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At one point in time, Lacuna Coil was a decent goth metal band. About eight to ten years ago they were one of the top bands of their genre using their signature haunting melodic sound of vocalists Christina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro at the helm. As the band grew more popular, their sound changed as well. Many fans knew what Karmacode did for them and that helped solidify a spot for them in mainstream music. But many wondered what the next album would bring. What came was the boring commercial sounding crap of Shallow Life.
The main problem I have with this release is that pure teenage angst feel each song has. It’s almost like the songs are about having petty anger and frustration, which is what most of these “stock” goth bands do nowadays. It makes the listening experience difficult because it feels like you are hearing a fifteen year old girl complain about her problems in life. Take for example the song “The Pain” which is in my honest opinion the worst song on the album. Lyrics like “I wake up to a smoking gun, the evidence is in your head” sums up the angst of this song and on the album in general. I don’t personally mind a few songs like this but damn, most of them are just too much for me.
Another problem I have with this album are the flat song structures. If you noticed, there is not one song on Shallow Life that is over five minutes long. Most of the songs are the same song structure, which is that verse-chorus-verse-chorus-breakdown-chorus crap that drives me up the wall. The songs are very boring and repetitive to listen to and sometimes I seriously cannot tell the difference between one song or the other. Also, that nu-metal detuned guitar sound which starts from the very beginning of the song “Survive” to the end of the album is so annoying that it was hard enough just to get to the end of the album. Why do you need to sound like Korn or Linkin Park to make it big in the market today for metal bands? It doesn’t make much sense to me. It’s just too overdone as it is.
Shallow Life marks a point to where Lacuna Coil is just going to be the next MTV pop rock band destined to hit the charts and hope to make it big with the American market. But in the end it usually fails since this has been done so often by so many bands who feel that they have to change just so they can earn a little more cash. The only redeeming songs on this album are “Spellbound” and “Wide Awake”, but even those songs aren’t even close to what many old Lacuna Coil fans hope to hear. So if you are looking for a nice commercial album for your collection, Shallow Life is for you. Otherwise, stay away from this one if you want good music!