Lacuna Coil albums reviewed and rated.


2 Feb 2012, 22:57

I found it really interesting and useful to write those series of mini-reviews, so I think I will continue doing it. The next band I’ve chosen to review is Lacuna Coil, I think that release of the brand new Dark Adrenaline album is a good reason to write a long journal about them.

Standard Disclaimer: it’s all my own opinion. Feel free to comment, but no trolling and offence, please.

Lacuna Coil (1998)
Lacuna is definitely not the first band that has started with an EP. Financial problems or what, but anyway, the self-titled extended play was released more than a year before the first full-length album In A Reverie. Well, I have to confess: those 6 songs (one of which is a good instrumental) made me fall in love with the band some years ago. Comalies and Karmacode didn’t impress me at that time, but this one.. mmm! The songs are beautiful, melodic, emotional and even bad quality of recording doesn’t spoil them. This debut EP is definitely one of the absolute successes of the band.
Highlights: Soul Into Hades, This Is My Dream, Falling, The Secret.
Lowlights: No Need To Explain.

In a Reverie (1999)
But after the very, very good debut EP something went wrong, and the album In A Reverie is one of the weakest albums in entire Lacuna Coil discography. It was always easier for me to blame the album than to praise it, but it’s another case. I really have nothing to say about this one, because it’s just a collection of bad songs for me. Only Falling Again (which is a new, more dynamic and dramatic version of Falling from the EP) shines on this album. And Stately Lover. As for all the other songs, I couldn't find anything listenable on this album, though I tried hardly many times. They are just… not melodic, not recognizable and not different from each other for me.
PS. Forgot to say, the artwork (original one, with Cristina and Andrea) is absolutely fantastic.
Highlights: Falling Again, Stately Lover.
Lowlights: Circle, Honeymoon Suite, My Wings, Cold, Reverie, Veins of Glass.

Halflife (2000)
Between two full-length albums the band decided to release one more EP, and Halflife was born. Containing only three original songs (one of which will be re-recorded for the album), plus a cover and an extended intro, Halflife could become an insignificant release, but eventually it’s not. And there are two reasons. 1. The original version of Senzafine is pretty similar to the main version, released the next year, just the sound is a bit more rough. But for me this little difference in sound makes a drastic difference in getting the song. I’m not that into the Unleashed Memories version, but the Halflife one blows me away. 2. Stars, the Dubstar cover, has a meaning for me, because it introduced me into the original song, which I consider as a masterpiece, but I wouldn’t have known about it without Lacuna Cover :-) These two songs are the reason I appreciate the EP. Hyperfast has a fantastic chorus, but Andrea’s poor attempts to growl/scream/cough/don’t-know-what-kind-of-sound-he-tried-to-produce-and-why-the-band-was-sure-it-would-sound-good just make me laugh. Halflife is an average LC song, and Trance Awake is just a common intro, it’s neither good, nor bad.
Highlights: Senzafine, Stars.
Lowlights: none.

Unleashed Memories (2001)
Well, there are not so many albums, almost fully consisting of masterpieces. But Unleashed Memories is definitely one of them. For me it has absolutely no lacks! Cristina and Andrea’s voices complement each other well as never, songs are heartbreakingly beautiful, recording is absolutely clear… At that time the band was on top of composing and performing skills. Well, I don’t think LC is a genial band like Nightwish, but this album deserves to be a classic of gothic metal.
PS. No, really, I still can hardly understand how such songs as Distant Sun, Cold Heritage, Purify, When A Dead Man Walks and so on, and so on ended up on the same record. LC has great songs on every album, but never SO much :-)
Highlights: Distant Sun (best LC song imo), Cold Heritage, Purify, When a Dead Man Walks, To Live Is to Hide, 1.19 (even those strange sounds provided by Andrea sound great), Wave of Anguish, Senzafine.
Lowlights: what are you talking about? :-)

Comalies (2002)
Musically it’s a follower of the previous album, but for me it’s a bit less strong and a bit more repetitive. Well, I don’t know what to write about it, Comalies is one of those albums you just love, without long explanations :-)
PS. The album cover is so simple, but damn… it’s magnificent!
Highlights: Entwined, Unspoken, Angel’s Punishment, Comalies, Daylight Dancer, The Ghost Woman and the Hunter, Swamped.
Lowlights: The Prophet Said, Heaven’s a Lie (never really liked it… would it be so fan-favourite if it wasn’t released as a single?)

Karmacode (2006)
With this album LC marked their switch to another genre: from gothic metal to alternative. Actually, I always used to hate it, but after the horrible Shallow Life came out, I gave it some “one more tries” and realized it’s not so bad as I always thought! Well, it’s not so melodic as two previous releases, but it has its own charm and a standard portion of very, very good songs. And the most important of them is the Depeche Mode cover, Enjoy The Silence. It’s my favourite Lacuna’s recording ever (I said the same about Distant Sun? No, I didn’t.) And even more, it’s the most inspiring and artistic cover I’ve ever heard. Apocalyptic keyboards, thick (almost touchable) atmosphere, overwhelming energy, Cristina’s vocal passages make this brilliant song an ultimate masterpiece. And on the other hand, one more favourite song, Closer. Short, simple, but breathtaking and energizing piece of music. There are some more good songs, but many of others are just fillers. I listened to this album many times, but I still hardly remember what is The Game and absolutely dislike Fragments Of Faith.
Highlights: Enjoy the Silence, Closer, Without Fear, Without a Reason.
Lowlights: Fragments of Faith, The Game, In Visible Light, Fragile, Our Truth (the same thing that was with Heaven’s A Lie).

