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Think quick. When did you become a fan of the Coil? Remember the first time you heard one of their songs and almost literally went "Whoa! What was that?". Then ask yourself what happened with Shallow Life, and why it was a big letdown. There was very little haunting beauty in the album, something that was blatantly evident with albums like Comalies or Unleashed Memories, and even to a lesser extent, Karmacode.
Here's the good news: Your fears are alleviated, at least partially.
From what I was told about the band, "Shallow Life" sold well in the United States but many in Europe thought they had gone soft. "Dark Adrenaline" was Lacuna Coil's answer to people starting to call them Lacuna Park, and their sixth official attempt is at least acknowledging that the band cannot survive in another band's shadow. The first track, "Trip The Darkness", is a perfect example of what the band needed to do to attract old fans: give us some of that gothic sound we all love. Yes, the name Don Gilmore is still on this album, and this album is not nearly as good as their older work, but it is not devoid of bad songs. Track 5, "Upsidedown" and Track 8, "Intoxicated", both sound like they could be something out of Karmacode, which is at least a step in the right direction.
The guitar work is solid and actually sounds more like a hard rock album with minor seasonings of the gothic sound than anything else, the bass is slightly more distinct than usual for this band and the drums, although not playing a major role, still help the goal to recapture Karmacode some.
Later in the album, you have to be patient to find really good songs. For example, their cover of "Losing My Religion" was interesting in this manner: Most bands choose to remake songs by speeding up the tempo, but "Losing My Religion" is actually slowed down from the original. It is a respectable cover, but you need to hear it a few times before you get used to it.
One thing I may never get acclamated to is Andrea being the main singer. He's absolutely average when it comes to trying to sound gothic, whereas Cristina has always been the star of the show. If the Coil release album number seven, I can only hope that Cristina finally stands up and says "This is my show!".
Some versions come with a song called "Soul Inmate" which is actually fast-paced for the band and the guitar and bass work is quite powerful and well defined. It's also the best song on the album for that reason, a leaving of the band's "comfort zone" and Cristina doing most of the singing. It's almost like they tried to reach for the 2004-era Coil and got a handful of it, throwing it into the mix.
All in all, this album is a step forward. If you're a fan of only older Coil, you will not like this album. But if you're a fan of Karmacode and weathered the blahness that was Shallow Life, then you will want to pick this album up.
Best songs: "Trip The Darkness", "Intoxicated", "Upsidedown" (if your copy has it, Soul Inmate).
Woohoo, another Lacuna Coil album. I've been waiting for that moment when the band ditches the artistic or symbolic album front cover mentality and goes for the money shot of Cristina Scabbia with a "come hither" look and sporting a tubetop. Guess I'll be waiting a little longer. Oh well.
This is one of those bands I haven't given up on when for all intents and purposes I should. If nothing else, then for mental health reasons. Yet I still can't help but feel a tinge of hope when Lacuna Coil is about to release a new album in that they might actually bring back the ambience of their early releases, or at the very least dish out something of high quality in whatever direction they're heading. Suffice to say, that didn't exactly occur and don't expect anything like their material a decade ago, but Dark Adreneline isn't a complete disaster.
Don Gilmore is back at on the producer's throne to make sure there's no shortage of electronic blips and general bombast to assault the senses. The guitars have a thicker and heavier tone than on Shallow Life, and the band members themselves seem a bit more energized this time around. Unlike all the hype and acclaim that I heard stating that this album was a return to their gothic roots, what the band actually did was morph aspects of Karmacode and Shallow Life into one new body of work. I know, two regrettable albums, and I'd expect two mutants breeding to produce a seven headed miscarriage, but in this case somehow the few good genes from each album hitched and formed into this affable critter. Still, it isn’t remotely something I’d praise from the highest rooftops, but the fact is that Dark Adrenaline could have been a far worse experience.
So what we have here is dark alternative rock spruced up with added heaviness to the guitars while avoiding Korn worship. If there's any hint of their early gothic sensibilities present, it's of the 'flamboyant' rather than 'haunting' angle. The songs have varying tempos and only one track meanders past five minutes, which is fine by me. I've read of people complaining about the short song lengths. Do you really want them stretched out to ten minutes each? Seriously, just pretend Dark Adrenaline is one big epic tune broken into twelve parts. Problem solved.
