Looks like it takes an asylum visit and some lineup changes to kick things up a notch. After the two somewhat swell deliveries Lacuna Coil mustered before, the band now lets loose their newest full-length album Delirium in spring 2016 with renewed gusto. And it is some gusto, I can tell ya.
What a change compared to Broken Crown Halo of 2014. This newly invented style is astonishingly good in more ways than one and an amazing feat pulling off such a record in a very reasonable time scale.
Loud, screechy, scratchy, dirty, but still unarguably Lacuna Coil, the record forges forward without looking left or right. I specifically like their ability to project this undeniably thorny theme onto their tracks. Makes you want to go see the shrink first, then get to a concert real quick. ‘Cause Delirium will sound great on stage. In Ferro‘s own words, this is not a new chapter, it is a new book.
Then let’s talk about lineup changes. It seems ghosts are playing guitars these days at Lacuna Coil. At the very beginning of 2016, the band announced that Marco Biazzi left the band. Now, it appears they have Diego Cavallotti under contract as a live act. The very same also provides solos and stuff on Ultima Ratio and My Demons on the record itself.
There are still more suspected ethereal beings playing guitar on this record. And – for sure – Lacuna Coil plugged the hole that appeared with the departure of Pizza Migliore by employing a gazillion of guest players. Myles Kennedy, Mark Vollelunga, Alessandro La Porta, Marco Barusso, the list seemingly never ends. Now, this Tower of Babylon adds some real spice to the record. The future will tell what will happen next as things progress with the selection of the new guitar wizard(s).
Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro have gotten themselves into an almost symbiotic relationship on Delirium. One of the best Beauty and the Beast representations I have heard so far. And a step up from Broken Crown Halo or Dark Adrenaline, where you sometimes started to second-guess Ferro‘s role and future existence with the band.
Well, I stand corrected. This is a most astonishing turnaround.
Another decidedly juicy element is that Marco Coti-Zelati took on the production part, apart from playing the bass. And it shows: For once the bass is actually an outstanding element of the whole record. Not just that locked-in bullshit that we get to hear from many other bands on a daily basis. And this fact really contributes to the dark and heavy nature of Delirium – and the new style Lacuna Coil just introduced. I really like that.
That said, the songwriting, production, mixing, and mastering are very mature. A fair amount of compression can still be found with the guitars almost being a non-entity, apart from a few shining moments on solos and some riffing.
But by and large, all elements are in their rightful place at the right time. So, kudos to Marco Barusso for the mixing (and engineering) part, apart from the solos, and 96KHZ Mastering Studio for the mastering (well, yeah..).
And no negative points, eh?
Well, the drums wear you out after a while – too repetitive. This sometimes sounds like a weird version of jingle-bells caught in a Stephen King movie. I would have liked the guitars to be a bit more present too, but this is a matter of taste and style of course.
Delirium starts with a thunderclap in The House of Shame and at first, this feels like a totally different band altogether.
Déjà-vu for sure, but not with this band as we know it. But then the typical Lacuna Coil brand sweeps in, so some relief at last. They scream that one to the world with an energy that – for sure – is new.
Broken Things and Delirium (the title track) keep on pounding right on forward, whereas the latter really shines. The lyrics talk a lot about killing, escaping, hate, and such. Not bad in all and aligned to the theme after all. But after the 50th time of hearing the word kill, it starts to wear you out.
Well, Downfall really shines in two ways. First some storytelling, followed by one of these subdued solos. My Demons brings you a hint of a very dark power ballad. Well, it isn’t one actually, but let me call it Delirium‘s attempt to have one. Kind of similar to what The Rasmus provided in the past, without growls of course. You’ll find no discernible fillers on the album either. This is no small feat on an album of a whopping 14 tracks of some 57 minutes of total airtime.
The former Evanescence-esque sound is definitely out of the door. Replaced with a mighty crunch, belting out Gothic Metal in that new relentless way of theirs.
That is the new brand Lacuna Coil are delivering with Delirium. That they manage to keep to their roots, not losing their trademark sound on the way is really well done. One of the best albums these guys were able to deliver so far. And I like the change, really do. Good album.
Ed’s note: This record made it onto the Intermittent Digest IV.