Album Review – Lacuna Coil – Delirium (2016)

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*Delirium is noted many fans to be the closest to their original style of explicitly gothic metal, which was last heard on Comalies (2002), as of which the band started to experiment with alternative metal and coincided the two genres together. This album has only incorporated Metalcore, nu-metal and djent and has been dubbed by many as ‘gothcore’.

The House of Shame exhibits moments of symphonic metal in its introduction, with operative, ghostly chants before exploding into nu-metal with proto-Slipknot guitar riffs and fusions of djent. Cristina Scabbia’s voice is mysteriously operatic and ethereal, creating the setting of a haunted home, with the living memory of a regretful wrong-doing, with the hope of redemption. Broken Things changes shape to embody alternative metal, Christian metal and djent with brief shifts into heavy metal, with Scabbia’s vocal delivery to suit the change in musical direction, introducing plausible influence of nu-metal with the spoken/hip hop stylization of the lyrics.

Delirium, the titular track is unapologetic in the more mainstream sound, as it was first single from the album. It takes more evident influence from the symphonic and alternative rock genres, with glimmers of djent metal underneath. This song can be comparable to their much later peer, Within Temptation, with their albums The Silent Force (2004), The Heart of Everything (2006) and The Unforgiving (2011) being distinguishably similar in sound. Blood, Tears, Dust superficially rejects all that came before on this album to experiment with industrial metal with the importance of the synthesizers, and it has been complimented wonderfully by the ‘chunking’ sound of the guitars, and the symphonic cries of Scabbia.

Downfall takes a more traditional/classic metal root with the familiarized doom metal into their range of genres, and this distillation turns their sound into that of the likes of Katatonia and the past genre of Anathema. Downfall also steps back in time to their previous albums of Lacuna Coil, who were at that period comfortable in more prominent in dark alternative, which was as previously mentioned in Comalies right through to Broken Crown Halo (2014). Take Me Home resumes changing up their routine by claiming back nu/aggro-metal, with Andrea Ferro channeling Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D (Payable on Death).

You Love Me ‘Cause I Hate You, is in a way a continuation of the previous track, for the Payable on Death inspiration on the nu-aggro metal path, but also brings back Christian metal, and there is also palpable intake of American alternative metal band RED, for the dark, grunginess, which can be found in heavy doses in Release the Panic (2013) and Beauty and Rage (2015); Imposter and Shadow and Soul carry similar imprints of tone and conveyance. Ghost in the Mist differs from the track listing for venturing deeply into progressive metal, djent, Metalcore, personifying Demon Hunter, and TesseracT into one entwined concoction.

My Demons forms into a much slower, melodic tone filled with aspects of alternative metal and djent, and dynamically similar to the second, fifth and seventh tracks Broken Things, Downfall and You Love Me ‘Cause I Hate You, for Scabbia’s voice excludes itself from its operatic training, and instead is rather mellowed to suit the hardened, mournful lyrical content, filled with regrets.  Claustrophobia is another track that is an extension of the tracks mentioned above, this time with more input of classic metal and impacts from Halestorm with the hint of post-grunge, and Scabbia seems to be emulating Lzzy Hale vocally with some of her belted notes (or, as it should be reminded, it may be the other way round, but in this case, Cristina may have wanted to return the compliment).

Ultima Ratio follows Bloods, Tears, Dust with the emphasis on synthesizers, borderlining on the blueprints of technical death metal, and within the alternative metal foreground, there are elements of ambient/electronica.  Live to Tell explores true gothic metal in its original concept, with slight modulation towards symphonic, melodic metal and alternative metal. Once again, I hear stimuluses from Within Temptation, and now Evanescence.

Breakdown theoretically falls under the mixture of My Demons and Delirium for the dynamic of the instrumentation being lighter in demonstration; combining alternative metal and post-hard rock, including dark narrative and Scabbia is more investigational with her vocals, exploring both softened and ethereal tonnage. Bleed the Pain, the last track of the album is unadulterated djent and progressive metal, a spiritual sequel in that sense for Ghost in the Mist from a musical perspective, and along with it is the return to the playful vocals of Scabbia, which brings back the ghostly feel from House of Shame, but with a more positive outlook; one of relief, as if the memory spoken of in the opening track has been put behind the protagonist, and they finally found closure.

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