Cristina usually adds some new element to her singing on each album, and in this case it's what I dub the 'Canadian Caterwaul'. It's essentially her usual style of singing modified by Avril Lavigne's nasal whine, Alanis Morissette's histrionics and a hint of Geddy Lee circa Permanent Waves. It's an odd but interesting approach that actually works in small dosages, utilized most notably in "Intoxicated" and the chorus of "Upsidedown". Otherwise, she's her usual self except a bit more inclined to push her range than within the past couple of albums. Andrea still has some thick accent issues, but he's improved since Shallow Life and apparently the band agrees since his role in the band has grown drastically to the point where he is essentially the co-lead vocalist instead of a supporting player. It will most likely benefit their live gigs, but on CD he's still too much of an acquired taste to justify so much time in the spotlight. Personally I consider it a big mistake on the band's part to feature the guy so frequently. He just does not have an interesting vocal presence to warrant the amount of lines he gruffly spouts.
It's hard to pick a favorite track since there seems to be highlights and flaws in every song. For instance, "Against You" has killer verses abetted by an uptempo kickin' rhythm, but the chorus drags much of the fun and energy down like quicksand in a sandbox. That's pretty much how the entire album fares, veering between catchy verses marred by a dubious chorus and vice versa, or a sweet opening that droops into a substandard second half and so on. Their cover of "Losing My Religion" is interesting in that they reformatted the song to make it their own, which actually means the band restructured R.E.M.'s original to resemble their cover of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy The Silence". It's not surprising since "Enjoy The Silence" remains Lacuna Coil's best song in almost a decade. The final cut, "My Spirit" is another notable track in that it brings back a reasonable amount of their gothic accented past to end the album with, if nothing else, an acknowledgement of their roots. Still, there's nothing here that's a flat out ace track to play on heavy rotation.
I received this as a present on vinyl, and in retrospect my favorite aspect of this gift was discovering it possessed a funky designed picture disc within the cover sleeve. Dark Adrenaline is neither the ballyhooed return to form some fans proclaim, nor a steaming bowel eruption from a once respected band among the gothic metal circles. It just sort of wafts somewhere between the praise and spite, much like each individual track has its pluses and minuses. Not quite the dark adrenaline rush I was hoping for, yet not really expecting either.
Hailing from Italy and being one of the most well-known female fronted metal bands, Lacuna Coil had built themselves up from nothing by giving us albums like “In a Reverie“, Comalies“, and “Unleashed Memories” that solidified them to be major players in the market of dark and gothic metal. Their mixture of dark riffs and keyboard melodies mixed with Christina Scabbia’s soulful singing wasn’t exactly anything new at the time, but it was something a little bit different for the masses. Unsurprisingly, the band had continued to grow through their plentiful career, and being able to stay together and consistent really helps when the same line-up has been together since 1998. It has been nearly three years since their release of “Shallow Life,” an album that seemed to have a polarizing effect on two types of fans of the band; ones that enjoyed and accepted their gradual move to incorporating more “rock” elements into their gothic tone, and others who believe that while Lacuna Coil were growing as musicians, they had forgotten about their “roots”, and decry the band of “selling out”. Coming back to more recent times, the sextuplet act has returned once more to give us a shot of “Dark Adrenaline” just to show that they won’t be forgotten in the myriad of darkened rock groups that have taken over the world market.
Within a split second of turning “Dark Adrenaline” loose you are treated to “Trip The Darkness”, which is the chosen single from this album. It’s a bit odd to open up the album with the single since that’s putting all your eggs in one basket, hoping that you’ve hooked enough people into listening to the rest of the album after that one so-called “crowd favorite”. I typically would rather have Andrea Ferro not be the lead vocalist in their music, but he actually shows that he has some worth in this song. While he doesn’t necessarily have that great of a range, he does emote just enough to do a decent job to set you up for Christina taking care of the chorus. The music itself was a mixture of generic angst-rock with little bits of melody that reminds you it’s a Lacuna Coil song.
As the album goes on from there, one can certainly tell that they have moved even further towards the realm of generic hard rock. There is very little here to remind the listeners of the classic Lacuna Coil sound other than maybe some keyboard synth introductions to some of the tracks, along with some of Christina Scabbia’s vocal portions where she just lets loose and sustains a high note, and Andrea Ferro usually sounding horrifically out of place as usual. It is actually pretty difficult to review an album like this because not only is there barely any content to differentiate one song from one another, but I also felt myself having to constantly restart songs because my concentration kept wandering. If you were to tell me this was a Lacuna Coil album without there being any indication of it, then I would have absolutely no clue.
There are certainly glimmers of hope in tracks like “Trip The Darkness”, “Upside Down”, “I Don’t Believe In Tomorrow”, and “My Spirit”, but other than that it’s just a mash-up of the same schlock you’ve continuously heard on your local radio station, the one that claims “98.5 KROX, the only station that TRULY rocks!” in that typical awful and fake gravely DJ voice that they all have. What really saddens me are also how painfully generic just about everything is on “Dark Adrenaline“. Now, Lacuna Coil has never quite been a bastion of deep philosophical and unique subject matters, but just take a look at this:
I cross the line
The walk of shame
I hear the church bells
Through the acid rain
How can I dream
And pick up the pieces
Come back inside
I can’t deny
Don’t ask me why
I feel the pressure everywhere
It starts inside
Erupts in pain
It locks me down
Am I insane?
Can you take a guess where those came from? No, I didn’t grab them from a 14-year old girls’ deviantArt profile. These are lyrics that a grown 38-year old man wrote and crooned in a soulless manner in “Give Me Something More”. Just let that sink in for a moment. It also doesn’t help that “End Of Time” would be the perfect song for your local high school prom so plenty of horny teenage boys can attempt to get their quivering and turgid erections inside of their girlfriends.
As I mentioned above, the only songs that have anything going for them are the four aforementioned songs, but Lacuna Coil found it fit to perform a cover of the R.E.M. classic “Losing My Religion”. Minus the cool mandolin riff the original song was built around, you are once again treated to the usual formula of “Dark Adrenaline“. Thankfully, Christina handles most of the vocal duties in this song and makes it somewhat bearable. The chorus is just derivative guitar chords while Andrea speaks over them. I guess it’s a good cover? I really have no idea anymore, having subjected myself to it one too many times.
“Dark Adrenaline” was definitely something that made me both tap my feet and shake my head in shame many times. While it has its moments of catchy rock hooks, they are completely forgettable, and with it having the exact same standard hard rock formula over and over again, you get tired of this album very quickly. Again, there are little bits of goodness mixed in, but it absolutely is not worth sitting through “Dark Adrenaline” to try and find them. It seems as if Lacuna Coil has decided to not be musically threatening in any manner, and would rather just appease their brain dead listener with a frowning-face cookie-cutter. If you enjoyed the bands step into forgettable radio rock over their past few albums, then “Dark Adrenaline” is for you.
Originally written for Metal Blast (http://www.metalblast.net/).
Lacuna Coil started as a gothic/doom band heavily influenced by acts like Paradise Lost and The Gathering back in the middle of the 90s, then changing their style on each album getting from the atmospheric metal of Unleashed Memories to the punch-in-your-face sound of Karmacode and last to the radio-friendly alternative rock of Shallow Life. This evolution (or involution?) has not been accepted by many of their old fans, but Dark Adrenaline really brings some of the old trademarks of the band back. This is not what I’d call gothic metal, but today very few bands are – but the sound is quite aggressive and full of contrasts, displaying both rage and hope in a very balanced mix. This is in fact their interpretation of the Dark Adrenaline, something obscure and negative giving you strength and energy…
The album starts with its first single, “Trip the Darkness”, which is indeed a good song showcasing and intent to get back to a more aggressive kind of music but still being a single, and the first one. In fact if we move further inside the album, some of the songs are very well crafted metal songs, leaving all the shallowness of Lacuna Coil’s previous album behind. Some good examples are “Intoxicated”, with courtesy of Ms Scabbia providing an arguably perfect performance and strong vocalizing; “Upside Down”, reminiscent of riffs from Karmacode but taking the harsh sounds a step further; “Kill the Light”, the second single, a depressive song with a very good chorus and structure; “I Don’t Believe in Tomorrow”, very strong song – especially for the transition between bridge and chorus, repeated vocals erupting in a very strong riff. A song – maybe the worst one – is very reminiscent of Shallow Life though; it is “Fire”, whose riff reminds that of “I Won’t Tell You”. This song gets quite boring repeating the chorus’s first line as far as 14 times…
Structures in general are much more complex than on their previous album, but – and here’s a flaw – the vocals alternate in the same way, repeating the formula “male vocals/verse – female vocals/chorus” (and vice versa) and the length of the songs is pretty the same during the whole album – from three to four minutes. The only song with longer running time is (at 5:50) “My Spirit” – the best track on Dark Adrenaline. It consists of a suite, with mid-to-slow tempo and a recited poem in Italian translating part of the English lyrics. The song is a tribute to Peter Steele and it’s quite touching. The album includes a cover too, namely “Losing My Religion” originally by REM. This version is very different from the original one, much darker and kind of depressing. It’s been redone with much more originality than, for example, their cover of “Enjoy the Silence” by Depeche Mode, but in my opinion that’s just how a cover should be done: with total reinterpretation.
