Lacuna Coil

Release date: April 3rd 2006
Label: Century Media

Distribution: EMI (Denmark)

Style: Nu-goth-pop-metal

Rating: 90/100
Cover artwork rating: 85/100

Reviewed by: Thomas Nielsen

Date: April 9th 2006

Century Media have struck gold with Lacuna Coil. Unlike a lot of their contemporaries who use the female voice/male voice combination, they just might last a while longer. They get better with every release. And you shouldn’t underestimate the value of a female media darling, of course.  

Admittedly, Lacuna Coil’s previous releases weren’t REALLY bulls-eyes in the ears of this humble hag, but they had their qualities, especially the much acclaimed “Comalies” from 2002. “Karmacode”, on the other hand, has real earworm potential. The first single from the album, “Our Truth”, is definitely one of these with its catchy chorus.  

One of the pleasant surprises of the album is the fact that Andrea Ferro has changed his role from the growler behind Cristina Scabbia to a vocalist in his own right. “Within Me” is a beautiful semi-ballad that starts out with Andrea’s clean vocal. Not bad at all. Also on “Devoted”, another semi-ballad with a horror-movie atmosphere, Andrea takes a dominating role.  

It is also interesting to hear that the Coils inspiration from Korn shows through quite clearly throughout “Karmacode”. Marco’s bass sound in particular comes through here and there with the same feel as Fieldy does. Also on “You Create”, an otherwise floating, almost ethereal tune, there are sudden bursts of pure nu-metal riffing.  

This does in no way mean that Lacuna Coil have turned into a Korn clone. Their expression is in my view quite unique. It is the kind of metal that never gets offensive or provoking – it’s simply a pleasant experience to sit back and listen to the controlled heaviness.  

80s pop music is not too far from the world of Lacuna Coil. Listen to a song like “Closer” – it’s just so 80s (and I’d put my money on that one for the second single from the album). The affiliation with the 80s is punctuated by the inclusion of the Depeche Mode cover “Enjoy the Silence”. A great song, and indeed a decent cover version by our Italian friends.  

But on the whole, it’s great to lay ears to a band that breaks the goth chains and plays around with their art. E.g. the Steve Vai-ish solo by Maus on “The Game” or “Without Fear” which is song entirely in Italian. In many ways, “Karmacode” is a masterpiece.