Lacuna Coil
Broken Crown Halo

1. Nothing Stands In Our Way
2. Zombies
3. Hostage to the Light
4. Victims
5. Die & Rise
6. I Forgive (But I Won’t Forget Your Name)
7. Cybersleep
8. Infection
9. I Burn In You
10. In the End I Feel Alive
11. One Cold Day

Cristina Scabbia – vocals
Andrea Ferro – vocals
Marco “Maus” Biazzi – guitar
Cristiano “Pizza” Migliore – guitar
Marco “Maki” Coti-Zelati – bass
Cristiano “Criz” Mozzati – drums

In a Reverie (1999)
Unleashed Memories (2001)
Comalies (2002)
Karmacode (2006)
Shallow Life (2009)
Dark Adrenaline (2012)


Jay Baumgardner (producer)
Kyle Hoffmann (engineer)
Howie Weinberg (master)
Jacopo Dorici (studio assistant)
Steve Prue (photo)
Mario Riso (drum technician)

Released 2014-03-31
Reviewed 2014-05-25


century media

When Lacuna Coil plays, pizza bakers stands still - old Italian saying.

This year marks both the 20th anniversary for Lacuna Coil as a band and 15 years since their debut album was released. It's also been two years since they spread their dark adrenaline in the shape of their last album and 'Broken Crown Halo' makes it seven albums in these 20 years. It's definitely been an interesting career so far and it doesn't feel like they've slowed down at all because this album is clearly a worthy successor of their previous six albums.

Despite what I just said I must start my Lacuna Coil review with a small complaint about the band and more specifically about their renewal process, which seems to be a bit haltered. Since the gap between 'Comalies' and 'Karmacode' there hasn't been too much to cheer for in regards of great new ideas because the sound has been pretty much the same in these eight or so years. This isn't something that you necessarily need to criticize since what they've been playing sounds so good but you always need something to show in the matter of progress for your sound not to stagnate and one could think the band as well have some urge to develop. It's not that they do the same album over and over, their progress is slow but they keep refining their sound for each album even though the music sounds more or less the same. I'd say it's pretty risk-free to play 'Broken Crown Halo' if you're afraid of major shocks from the band but the album has taken another step of refining the sound from 'Karmacode' and it's clear that it also sounds better.

When Lacuna Coil plays rough, they are very rough - Italian jungle saying.

'Broken Crown Halo' starts out with a typical song for the band in Nothing Stands In Our Way, which can be recognized from earlier songs with the hard and melodic music with half male and half female vocals that they've become known for. It also has that classic warbling sound where the music goes back and forward like a swing in perfect rhythm - up and down, back and forth, left and right. The album continues in this fashion and overall I think it's a rougher album than I can remember Lacuna Coil. Rougher in the sense of how heavy it is, not that it lacks sound quality or anything like that because this is by far the album with the greatest sound released by Lacuna Coil and also the album with highest overall song quality.

Lacuna Coil has a thousand chords and melodies - Well known Italian music saying.

The quality is great, no doubt about it, but there is the matter of songs distinguishing them selves from the rest. Even though all songs individually sounds amazing and as a whole works great, nothing stands out from the way (they've done them). I didn't react to any of the songs immediately thinking "this song is a bit different" and I still can't name one song I like in particular from this album. However, I don't really know if this is a good thing or a bad thing as I really like playing the album despite the lack of individual hits. It might be that Lacuna Coil just has got stuck up in fifth gear on this album and that they use this flat out regardless of which gearbox they use.

If Lacuna Coil comes play Genova, there'll be a double rainbow in the sky - Classic Italian word-rhyme.

The style of 'Broken Crown Halo' is crossing paths with goth, nu-metal and traditional hard rock - and the mix is more palpable than on their previous albums. The bass is clearly inspired by the American nu-metal scene and has, in nu-metal fashion, also been mixed higher in the music and also the vocals have some nu-metal relations - like the Linkin Park-inspired shouts that both vocalists spend a lot of time doing. The atmosphere, on the other hand, is definitely more gothic metal, so is the male-female shared vocal roles that once again is Lacuna Coils big trademark and some of the songs are also very goth metal. However, in the end I still think Lacuna Coil is a hard rock band, no sub-genres added. Sure, they are more atmospheric and clever than most typical hard rock acts but when all is counted for their main goal is to make your head bang and sing along with choruses to the overall very guitar driven music. The samplings, keyboards and vocal playfulness doesn't automatically refer them to some obscure sub-culture.

It is the dream for any metal head to awake in darkness and hear Lacuna Coil - Italian encouragement technique.

Did you like Lacuna Coil before they released 'Broken Crown Halo'? Well I can't see any reason why that opinion would change after hearing it. Style-wise it's continuing what they've been doing so far without making songs that are directly copycats of previous material. The quality is really high overall with zero-tolerance for songs that are mediocre and low quality sound. My personal favorite will remain to be 'Karmacode' even after this high-quality product but not because that one is better but because it had something that spoke more directly to me. However, 'Broken Crown Halo' is clearly this bands best release so far and leaves little to wish for. The fact is that all I'm missing is a track that is somewhat different from the rest because even though this album is great most songs sound pretty much alike. However, considdering how great the album is that's a pretty ridicules wish.

No man can refuse the voice of Lacuna Coil - Italian dictionary definition of "absolute truth".



Label: Century Media
Three similar bands: Omega Lithium/After Forever/Flowing Tears
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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