Everyone has a story to tell.
When Lacuna Coil, a metal band with a 20-year history, publish a book called ‘Nothing Stands in our Way’ one hopes that the title isn’t just playing off the title of one of their songs, but also provides an insight into how they overcame the challenges they have faced. As the book is described as an ‘illustrated history’ one also hopes for rare unseen photos that capture the essence of Lacuna Coil and their journey. In both regards ‘Nothing Stands in our Way’ does not disappoint.
The book, published by Rocket 88, is available in two formats; the Classic Edition, a 208 page, case-bound hard back book, and the Signature Edition which is a signed version of the Classic Edition, in a presentation box, complete with four art prints by Marco Coti Zelati. I’m reviewing the Signature Edition.
Physically the Signature Edition is stylishly beautiful. The presentation box, brown with the Lacuna Coil logo embossed in gold opens to reveal the art prints on top of the book itself; there is even a black ribbon to assist with removing the book from the box. The four prints, larger than the book itself and are wrapped and sealed in paper, something that impressed me. The artwork will be familiar to those who own the Dark Adrenaline album; the iconic Maki pieces are dark and haunting. Though not original to this box, they are printed on art card, have a matte finish and would look great framed (if you can bear to remove them from the box!)
Opening the book itself we see that it’s case-bound, has a red-ribbon for use as a bookmark and high-gloss good weight pages that bring a vibrancy to the photos and artwork. Physically, the book is of high quality though-out; graphically the book is fabulous, there are photographs on every page, some small, some full-page. Candid shots alongside live and promo photos really tell the story visually, I’ve found myself flipping back and forth, reading snippets, and chuckling at photos more than a few times already.
But what about the words? The book starts with ‘Inizi (Beginnings)’, a short short biography, with photos, of each of the principle members of Lacuna Coil – Andrea Ferro, Marco Coti Zelati, and Cristina Scabbia, as well as ex-members Cristiano ‘CriZ’ Mozzati and Cristiano ‘Pizza’ Migliore. These are autobiographical, a style used throughout the book, and we learn much about their young lives, jobs, and hobbies before joining Lacuna Coil. Of particular interest (to me) is the story of Andrea and Marco’s band, ‘Arachnophobia’, the name-change to ‘Sleep of Right’, and the events that led up to birth of ‘Ethereal’. After that we learn about the bands record contract with Century Media and inception of the ‘Lacuna Coil’ name, in the chapter entitled ‘The Big Deal’. The band then write about the first tour (that sounded like hard work – many bands would have given up there I suspect!); new band members joining, and then we have chapters named after each of the album titles which discuss their development and production.
Most of the words are those of Andrea, Cristina, and Marco, in equal amounts as they tell their own versions of the bands history. These are interspersed with others on the Lacuna Coil journey; Waldemar Sorychta, Pizza, CriZ, Valerie Lynch, Don Gilmore, etc. When Ryan Blake Folden joins the story, he starts with his own biography before we find out how he ultimately took on the mantle of full time percussions after CriZ left the band. The book ends with the band’s thoughts about the production and delivery of the 119 Show in January 2018, and with a final introduction to Diego Cavallotti, now formally part of Lacuna Coil.
After some final reflective words from the band, there is the ‘Roll of Honor’ – which lists all the people that have pre-ordered the book.
As someone who knows Lacuna Coil well and has interviewed them countless times (formally and informally!) I felt that their different personalities come across very clearly. There is a genuine sense of intimacy that comes through from the band members; there is humour, opinion and honesty about the things that are discussed and one gets a sense some of this was difficult for them. Their career has not been easy and they have each shown determination to make it successful. The choice of title for the book becomes apparent.
Some things are notable by their absence as well; though briefly mentioned in the words of others, there is no written perspective from long-term former guitarist Marco ‘Maus’ Biazzi, and we are left wondering what other stories there are to tell…
It’s worth noting though that this is not some sensationalised biographical exposé of Lacuna Coil, but a celebration of their 20+ years and insight into what makes them come back for more. Nothing Stands in Our Way is a delightful item of Lacuna Coil memorabilia and it excels in that regard. Lavish in detail, well written and entertaining, filled with fascinating facts and opinions, ‘Nothing Stands in our Way’ is something special that all fans of Lacuna Coil will want to own.
And it has a photo of Maki wearing a bra!
You can purchase ‘Nothing Stands In Our Way’ the official illustrated history of Lacuna Coil at lacunacoilbook.com