Shallow Life (2009)
I don’t know how to start talking about this album. Well, I think that’s a shame for a band that had released Unleashed Memories and Comalies, to release THIS. And the matter is not in final change of style (now it’s a pure alternative rock), good albums can be produced in any field. But it’s all about poor songwriting, lazy vocals from Cristina and simply bad ones from Andrea, awful sound (where is any depth? it’s all so flat…), trivial arrangements… The album is a total fail. Poor, underdone, shameful FAIL. Though there are a couple of good songs, but even they don’t save the situation. I didn’t give the album many tries, but I regret about every single minute I’ve spent on listening to this s__t in its entire.
Highlights: Oblivion (bonus track is the best song, how funny), I Like It, Not Enough.
Lowlights: I’m not Afraid (I dislike Linkin Park), The Maze, Unchained, Underdog, Survive, The Pain, Spellbound (and that’s the first single? bleh), Wide Awake (and that’s the main ballad? bleeeeeeeh).

Dark Adrenaline (2012)
Actually, I didn’t expect anything good from the band after that disgusting shallow thing they’ve released two years ago, so I wasn’t looking forward to this album. But… I’ve listened to it four times in a row, got lots of pleasure, and already can say that it’s their best release since Comalies. It’s still alternative, but they’ve improved sooo much! Melodies are catchy as hell, Cristina is over the top of her voice… The album is really great! The only big flaw is recording, the sound is still too flat (another loudness war victim, I guess). But it doesn’t really matter, because I’m so glad to hear something new and good from Lacuna :-) Don’t know what else to write :-) If you turned your back on the band after Shallow Life, give Dark Adrenaline a try, I think you won’t be disappointed :-)
PS. Oh, since my favourite LC’s recording is a cover, and Losing My Religion is one of my favourite songs ever, my expectations were very high, but they are not fulfilled. I think that parts of the song being messed up and Andrea’s performance ruin it all :-( And I definitely wanted them to make it more dynamic, but they’ve done it pretty boring.
Highlights: End of Time, Intoxicated, Kill the Light, Trip the Darkness, Fire, Upsidedown.
Lowlights: Against You, Losing My Religion

PS. English is not my mother tongue, so sorry if mistakes made it hard to read. Feel free to correct them, I’ll be thankful :-)


  • irisvanhoorn

    Great review! And no need to apologize for your English, I couldn't discover any big mistakes! The difference between the albums is striking, some with 2 or 3 out of 10 and one with even 10 out of 10. You definitely got me interested and I'll try to find some of the albums with a high rating, like Unleashed Memories, Lacuna Coil EP and Dark Adrenaline. I already have Comalies and Shallow Life on my PC and I like some of the songs, like Senzafine, but I'm not that much into them. The cover of Comalies is great indeed, I really like it!

    3 Feb 2012, 8:12
  • MustBeDreaming1

    Thanx :-) Yes, that was also a reason to start reviewing them... there are not so many bands, which have such a different albums (the least mark of Nightwish was 6/10, so the difference wasn't too big) :D And it's funny how the marks have a tendency to form sinusoid of cycloid :-) Oh, the acoustic version of Senzafine from the Comalies bonus cd is so beautiful indeed! Also like Unspoken, can't choose between acoustic and album versions :-) Which album do you like better? If Comalies, try out UM, and if Shallow Life - listen to Dark Adrenaline :-)

    3 Feb 2012, 9:30
  • irisvanhoorn

    I agree with you about Comalies and Shallow Life: Comalies is way better and far more interesting and original! Both are really different in genre indeed. So I will follow your advice and look for Unleashed Memories first. I don't think Lacuna Coil will end up being one of my favourite bands, but (some of) their music is quite good. It's just the vocals that don't really impress me much in most of the songs. Except for this acoustic version of Senzafine, I really love this song, so beautiful! I like Swamped as well. From SL I like Survive and also Oblivion is one of the better songs indeed. And those Linkin Park inspired songs are quite horrible and very unoriginal.

    3 Feb 2012, 15:18
  • MustBeDreaming1

    Ha-ha, I also didn't think that they would end up as one of my favourite bands when I started to listen them, and the reason was the same as yours :-) Actually, I still think that Andrea is a bad singer, but Cristina is great, though I needed some time to get used to her very original, non-common voice... BTW, Swamped is her best vocal performance ever, I think :-) About Survive - it has such a scary, atmospheric, promising intro, but then it turns into a common Shallow Life song for me :-( Don Gilmore, the producer of LP and Avril Lavigne, produced and engineered two latest albums. And for LP and Avril he did better job =\ Let me know how you will like Unleashed Memories :-)

    3 Feb 2012, 15:38
  • pr1nceofpersia

    I'm surprised you gave Shallow Life such a low score to be honest, but I suppose we must have different tastes in music because I quite like the songs Survive and Spellbound. It certainly isn't their best but I think 2/10 is harsh. Nice to read other people's insight into LC though :D

    4 May 2012, 19:31
  • MustBeDreaming1

    I don't think that a crap like Shallow Life can be marked higher, it's one of the worst albums of my favourite bands I ever heard :D Thanx for your comment, you're welcome :-)

    7 May 2012, 10:32
  • wholeeomusik

    Colombian fan!

    12 May 2012, 13:05
  • MustBeDreaming1

    Greetings from Russia! :-)

    12 May 2012, 19:31
  • kickAlfin

    cool review, it's soo detail, love that :)

    30 Jun 2012, 10:38
  • MustBeDreaming1

    @kickAlfin: thank you :-)

    2 Jul 2012, 14:27
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