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I picked up this album and found a lot to enjoy about it -- it had quite a bit of power, intensity and emotion all balanced into one. Many people say this was the album that caused Coil to sell out, I'd argue that was only because they finally sold a decent number of albums. Comalies is really an underrated album, and anyone who says that they sold out missed out on how good it was. Listen to this album independent of the others, you'll find it to stand out well on it's own.
The CD opens up with two killer hard tracks, then goes into "Daylight Dancer" and changes it's emotion entirely, from hard and edgy to melodic and haunting, this transition is done quickly and Daylight Dancer may be the best song on the album because of it. The band chose to continue this trend through the middle of the album, then they go right back into fist-pumping mode with the song "Tight Rope".. Most of the latter songs have the band putting you in a fantasy world and at the end, you find out you do not want to leave, all the way through to the final title track, which sounds very somber, almost like they're saying "This is the end. We're sorry to see it go".
The singing and instruments go together rather well -- Cristina and Andrea trade off singing for the most part, but neither one of them tries to steal the show -- Cristina is the enigmatic beauty while Andrea is the guy trying to understand it all, while all the instruments support this throughout the album. This is clearly NOT a "Beauty and the Beast" album like something from Sirenia, Theatre of Tragedy or Distorted -- Lacuna Coil veered away from it for the most part in favor of a trade-off between the two singers.
When the duets ARE picked, they are done for a very specific reason. Some of the songs only feature Cristina, but there is no need for anyone else on them. For example, in the song "Unspoken", Cristina displays the emotion of the girl suffering from domestic abuse and how seriously she wants to get away from her tormentor. In this song, the perspective of the second person is not only unnecessary, it would detract from the song itself.
Is this album perfect? Not at all. There are songs on here that make no sense to anyone that is not Coil. A little bit of incongruence late in the CD kept me from giving it a perfect rating. But overall, this album is worth a listen because there is something for everyone, from the veteran rocker to a new fan in waiting. Most of the songs that are on this album are hard-hitting and yet melodic, but for several different reasons. It's almost like having 13 people in a room from different walks of life and they start out so much different, but as time passes, they find out that in spite of their differences, they all have more in common with each other than they thought and leave as friends understanding one another.
Solid album and a timeless beauty. Comalies does not disappoint.