So, all in all a good album. The production is good too, even though sometimes Cristina’s voice is a little overproduced (this is evident in “Kill the Light” for example). The musical performance is energetic to say the least, the solos and the riffs are much better and diversified than in the previous album, the vocal part is inspired (and Andrea’s voice is much more fitting now, being more aggressive). The lyrics are not bad either, not much original but suitable to the album’s topic and concept.
If you were a fan of Lacuna Coil before the letdown of Shallow Life this album may take some enthusiasm back, and if you’re not into them it’s a worth listen nevertheless and might even be a good starting point for the group’s discovery. Go and pick yourself some dark adrenaline – and “use at your own risk”…
You know, people really do amaze me. They amaze me in a variety of ways, in fact, especially in their acceptance of the absolute bare minimum. I've got a little story to tell; gather 'round the campfire children.
At the musical methadone clinic, sometime in January, 2012:
Mindless Consumer: "Total crap? Same thing as the product I bought last year? Zero effort or originality involved?! Hell yeah, sign me up!"
Head Record Company Executive: "All right, sir dumbass, just initial here and we'll give you your repackaged poison. No catch! Oh, but you will be giving up your hard-earned money, feeding a brain-sucking, industry-killing leech, and authorizing full utilization of your soul in the unseemly ways we see fit. Do we have a deal?"
Mindless Consumer: "Why wouldn't we? I might be legally deaf, but I would never be one to use discretion and actually give a shit about what I listen to. The stricter the structure of the song, the better. The poppier the chorus, the better. The more phoned in the song... well, you get the point. Just give me my fix, ma'an."
Head Record Company Executive: "Here you go, fresh from the lab: twelve carefully crafted pills of hollow, green-tinted, nonmetal glucose. Granted, they're all the same flavor, and once you've experienced one of them, you've had them all, but we'll generously give you twelve just to make you feel special. Once you're hooked and you're on your sugar rush, be sure to purchase your Lacunacoilium (TM) t-shirts, posters, dolls--ahem, action figures--and laptop/phone skins at the Century Media website. Act now and you'll get exactly what you would if wait for a couple weeks!"
Mindless Consumer: "But Satan, I'm a hardcore deviant sadist; what if twelve aren't enough to fulfill my degenerate fantasies?"
Head Record Company Executive: "Not to worry, dear playtoy! Buy the album at iTunes ('cause, I mean, why support one soulless corporation when you can support two?) and you'll get six bonus tracks and even a video. Losing all character and self-esteem has never come at such a low price! Or, if you're really hankerin' for a spankerin', try the box set edition on for size. It'll serve as a convenient carrying case for your over-produced, overly congruous capsules. Each one comes with a coupon for a free lobotomy, though I can see that you're already, um, well accounted for. Give it to a friend and make sure he uses it before sampling the product. Remember: everybody's doing it, so it must be okay."
Mindless Consumer: "That satisfies me... but wait, why does it explicitly say 'metal' here in the table of contents? 'Dark'? Ick. Scary words dissuade my mindless consumption."
Head Record Company Executive: "We at CM absolutely assure you that the metal factor at work here is only a facade, as is the entire dark image of the Lacunacoilium (TM) property. We have a teen audience, too; we think it's only fair that we give them their drug in a form that's easier for them to swallow. You know, one where they think they're a part of something real, something that'll make them feel cool. There's no need to feel liable to any surprises whatsoever. What you got last time is what you'll get this time, guaranteed: powerless female vocal syrup (because we're using her as a hip gimmick), an illusion of chemical heaviness in the nonexistent riffing section, tracks of nearly identical length, and a spiffy production so crystal clear, you'll swear it'll pop into the room with you. Uniformity has never been this accessibly pervasive!"
Mindless Consumer: "Okay, okay, I think everything's in order. Give me every bottle you got."
...And they all lived happily ever after until the new Kornium (TM) came out.
