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It seems some bands can always be relied on to deliver the goods. Scene stalwarts Lacuna Coil are one such example and, albeit subtle changes to their sonic aesthetic throughout the course of five studio albums and two EPs, each of their releases has been good at worst and stunning at best, but never average. Latest effort 'Dark Adrenaline', their sixth full length release, falls into the latter category for it's loaded with aurally resplendent instrumentations layered with heavy, down-tuned riffing, richly resonant quasi-orchestrations and the usual contraposition of Cristina Scabbia's alluringly smooth vocal tones alongside Andrea Ferro's gruffer delivery. In one sense, songwriting-wise, it's exactly what you'd expect from the Italians as they once again fuse melody with melancholy to great effect but each of the discrete elements in their repertoire is a little more emphatic this time around with the guitar riffing noticeably giving the songs more metal punch than ever before. Working with Don Gilmore for a second time (they previously used him for production duties on 'Shallow Life'), it's evident the relationship between band and producer has come to fruition, consolidating and improving on what they'd previously created. It feels there's a lot more flesh on the bones this time around which is something the band seemed to spend a degree of focussed effort on as the guitars/bass/drums were recorded in their hometown of Milan before shifting location to the States to work in the famous Californian Can-Am studios (once frequented by the likes of Guns N' Roses, Megadeth and Armored Saint) for recording vocals, keyboards and generally beefing up the arrangements with a greater sonic weight. It's effort that has paid off as the whole thing sounds magnificent. They even cheekily throw in a cover of R.E.M.'s 'Losing My Religion' which, to be frank, sounds like a terrible idea but they make it work perfectly through quite an innovative arrangement with the Lacuna Coil touch that also sees them develop some of the vocal melodies to make the version truly their own. And, dare I say, it's a step above their cover of Depeche Mode's 'Enjoy the Silence' from a few years ago. If you've only ever been a casual listener to Lacuna Coil's output over the years and never fully clicked with their art then give this a go as you might just be pleasantly surprised. For established fans, however, there's much to get excited about here and it's reassuring to see a band this far into their career still capable of making innovative, aurally stimulating music of such a high quality.
Century Media
Review by Mark Holmes
23rd Jan 2012
1) Trip the Darkness
2) Against You
3) Kill the Light
4) Give Me Something More
5) Upside Down
6) End of Time
7) I Don't Believe in Tomorrow
8) Intoxicated
9) The Army Inside
10) Losing My Religion
11) Fire; 12) My Spirit
"...it's reassuring to see a band this far into their career still capable of making innovative, aurally stimulating music of such a high quality."