Lacuna Coil
Shallow Life


3.5
great

Review

by fireaboveicebelow USER (108 Reviews)
April 9th, 2009 | 55 replies | 5,242 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist


As Lacuna Coil evolved their sound had become increasingly conventional, and even though it was usually enjoyable, they’ve certainly had numerous moments where “identity crisis” was a main characteristic. You could say the same thing about Moonspell, Amorphis, or even Depeche Mode in certain eras, but those bands regained the mindset of writing music for the sole purpose of playing what they want. This is the outcome of Lacuna Coil doing everything right.

Integrating all previous influences except for doom, Shallow Life is a definitive album that presents Lacuna Coil no longer as a semi-enjoyable hard rock/pop band but rather as a dominant presence in mainstream metal scenes worldwide. The songs are not nearly as predictable as before and breathe life into each other, mixing subtle industrial and electronica elements with pop and metal. Cristina Scabbia’s vocal performance is now filled with inspiration, and Andrea Ferro finally finds a solid niche in which he can input his vocals without sounding like they’re just there. He also maintains noticeably better control than before, allowing him to reach higher pitches without sounding annoying.

Songwriting, however, is truly the shining point here. “I Survive” is one of the heaviest songs they’ve ever recorded, and easily the strongest opening track of their career. “Not Enough” displays their talent for writing some of the catchiest songs around with electronica influenced drum patterns and stimulating vocal lines. The guitarists have learned to incorporate dynamics to their advantage, furthermore allowing the bassist to chug along without letting things sound too benighted. The band has also used piano and synths in a less banal way, such as in the track “Wide Awake”, brimming with nostalgia amongst the acoustic arpeggios, echoing electric piano, and strings aligned with the vocals.

Even though Lacuna Coil has stuck to more-or-less simple song structures, they work around them with surprising finesse considering Karmacode’s lack of effort. The main factor that affects the songs’ quality is their consistency in changing things up at the right times, incorporating rising and falling actions that help the songs go somewhere. Also, the world influences in the music are not as forced as in the past, only seeping through a handful of times. The flaws are unchanged, however, as displayed by the rather dull single “Spellbound”, "I'm Not Afraid" and “Underground” coming across as a useless B-side, and a few samey-sounding areas throughout. None of this changes that the record has the ability to catch you off-guard, though this may only apply if you are a fan of the band in the first place. There’s no telling if Lacuna Coil can take this sound any further than this, but if Shallow Life is any indication of a newfound inspiration then their future is hopeful…and Cristina is still gorgeous.



Recent reviews by this author
Thrice Major/MinorMournful Congregation The Book of Kings
Blut Aus Nord 777 - Sect(s)Nightwish Imaginaerum
Tom Waits Bad As MeDevin Townsend Project Ghost
user ratings (264)
Chart.
2.7
average
other reviews of this album
quinny1989 (2.5)
...

Trey Spencer STAFF (3)
Some might not like another change in direction, but this one suits them better....


Comments:Add a Comment 
fireaboveicebelow
April 9th 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

streaming on myspace, this is a perfect record to start my summer plus I don't feel awkward singing along

gaslightanthem
April 9th 2009


5209 Comments


i don't really enjoy anything at all about this band

good review though

Willie
Moderator
April 9th 2009


15965 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hey good review. I agree with almost all of this.

Digging: Necropoli - I

Hawks
April 9th 2009


35824 Comments


Good review, but I hated Karmacode with a passion so I'm pretty sure I would feel the exact same way about this.

Digging: Engraved - Before The Tales

Willie
Moderator
April 9th 2009


15965 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is nothing like Karmacode so you'll have to decide if you like this style of music in general.

fireaboveicebelow
April 9th 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

willie I'll check the other recommendations in a bit I have to go eat

SCREAM!
April 9th 2009


10076 Comments


I used to like a couple of songs by these guys but i completely lost interest in them. Wont be looking into this

ninjuice
April 9th 2009


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I was unsure whether to bother with this....and still am. Great review though.

KYZAR
April 9th 2009


513 Comments


Metal and pop, mixed? i dunno sounds like mixing gold (metal) and crap (pop) together, you ruin the gold. (Strange metaphor provided by Steve "the big shnoz" Baglione)

This Message Edited On 04.09.09

fireaboveicebelow
April 9th 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't understand what that was but I do like the chomp chomp avatar

BallsToTheWall
April 9th 2009


44294 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Metal and pop is a good combination. Pain's best songs for example rule. Good work Fire, will definitely look into this.

Digging: Tiamat - Clouds

fireaboveicebelow
April 9th 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

AH Pain is what I wanted to add to the recs thank you

Poet
April 9th 2009


5933 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

ugh, this band is so predictable and boring. I am listening to this right now because of curiosity.

Waior
April 9th 2009


11451 Comments


I like minimalistic album art. I hate this band.

Nice review.

BallsToTheWall
April 9th 2009


44294 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm not a big fan of the production on this. It sounds kind of stripped down. This album is lacking the rich keyboards but make up for it in a few other things.

fireaboveicebelow
April 9th 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh my people really don't like this band :[

BallsToTheWall
April 9th 2009


44294 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Doesnt really matter. For every one person on sputnik that dislikes Lacuna Coil, on the outside 10 more people like them.

Waior
April 9th 2009


11451 Comments


It's true. We're a hyper-critical and nonchanlantly arrogant conglomeration of music fans.

Poet
April 9th 2009


5933 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Doesnt really matter. For every one person on sputnik that dislikes Lacuna Coil, on the outside 10 more people like them.

Which in reality is very sad. I am half way through this and it's pretty laughable.

Shattered_Future
April 10th 2009


1540 Comments


Yeah, no. This was better than Karmacode (markedly better, actually...), and caught me off guard because you're like, "oh shit, catchy tunes." Then you realize that it's actually not that special at all, and has terribly boring writing, song structures, TERRIBLE bass production, and decent vocal lines. The vocal lines were probably the best part.

Sadly, they'll never match up to Comalies or the one before that which is escaping my thought right now.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy