A decade ago, in ’96, the trace elements of what is now Milan’s biggest Metal export and current sales record-holder for Century Media, began sending out demo tapes, premiering their unique musical quality with twin tracks “Shallow End” and “Frozen Feeling”. The band, then known simply as “Ethereal”, would later become the highly successful six-piece group, Lacuna Coil, who, with their latest musical offering – the album “Karmacode” – arriving in stores on April 4th, have finally returned, after a four-year period of abstinence, since last album “Comalies” (2002, read: Coma-lyze), to claim their long awaited and far overdue session of undulating success.
Without hesitation, the CD, with its lucid “face-man” cover, launches into the opening song, “Fragile”; with its vigorous tropical fire-dancing feel. Leaping into the song you’ll be greeted by soaring vocals, searing guitars and throbbing drum beats. From the get-go, its undeniable that “Fragile” is already going to be one of the highlights of the album and is a great album opener.
Second track, “To The Edge”, continues the first impressions given by “Fragile”, followed shortly by the lead-single, “Our Truth”, with more seemingly Celtic chants. From there, the album flows into the semi-acoustic ballad, “Within Me”, with perhaps some of the best vocals yet conceived by co-vocalists, Cristina Scabbia (female vocals) and Andrea Ferro (male vocals). A return to the piercing guitars marks the approach of the fifth track, “Devoted”.
The decisively light interlude “You Create” predates the heaviest track on the album in “What I See”. “Fragments of Faith” supersedes it, complete with mystical keyboards and excellently portraying Andrea’s much improved vocals, giving him the duty of singing the grizzly verses. The most catchy song “Closer”, then makes an appearance before debuting the most melancholy song present, “In Visible Light”, with it’s mesmerizingly beautiful chorus of “Grief is the Light”.
The last fully electric song on the album, entitled “The Game” then emerges. Not overly commandeering, the song is a great way to begin winding down the album. “Without Fear” is the band’s attempt at an Italian ballad, and, like the whole album, the song is beautifully rendered, slowly fading away into the album closer and cover of Depeche Mode, “Enjoy The Silence”. This song is truly one of the best Lacuna Coil songs ever, whether that is due to the fact that it was not written by the Coil can be debated, but, to many fans, it will be, without a doubt, purely dazzling.
The road for Lacuna Coil has no doubt been long, hard and tiring. The effort, however, as paid off, as “Karmacode” will undoubtedly fly them to the sky, as far as recognition is concerned. The most die-hard and loyal fans may feel left behind, as Lacuna Coil have nearly abandoned their “Gothic” tag, that is most prominent in the 2001 album, “Unleashed Memories”. Allowing the album to enter your ears without pre-conceptions will, though, simply delight you at the incredible diversity, haunting vocals and meaningful lyrics which has, through a bleeding hard work ethic, become the elegant symbol that is Lacuna Coil.