Type: CD Company: Century Media Release: 2016 Genre: Gothic/Symphonic Reviewer: Greg Watson Published: 7/16/2016
Best effort as a whole since 2000's "Unleashed Memories"
Italy's Lacuna Coil have had a sound change it seems on almost every album of their career. Sometimes the changes are subtle, like the adjustments a top tennis player makes against an unfamilar opponent. Other times, the changes are a bit more drastic and noticeable like when that co-worker comes in with the crazy hairdye color.
"Delirium" is one of those drastic, noticeable changes and a change that I feel was a long time coming for LC. "Delirium" is the band's 8th release and harkens back to their older sound, featuring a more aggressive vocal performance from Andrea Ferro and a re-energized Cristina Scabbia who delivers some really solid vocal work as well. The overall feel of "Delirium" is much more heavier and darker than the last few albums have been for Lacuna Coil. That's not to say however that there isn't plenty of catchiness and hooks hidden in throughout. Opening track "The House of Shame" starts the album out with a bang with Ferro growling at the start and having a more aggressive cadence to his vocal delivery. Scabbia's angelic vocals come in to contrast the ferocity of Ferro and then work in tandem with them during the chorus to create a really nice contrast. Musically there is also a bit more pace to the riffing than what previous Lacuna Coil tracks have possessed. Great way to kick the album off. "Broken Things" comes in next with a bit of a more typical LC feel, a little chuggy riffing with super catchy verses and hooks. "Delirium" is up next and is probably the catchiest track on the album, having a very "Heaven's A Lie" vibe to it with Ferro and Scabbia having more toned down vocals and the pop element showing up pretty heavily on this track. I can't get this song out of my head everytime I hear it, lending credence to the hook employed.
"Blood, Tears, Dust" is up next and has a bit of an industrial feel and as a whole, it's my least favorite track on the album as I feel it doesn't really fit in with the rest of the album. "Downfall" and "Take Me Home" are more poppy tracks again and kind of blend together a bit. "You Love Me 'Cause I Hate You" is an interesting track as the lyrical concept refers to someone with Stockholm Syndrome and its effects on the subject. Ferro and Scabbia's vocals on the chorus are quite good, with Ferro taking a screaming approach and Scabbia utilizing her sirenic voice to its utmost. "Ghost in the Mist" picks up the pace again and features more growling from Ferro, which I'm really glad he's doing more of. I really like his growling style and it plays so well off of Scabbia's sing-song voice on this track impeccably well. "My Demons", "Claustrophobia" and "Ultima Ratio" round the album out and sound a little similar to various tracks off the album. I found myself losing a little interest with these tracks and struggling to maintain focus.
There are three bonus tracks on the deluxe edition of the album: "Breakdown" and "Bleed the Pain" which lack a little for me but are quality tracks despite the lack of engagement. However, the cover of "Live To Tell" is not only the highlight of the bonus tracks but also is suprisingly my favorite track of the album. I never really cared much for Madonna and this song at first seemed like an odd choice for a cover to me. But as it played on, it really sunk its teeth in to me and wouldn't let go. Scabbia delivers her best vocals of the album and this song is right in her wheelhouse. What really made this track stand out though is the way that LC made it their own. I went and listened to the original and while there are elements from the original in play, Lacuna's version really kind of takes the song and puts their spin on it, making it seem new and shiny.
Overall, I am very pleased with "Delirium" and feel that it's the bands best effort as a whole since 2000's "Unleashed Memories". The production on the album is solid and is also Marco Coto Zelati's first effort at producing. He really captured the sound of the instruments, the vocals and the overall mix in a way that tied everything together nicely. Fans of the band's older albums and sound will be pleased to hear "Delirium" and folks that have just discovered Lacuna Coil will be pleasantly surprised I think with this evolution of sound. If they stay on this track and continue to constantly evolve, the sky is the limit for Lacuna Coil.
About this Writer: Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details