Lacuna Coil – Shallow Life
Having previously released four albums, Italian metal rockers Lacuna Coil change direction on their latest release 'Shallow Life'. This album sees the band lean towards their more commercial side and they have produced a very listenable mixture of songs. Catchy riffs and choruses abound and the occasional anthemic track will help cement Lacuna Coil in your memory for a long time. By having dual vocals (Andrea Ferro and Cristina Scabbia), gives Lacuna Coil an edge over other similar bands by enabling them to deliver more varied vocals.
They have evolved into this new found style and it seems to suit them very well. There are still some obvious references back to their previous works with the more intense songs such as 'Underdog' and 'The Maze', but the main emphasis is focused on the delivery of a solid background of heavy(ish) riffs, some keyboards and sound effects to deepen the sound and the memorable vocals of Cristina Scabbia.
The album opener 'Survive' sets the scene of what's to come very well. The nice heavy guitar riffs and dual vocals of Ferro and Scabbia bring it all together very nicely; it's neat and tight and the overall sound is enjoyable. The melodic 'Spellbound' is the most commercial song on the album and will probably be the one to break them into the more mainstream by gaining attention via more universal airplay.
The music is hard and solid, though with some gentler, quieter moments; sometimes reminiscent of that one time mega band 'Evanescence', this being especially evident on the more melodic songs 'Shallow Life' and the ballad 'Wide Awake'. Another slow tempo ballad is 'Not Enough', where Scabbias abilities are really prominent with her range of singing. Another highlight and one of the more heavy songs on the album is 'I'm Not Afraid', which has a nice guitar intro and an interesting vocal dual between the singers.
Overall, Lacuna Coil has nailed it. By veering more towards hard rock they seem more coherent and somehow tighter. They have produced an album that will appeal to their fans and will gain them many more by providing solid, catchy tunes.