If my not-so-subtle rant just alluded you, then you're about to have a new favorite album. I never thought I'd sink low enough to write one of these juvenile 'false conversation' pieces, but Dark Adrenaline took my tolerance to a new level. I'm sorry, but when people (bless their imbecilic hearts) call uninspired dreck like this "incredible," "amazing," and most offensive of all, "heavy," it tends to get to me. It's shit soda pop. People will no doubt take issue with this write-up, and I even doubt it'll be accepted. Where's the musical description, some will say; what an arrogant, pompous ass, others will exclaim. To these comments I'll have only one response:
I'll write a real review once Lacuna Coil actually puts out a new album.
C'est la vie.
For 15 years, Lacuna Coil like any other bands has ups and downs, though the release of their 6th full-length album marked a return to their original roots and to their more aggressive sound. I have to admit, I've been a big fan of this band in the early days. Their sound in the first 2 albums, "In a Reverie" and "Unleashed Memories" was probably the best sound they ever had and their peak of glory in their composition style as well.
Changes occurred with "Comalies" the 3rd record, which meant a new playing style the band approached and also, the moment it broke into mainstream. I was pretty much impressed by their representation in this album, however, distrust appeared with "Karmacode" and "Shallow Life" the last one being so commercial that it was a pain to listen to it, an unbearable pain.
Dark Adrenaline, like I said, marked a new era for this band, and a revolution in their playing style. I remember that in some interviews the band members specified the fact that the album will be much heavier than the previous ones, but with the release of their first single, Trip the Darkness, I already began to question this aspect. As always the duet between Andrea Ferro and Cristina Scabbia is amazing, pretty catchy and energetic, offering moments of sobriety, aggression and restlessness, I have to admit that I was disappointed after hearing Trip The Darkness. A pretty lame dialogue between the two singers accompanied by an energetic yet boring and without depth instrumental, this is what described this single. However, I immediately changed my mind when I heard the second single this band released, entitled "Kill The Light". I found in this song exactly what I wanted from this band and from this album. With this song I could finally recognize that they've kept their word about this album being much more heavy than the others.
I anticipated this release to be even more fantastic and it sure was. Even though the lyrical themes and compositions are relatively shallow and superficial, you cannot say that this band does not offer a certain level of excitement. Actually, their good point does not really stand in studio recording songs but in live performances, where the band offers a hell of a show and unleashes a lot of energy that is impossible for fans to just stand like statues, staring at them. "Against You" even featured guitar solos, something that I have not heard from this band in a long time, another guitar solo can be witnessed in "The Army Inside". "Give Me Something More" is yet again a catchy tune with a great performance offered by Cristina Scabbia.
"I Don't Believe in Tomorrow" is in my opinion the worst track of this album. Cristina's performance is at the level that I expected but Andrea is absolutely boring. It is hard for me to talk about every song individually, since, a fan of Lacuna Coil knows that there are a few songs that manage to attract the attention and the rest are just a sort of copy/paste recipe. The album ends with the song "My Spirit" which is my favorite out of all this album, showing probably the best performance given by the two vocalists and the most impressive lyrical content, combining both English lyrics and Italian lyrics. It is also the only song of this album that goes over 5 minutes in length almost reaching 6 minutes.
All in all, if you are a fan of early Lacuna Coil, this album is a must listen, it is much more heavier than the last two releases this band offered. I don't know where this band it is heading, but if they keep doing works like this album, I am sure that they are on the right path.
One of Italy's biggest heavy metal exports is one of the first of the bigger bands to release a new album during 2012 and it is the bands sixth album in total. When it comes to my expectations before listening for the first time they were pretty low. I have listen to some of Lacuna Coil's work and i have never found any song that is perfect or close to perfect. Do not get me wrong, i like Lacuna Coil, i just miss that perfect song who gets me hooked in a band.
I love female singers in metal bands and Cristina Scabbia is, according to me, one of the best. Unfortunately, she does not get so much room with her voice as i wanted here in Dark Adrenaline. It almost feels like that the band wants the male singer, Andrea Ferro, to take a bigger part in the songs. Nothing bad about Andrea but when i think of Lacuna Coil i think of Scabbia as the singer, not Andrea.
If we put aside the singers and instead put our focus on the music it is actually not bad. The music is hard with great riffs and choruses that blasts through your skull and in to your head but also have a little more smooth feeling that talks to a greater audience. The only complaint that i could think of with the songs ( besides that Scabbia is more in the background than what i want) is that they are too short but that was something i almost expected.
