've been typing this and all of those feelings still rush back into me. Not bad for an album I first heard 10 years ago.

With that in mind, I must say that I agree that Comalies is not their best, Unleashed Memories is, but that's another story for a different post. If you all care enough, I'll post about that album.

But personally, I want to gratefully thank the whole band for producing this album and giving me a musical experience that pretty much set a standard for what I looked for in music. Thank you CriZ, Biazzi, Migliore, Andi, Cristina, and Marco.

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