Broken Crown Halo
In a decade or so, it's possible we'll look back on this seventh album from Italy's Lacuna Coil and realize the band were really at the height of their powers. Sure, the disc isn't holding much in the way of surprises: you get the electronic flourishes, the male/female trade-off vocals and the ready-for-radio groove-goth angst (see “Zombies” for an unbearably catchy example). But take even just one listen to the forward momentum of tunes like “I Forgive (But I Won't Forget You)” and, clearly, this is a band who have their sound nailed down to perfection; arguably, they've been there for a few albums now, but they seem to get it down to a sharper point each time.
As always, Cristina Scabbia's vocals hit all the right places (the aforementioned “Zombies” is an amazing example of how great her range is), and the musicians are clearly locked in their groove as good as they ever will be. Yet, there's a nagging feeling when it's over that you kinda want something new from the band at this point; every song is written to perfection, but it's also written to predictability—and the ugly disco metal of “Die & Rise” is without excuse.
With the departure of drummer Cristiano Mozzati and guitarist Cristiano Migliore (both of whom are on this disc but are no longer with the band), and an album that perfectly encapsulates what they're capable of under their belts, it's time for some soul-searching for this most popular of goth-metal bands. Maybe some new blood will take their considerable talent out of their comfort zone, which would be a treat to hear. Until then, there's lots to chew on with this album; fans of Lacuna Coil have rarely got it better than this.
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