Lacuna Coil
Dark Adrenaline


3.5
great

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
January 25th, 2012 | 123 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Lacuna Coil aren't breaking down any barriers, but they have returned with another album that emphasizes their best qualities while fixing a few previous mistakes.

Since the release of their very first EP, it was obvious that Lacuna Coil were going to eventually break into the mainstream. Early in their career it seemed that everything went right for them. Their first few albums helped to build them some solid credibility, and with the release of Comalies they had also finally managed to catch the attention of the music-listening public at large. Lacuna Coil’s first real issue arose when they attempted to make that final leap into the mainstream. Instead of continuing to build on a success that had come without compromise, the band decided to integrate the musical flavor of the week into Karmacode – nu-metal. Unfortunately, the band were a little late to the party and the album dropped at a time when even the nu-metal originators were attempting to distance themselves from the genre. As good as a few of the tracks were, it was just too easy to dismiss the thick Korn-influenced bass and start/stop rhythms that dominated a majority of the songs. Rather than succumb to the criticism and return to their roots, Lacuna Coil pressed forward with Shallow Life; an album that jumped headlong into the oversaturated world of mainstream rock. The funny thing is that, compared to Karmacode, the album at least felt honest and built on the band’s strengths.

Despite any nostalgic memories, the truth of the matter is that Lacuna Coil have never been good at much. They’ve always succeeded based on their ability to write moderately catchy tunes performed by a hot Italian female, and that was what Shallow Life emphasized. Based on that observation, it should come as no surprise to discover that Dark Adrenaline builds on that foundation but also reintegrates just enough of the band’s early days to set it apart. That means that all of the songs are still built on a mainstream rock aesthetic and everything that comes with it – songs centered on big choruses, moderately-paced tempos, and fairly linear structures – but that the band have returned a bit of the heaviness and gothy atmospheres, as well. It might not sound like much, but it turns out to be more than enough to allow this album to surpass anything the band has done in years. The first single, “Trip the Darkness”, features some chunky riffing and doesn’t skimp on the heaviness (relatively speaking… this is Lacuna Coil, after all), but also manages to sneak in a dark melodic undercurrent over a huge chorus.

For better or worse, that blueprint is repeated throughout just about the entire album. Each track manages to belt out some decently heavy riffs while maintaining a moody ambience that sets the foundation for the dual vocal delivery of Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro. Their names are worth mentioning because the album’s success (as with each of their previous albums) rides on their voices. This has always been kind of a dual-edge sword because Cristina’s voice has been consistently great while Andrea has come off as a second-rate David Draiman (Disturbed) at best, and a tone-deaf liability at all other times. This wasn’t such an issue back when he was belting out the occasional growl and playing second-fiddle to Cristina, but as the band has become bigger so has his role in the band. It is the opinion of many fans that he has single-handedly ruined certain songs in the band’s discography, but he isn’t all that bad this time around. In fact, he can even be seen as a positive element throughout most of the album by doing an admirable job of providing the edge to Cristina’s smooth delivery. Together they manage to create some very strong and memorable choruses, and help to make the band’s mainstream leanings a success.

There are always going to be those that will accept nothing less than Comalies part II, and you can’t say that it will never happen, but it didn’t happen here. For now Lacuna Coil are perfectly content to experiment with a combination of mainstream rock and a few older influences and it works wonderfully. The band’s renewed focus on heavy riffs and moody atmospheres has gone a long way towards fixing the few things that were wrong with Shallow Life, and it hasn’t lessened the impact of their big choruses at all. If Lacuna Coil are going to keep trying to create their own personal version of modern mainstream metal, they’re doing a pretty good job. While Dark Adrenaline doesn’t break down any barriers and won’t win any points for originality, it is still a very solid release and probably the best thing Lacuna Coil have done in almost a decade.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
January 25th 2012


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Stream here:

http://www.spin.com/articles/stream-lacuna-coils-heavy-hooky-rem-covering-lp-dark-adrenaline

Digging: Skrew - Universal Immolation

bloc
January 25th 2012


34919 Comments


You brave man : )

Willie
Moderator
January 25th 2012


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I always rate how I want. The Sputnik users can bite my ass ;)

BallsToTheWall
January 25th 2012


44605 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

dude bro.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

Willie
Moderator
January 25th 2012


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Which song do you like?

bloc
January 25th 2012


34919 Comments


I always rate how I want. The Sputnik users can bite my ass ;)

I like this guy

BallsToTheWall
January 25th 2012


44605 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

End Of Time. Otherwise this album sounds like a shitty Crossfade with female vocals.


I'll stick to Valora for female fronted alt rock/metal.

taylormemer
January 25th 2012


4917 Comments


Trey I haven't heard any lacuna, but I'm scared too because they kinda sound/look really shit. Thoughts?

BallsToTheWall
January 25th 2012


44605 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

Comalies all the way. That album is ace. The one after that is decent too.

theashesfromautumn01
January 25th 2012


1031 Comments


listen to comalies

Willie
Moderator
January 25th 2012


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

End Of Time. Otherwise this album sounds like a shitty Crossfade with female vocals.


I'll stick to Valora for female fronted alt rock/metal.


I've heard Crossfade a few times, but can't remember liking them. Anyway if you have to like one track, the one that sounds the most 'old school' is probably the best way to go.

I've never heard Valora... off to Spotify.

BallsToTheWall
January 25th 2012


44605 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

In A Reverie is great well. You've never heard Lacuna? It's 2012, I'm impressed.

KjSwantko
January 25th 2012


9443 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Dark Adrenaline is the cheesiest, dumbest album title I've heard in a while

Willie
Moderator
January 25th 2012


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Trey I haven't heard any lacuna, but I'm scared too because they kinda sound/look really shit.
Looking at your highest ratings, I can safely say that you might as well not waste your time.

Dark Adrenaline is the cheesiest, dumbest album title I've heard in a while
Says the guy with a multi-colored eagle as his avatar.

KjSwantko
January 25th 2012


9443 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

more like says the guy who has the multi-colored eagle (Design the Skyline, terrible band) in his avatar as a joke. And yea this album sucks

BallsToTheWall
January 25th 2012


44605 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

How can adrenaline be dark is what I want to know.


Gonna form a USBM band called Dark Forest oh wait 17 Dark Forest's already exist.

pizzamachine
January 25th 2012


12571 Comments


I was anticipating your review for this! : ) The album has really grown on me.

KjSwantko
January 25th 2012


9443 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"How can adrenaline be dark is what I want to know."

Doesn't matter bro, dark adrenaline sounds so mysterious and clever, I'm just blown away by their literary prowess

cvlts
January 25th 2012


8967 Comments


only album i've heard from these guys (and gal) was karmacode back in the day.

dont remember anything explicitly bad with it so i'll give this a shot for the lols. good review man.

KjSwantko
January 25th 2012


9443 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

check out their first 3 albums before Karmacode too genocide, they're all pretty solid and worth a listen



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