There is four songs that stands out from everybody else and those songs are Trip The Darkness, Give Me Something More, Upsidedown and I Don't Believe In Tomorrow. All the mentioned songs got a better musicality than the rest of the songs in Dark Adrenaline and i also think that Scabbia gets enough room in those songs.
Unfortunately we also got some lows in this mountain chain. Intoxicated got a really weird chorus, Kill The Light is just boring as hell and even if i like the spirituallity and the class in My Spirit it is not really my kind of musicstyle.
Then we also have that cover of the R.E.M song Losing My Religion. I really love what Lacuna Coil is doing whit this cover. They are making this song their own and they are doing it extremeley well. That is definetely what every band should do when they do a cover. Take a band that is not anywhere near your style of music and make one of their songs your own.
I had low expectations before listening to Dark Adrenaline but i got to confess that i am impressed. The band have made this album very elegantly and professional. Even though i miss that perfect song i will, thanks to this album, continue to follow the italians.
Best Song: Upsidedown
Grade: 8/10 Intoxications
Also available in Swedish on http://sharkruisher.blogg.se/?tmp=23144452
Dark Adrenaline. Doesn’t sound like a Lacuna Coil album. Well, at least not a classic one. I’ll bet you a bunch of pre-Karmacode LC fans turned back at the sound of the name, and after hearing the last two albums by LC, I can hardly blame them. Yet, I still remain a loyal fan of Lacuna Coil, despite only starting to listen to them after the release of Karmacode. Soon afterwards I was sadly enlightened and found their old stuff more appealing, and now I probably sound like every other “old time fan” of any band that has moved on to different and new things concerning their music.
Was it worth it, then, to go out and get this album? Was it worth it then for me to cross my fingers and hope for a good 2012 release? The answer is “yes, slightly.”
While not the best album ever released, Dark Adrenaline has definitely moved Lacuna Coil past pop. It’s as if the band foresaw the atrocity that befell the metal industry when Metallica released their latest album and decided that they had better do something in the name of redemption. While unsuccessful in bringing back their full impact, they’ve made things a bit more bearable.
I discourage anyone from making assumptions based off of the first song, “Trip the Darkness”, which just happens to be one of the two singles on the album. In fact, don’t make assumptions based off of either “Trip the Darkness” or “Kill the Light”, both singles from this album. Both of them sound poppy and generic compared to some other songs in the album that sound much better. If you know what to look for, you could definitely find heaviness in abundance in the album. As an example, the second song, “Against You”, is pretty damn good. It sounds like a rocker, at least. Often in the album I found LC returning to some of their old Comalies sound while still moving onwards with some of the techno-like sound they had in Shallow Life. There seems to be less of the latter and rather more of a marriage between the two in which they seemed more or less balanced.
Nonetheless, most of the songs on this album, I am slightly disappointed to say, have the same lyrical structure, in which there is a verse sung by one of the two singers, then a bridge by most likely the other singer, then a chorus sung by the first singer, and then a repeat of the process. They evenly switch back and forth a lot, and this is a static trend that kind of takes away from the album’s flow. However, let me just say that this is somewhat redeemed by the fact that the band experimented a little with their synths and musical style, and each song begins differently. For example, “Upsidedown” starts with echoing effect of the synths in each speaker, while the next song, “End of Time” begins on a softer note, with a gentle guitar. Both are, I would say, good songs to listen to, but not necessarily the best.
Christina is experimenting with her voice, obviously. When I first heard “Trip the Darkness” and some the other songs, I couldn’t believe it was her voice. Perhaps that was just me, because I later recognized it as hers, but with a little bit of sass. It doesn’t sound bad; in fact, it sounds pretty good sometimes, especially in “Intoxicated”, where she both extends her voice in the chorus and cuts the duration short by screaming a single word in the very beginning and end. Her voice is the key to what makes that song, and some others, the best off of this album.
The downside here is that however adequate they are, very few songs hit me hard. Not even the cover of REM, “Losing My Religion”, made a statement to me. The guitars are heavy again, but they could do better with the riffs and sequences, although "The Army Inside" does have a noteworthy solo. The duration of the album basically stays static, and at most points it doesn’t get better or worse, but I have to say that the end is excluded. There were about two songs that really reached out to me, one of which was “Intoxicated”. There was also a song that I really hated: the second to last song, “Fire”. It was just flat-out boring, but it was worth withstanding because the last song, the one after it, has to be just about the best song on the whole record. “My Spirit” is a dedication to the singer of Type O Negative, Peter Steele, who died a couple of years ago. The song does the man justice, incorporating elements of Type O Negative’s music well, with the deep chugs of the guitars and the lyrics taking the spotlight. I also missed the Italian lyrics and I am very happy that they made a return in this song. It brings back the long-lost Italian identity of LC’s music.
