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Lacuna Coil – Delirium | Album Review

Italian rockers Lacuna Coil are back with ‘Delirium’, their heaviest record to date. Does this new sound mark a new chapter for the band? Find out here.

Source: Album Cover

Source: Album Artwork

Lacuna Coil have always stood out amongst the wave of ‘female-fronted’ metal bands that became popular in the early noughties. Not quite as heavy or theatrical as Nightwish or Within Temptation, but not as commercial as Evanescence, Lacuna Coil have always stood out on their own. It’s not entirely fair to call them female-fronted at all, as Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro both take on vocal duties for the band in equal measure, and on Delirium, the band’s eighth studio album, the perfect parity between the two leads has never been more harmonious.

On first listening of opening track ‘The House of Shame’, you’d be forgiven for not recognising that this is a Lacuna Coil record. By far one of the heaviest songs the band have ever recorded, from the offset the pummelling doublekicks from new recruit Ryan Folden, combined with chugging riffs and Ferro’s death growls plunge you into depths of glorious darkness. It’s dark and unsettling, but utterly captivating, whilst Cristina Scabbia’s unusually ethereal and high-pitched vocals add to the gothic grandeur.

Title track and the core of the album’s concept ‘Delirium’ sounds like classic Lacuna Coil, reminiscent of their Comalies and Karmacode era, with the poppy elements of the chorus and Scabbia and Ferro’s call and response lines. ‘You Love Me Cause I Hate You’ is a dark goth-pop ballad, while ‘Ghost In The Mist’ is another heavy track, featuring more of Ferro’s ferocious vocals which long-serving fans will recognise from early albums Reverie and Unleashed Memories. If there is any criticism to be made, it’s that at times the songs get a little repetitive and formulaic, but such is the seductive charm of the music that one is able to lose themselves completely, and you get the sense that this is the desired effect of Delirium. This record sees Lacuna Coil at their most symphonic, pushing the cinematic feel of Broken Crown Halo even further on penultimate track ‘Claustrophobic’ and closer ‘Ultima Radio’.

From the lyrical themes to the vocal delivery and to the instrumentation, everything about this record feels organic and real, which is in part due to being self-produced by main songwriter Marco ‘Maki’ Coti Zelati. In many ways, it’s an album that looks a lot to the past with elements of Lacuna Coil’s past sound bleeding through the new songs, but it’s also a major step forward for a band that is still able to surprise us after over two decades of creating music. One of the finest moments in Lacuna Coil’s career.

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