I could sit for hours, writing about the ethereal beauty of Cristina Scabbia’s vocals battling the powerful, growl of Andrea Ferro’s vocals and the monster that is the instrumental section of the band. I could then write about how it must feel for Cristina being a female musician in the metal scene today. However, that has been done. We all know the story and die-hard Coilers – like myself – will understand that this cliché undoubtedly makes Lacuna Coil want to scream in terror. Instead I will write about Karmacode.
The title ‘Karmacode’ contains a subtle beauty. It’s a representation of the two sections of life today. ‘Karma’ – the spiritual side and the side that’s in touch with nature. Then ‘Code’ – the side modern life brought to us that leaves a promise of things to come and tells us who we are. This contrast present within the title is strong and stays with us forever as it is present in our everyday lives. Lacuna Coil, successfully make this contrast visible, and make us aware of how truely important and ground-breaking this album is set to be.
When that first wave of sound hits my ears, a wave of absolute joy runs through me. ‘Fragile’, the opening track, is not fragile, but powerful, and it runs through the body with a smooth force. The following tracks have equal power. ‘To the edge’ and ‘Our Truth’ hold within them an irresistible glass shattering beat; accompanied by a melody that calls for me to join in. However, ‘Within me’, brings a nostalgic feeling of older Lacuna Coil ballads as do the brilliant ‘In Visible Light’ and elegant ‘Without Fear’. However, the powerful, hard-hitting tracks quickly return: ‘Devoted’, ‘What I See’, ‘Fragments of Faith’, and ‘The Game’, bring back that irresistible urge to move my body and head-bang my way to heaven. We then hear a different side to Lacuna Coil’s music within the song ‘Closer’, which shows a definite diversity. ‘Closer’ is undeniably the happiest track on the album and contrasts beautifully with the darker, haunting tracks within ‘Karmacode’, as does the beautiful Italian ballad ‘Without Fear’. This track shows a pride in their native Italy and has an elegance which sends floods of emotions over me. Finally, the only cover present, ‘Enjoy the Silence’, sent me to heaven when I realized Lacuna Coil had achieved the impossible and improved the classic hit. The final track provides a catharsis and I feel myself returning to the first track, ‘Fragile’.
I am in love with this album. ‘Karmacode’ brings about a revelation that Cristina’s voice cannot be described as innocent rather beautifully haunting with her Arabian, siren calls. It is obvious she holds equal power to the instruments that accompany her. As does the vocals of Andrea Ferro, who shed his trademark growl for a more melodic sound which accompanies Cristina’s power beautifully. As well as this, ‘Karmacode’ shows Lacuna Coil hold diversity and talent not present in any metal act today.