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For all their annoying mainstream exposure of late, Lacuna Coil has got a more than decent effort here. I remember reading a review of this at the time saying something along the lines of it being an album that doesn’t add much new, though will please those who are already fans but won’t really make them any new ones. How wrong they were!
In a nutshell, it is basically the same old Lacuna Coil, though their sound here is a little pared down and it can appear bland and undetermined at first. The reason for this is that “Comalies” is the most carefully varnished and accessible release that we’ve seen from them to date. Although “Nu” isn’t a word I’d care to use in describing the general sound.
It’s a bit deeper than it looks at first from the outward all-purpose structures. The songs bloom under the surface with an encompassing richness, the epicentre of which is again the splendid dual vocals of Christina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro. Andrea displays a newfound control of his contrasting raucous, gravely voice which finally eliminates the claim to him being the band's weakest link. Christina returns with the usual shy but diligent performance, wrapping an extra layer of harmonious tranquillity around Andrea and the rest of the band.
It goes again inwardly diving and sifting through Lacuna’s fascination of human emotional states in the usual thoughtful lyrical content. All the while freshly monstrous hooks are flowing out of the speakers ready to sweep you away with the emotional tide the music creates. The polished stronghold of guitars along with the pounding resonance of the drums, backed up by Andrea help to bring in a sense of harsh reality. It may sound grandiose, romantic and outwardly reaching, but really is still timid and feeling isolated in its world. Still our old Lacuna Coil, through and through…
It’s still not the best album of this style, but stands well in Lacuna’s catalogue and should please long term fans. The songs do sometimes feel underdone with the arrangements needing a little more fixing up. “Self Deception“ seems to set its sights higher and wants to build up to something in the middle but it tails off back into the chorus. “The Ghost Woman and the Hunter” and “Entwined” also sticks out in this respect. However, the first two tracks, “Swamped” and “Heaven’s a Lie” have their catchy fervour to let them off the hook (hah, puns ahoy!) and are difficult not to feel the power surging out of from the start. But I’ve always been most partial to the ending title track, which encapsulates most of the strongest aspects of the album in one space. Strong and broad use of keyboards and comes the closest to the older sound.
Though it’s not hard to see they now tread a fine line between the Euro gothic metal scene that nurtured them and a potentially much wider audience. They might be able to survive okay there without too much trouble, or may shun the advances of the dollar sign, if we’re lucky. I’m still thinking that it would be nice to find them closer to home which would certainly make for an improvement on this unsurprisingly well done chapter but one that comes up a little short. Those who want something to really get their teeth into should go for “In a Reverie” first.