Italy is a nation of extremes. You can be standing at the base of the Trevi Fountain in Rome, a stunning display of breathtaking history, classical culture and architectural genius, and look over your shoulder and see McDonald's, its golden arches perhaps the greatest symbol in the world of modern capitalism, popular culture and clogged arteries. And about 350 miles north of Rome is Milan, a city closer to American epicenters like Chicago and New York than any other metropolitan area in Italy, though still a harsh reminder of just how far America has to grow to compete with the cultural history of our European brethren. The commercial and economic center of Italy, Milan is the heart of country's iconic fashion center, home to Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper and, of greatest importance to us now, the home of Lacuna Coil.
Why the crash course in history and culture? Because both come to life on Lacuna Coil's Delirium. But even the greatest understanding of where Lacuna Coil have come from can't prepare us for the magnum opus that is the band's eighth studio album, the metallic testimony of a band as diverse and majestic as the city they call home. "Everything feels different this time in the Lacuna Coil camp," says frontwoman Cristina Scabbia. "It's something I can hear, and something I can breathe. A new wave of confidence, a renewed essence, and pure drops of energy sweating out of our pores... Trust me, this is Delirium you will feel the need to be a part of."
The trademark Lacuna Coil sound is here, but amped beyond our heaviest expectations. "The House Of Shame" is a colossus of an opener, frontman Andrea Ferro delivering a vocal death grind atop a crushing bottom end and Scabbia's vocals floating within the mix like an angel at war with the demons tearing at her limbs. The track paves a path for the heaviest album in a career spanning more than twenty years, but also the most refined and focused. Delirium isn't about satisfying radio formats or coddling to the sensitivities of a waffling mainstream culture, it's the sonic canon of a band that's survived scenes, overcame challenges, and survived to perform what just might be the greatest album in a heralded career.
"Delirium is not the beginning of a new chapter in Lacuna Coil's life, it is the beginning of a new book," Ferro decrees proudly. "We're just writing the first page of this book, and it is already a crazy one."
"Broken Things" is a dichotomy of pulverizing blast beats, Ferro's demonic purges and Scabbia's rhythmic vocals a stark contrast to the harmonic glaze of the title track, an opaque and effervescent journey into the clouded depths of the mind. Ferro and Scabbia play off each other like never before - not because they aren't accustomed to creating a landscape that can simultaneously cast us warning while
beckoning us closer, but because they've achieved a masterful balance of anguish, pain, hope and
promise. "Blood, Tears, Dust" ferries us through rivers of dark emotion, only to have "Downfall" cast us into even more melancholic depths with Scabbia musing, "...when I'm down, it's hard to walk away, cause nothing seems to change, the sun will never heal the rain, life goes on and I bury another day..." There's poetic beauty in the darkest of words, culminating with a guitar solo that brings an already other-worldly track to even greater epic heights.
"Fresh, dark and powerful emotions all at the same time," says bassist and studio guitarist Marco Coti-Zelati of the 12 tracks that comprise Delirium. "The strength and heavy approach of thrash metal from the '90s, in a modern style. To me, this is the album that I think will be exciting to both our older and newer fans."
There's a playful tone to "Take Me Home," a seductive swagger to "You Love Me 'Cause I Hate You" a paranormal pulse that permeates "Ghost In The Mist," and "My Demons" is the manifestation that the name suggests. There's nothing cramped or constricting in the guitars that illuminate "Claustrophobia" - quite the contrary, the penultimate track on the album overcomes it's name, suggesting that by the time our voyage ends with "Ultima Ratio," we may have found an answer to the questions that haunt our journey. This is an album of hope amidst emotional duress, beacons of light in vast emptiness, and - like the nation Lacuna Coil call home - classical beauty amidst modern irreverence.
"This is the first record I got to be a part of with the band, and I can't wait to finally see people's reactions to songs that I have been really excited about for over a year now," says drummer Ryan Blake Folden - the newest member of the Lacuna Coil writing team. "Not to mention, I'll finally be expressing myself on stage in a way that I haven't been able to do in some time, up until this point performing music that predated my arrival in the band. With the manifestation of the theme, costumes and artwork, along with the music, the band creatively and passionately poured itself into making this something special."
Very special. Like Cristina Scabbia suggested earlier, this is a Delirium we need to be a part of.
|1999||In a Reverie|
|2014||Broken Crown Halo|