So, is Dark Adrenaline a disappointment? No, I wouldn’t say so. Although I sincerely think Lacuna Coil could do much better with making each song stand out more, I have seen evidence of their honor returning even though it seems to have taken them some time. This album is more or less just plainly good – it’s isn’t excellent, but it is redeeming nonetheless. We can positively predict that sometime in the future, LC will release a new album that brings back their full gothic metal swing with all the new elements they’ve acquired. They’re on their way back out from the grave they buried themselves in, making a good start to this year’s zombie apocalypse.
Here it is: Lacuna Coil's latest album. I've been a fan since around the release of '06's Karmacode, and since then have acquired all of their albums. After listening to them all, I've managed a general idea of what Lacuna Coil was and how they've evolved through the years. Like all underground bands, they began with their own unique, non too friendly sound, in gothic metal. With each release, they've gotten a little more and more into a mainstream sound. Shallow Life was their ultimate breakthrough, actually selling copies at stores like Best Buy and having awful techno remixes of the single "I Like It" made. With this, Dark Adrenaline, they've taken a slight step backwards in terms of music (not skill). After the likes of Shallow Life, I was expecting something even more mainstream-sounding; thankfully, that's not the case. When I looked through the tracklist online, like the prior album, I did not see any songs titles in Italian - one of my favoriite features of the Milano-based group. This made made me groan, but I still had hope. Today I stumbled upon the album (guess where) and got the deluxe version, which I'll describe at the end of the review*.
The first thing I noticed was the song length. Before I knew it, the first two tracks flew by in what appeared to be a minute each. Almost every song on here is around three-and-a-half minutes long, with a couple being past four and five minutes. This, personally, kills me because it reminds me of "radio-friendly" songs and that the songs themselves would not be very developed. Again, I was wrong. Each song is completely unique, creative, and catchy as hell. Seriously. This album is a joy to listen to. The chorus of each song will lift you up and get you moving. Unlike old Lacuna, it's up-beat and somewhat cheerful like Shallow Life, but has the more serious playing of Karmacode, enough to satisfy more contemporary metal listeners. The production is solid throughout: the sound is top notch and there are special effects all over the place. The drums are killer like in Shallow Life (they even sound exactly the same), and the guitars churn out numerous riffs that are mostly standard alternative metal but feature some authentic Italian melodies, while the bass is buried deep down. Cristina and Andrea's singing is as strong as ever. For better or worse, their accents are starting to fade, so they won't sound as awkward to listen to as their previous albums. This is the first time that I recall Andrea sharing the spotlight with Cristina this much, managing to start off several songs on his own. The contralto singer is as lively as ever, gliding through her highs and lows and even sounding a little different what with her localization of her accent. Despite the short length of most songs, the album lasted about forty minutes, which is pretty for a dozen songs. Before the final fade away, towards the end of the closing song "My Spirit", we're greeted with a spoken passage by Andrea in Italian. That just made my day.
Overall, I'd say this was a great album. I'm glad they decided to steer clear of the typical success-turned-sour story of many other bands and just do their own thing. It's such a good feeling when bands listen to their fans and just stick to their own formula instead of selling out or making poor attempts at experimenting. My only complaints are the clear absense of the bass guitar, which would've been great if they did something similar to Karmacode's in-your-face pummeling of the instrument, and how short the songs are. They are all so wonderful to listen to, yet they get cut off as you're enjoying them instead of ending well. It's as if the band just rushes through them in their fast pace just to be done with them; no relishing or fleshing out of what they've done with each one. If they included some varied passages in several songs that sounded like they needed it, these issues would have been fixed. These slight drawbacks, however, aren't enough of a burden to detract the quality of the overall package. The band is full of energy and has yet to show signs of slowing down. I am very pleased with their effort and I hope they continue to find success.
*The deluxe album is well worth the few extra dollars. It comes in a stylish digipack which contains a DVD chronicling the album's creation, a sticker (whoopee), a smallish poster of the cover art, and a decorated guitar pick, along with some nice photos of the band all over the package and a nice booklet with lyrics and more photos.