LACUNA COIL

Alternative Metal / Gothic Metal / Non-Metal • Italy
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Lacuna Coil, formerly known as Sleep of Right and Ethereal, is a gothic/alternative metal band formed in Milan, Italy in 1994. The band consists of Cristina Scabbia (vocals), Andrea Ferro (vocals and keyboards), Cristiano Migliore (guitars), Marco Biazzi (guitars), Marco Coti Zelati (bass and keyboards), and Cristiano Mozzati (drums and percussion).

In 1994 Andrea Ferro and Marco Coti Zelati formed Sleep of Right, but soon changed their name to Ethereal, and signed to Century Media at the end of 1997. Finding that the name Ethereal was already taken by a Greek band, they changed their name to Lacuna Coil, which is half Italian, half English and translates to "empty spiral".

The members of the band have been known, musically, for composing midtempo songs consisting of guitar lines overlaid with prominent keyboard work, and contrasting dual female/male vocal harmonies to help create a melodic detached sound.

Much of the band's recent
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LACUNA COIL Discography

LACUNA COIL albums / top albums

LACUNA COIL In a Reverie album cover 3.72 | 21 ratings
In a Reverie
Gothic Metal 1999
LACUNA COIL Unleashed Memories album cover 3.66 | 20 ratings
Unleashed Memories
Gothic Metal 2001
LACUNA COIL Comalies album cover 3.41 | 18 ratings
Comalies
Gothic Metal 2002
LACUNA COIL Karmacode album cover 3.09 | 16 ratings
Karmacode
Alternative Metal 2006
LACUNA COIL Shallow Life album cover 2.73 | 11 ratings
Shallow Life
Alternative Metal 2009
LACUNA COIL Dark Adrenaline album cover 2.69 | 13 ratings
Dark Adrenaline
Alternative Metal 2012
LACUNA COIL Broken Crown Halo album cover 3.12 | 8 ratings
Broken Crown Halo
Alternative Metal 2014
LACUNA COIL Delirium album cover 3.42 | 6 ratings
Delirium
Alternative Metal 2016
LACUNA COIL Black Anima album cover 4.50 | 4 ratings
Black Anima
Alternative Metal 2019

LACUNA COIL EPs & splits

LACUNA COIL Lacuna Coil album cover 3.41 | 7 ratings
Lacuna Coil
Gothic Metal 1998
LACUNA COIL Halflife album cover 3.95 | 7 ratings
Halflife
Gothic Metal 2000
LACUNA COIL Shallow Live: Acoustic At Criminal Records album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Shallow Live: Acoustic At Criminal Records
Non-Metal 2010

LACUNA COIL live albums

LACUNA COIL The 119 Show - Live In London album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
The 119 Show - Live In London
Alternative Metal 2018

LACUNA COIL demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

LACUNA COIL Promo '96 (Ethereal) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Promo '96 (Ethereal)
Gothic Metal 1996
LACUNA COIL Lacuna Coil album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lacuna Coil
Gothic Metal 2004
LACUNA COIL Swamped album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Swamped
Gothic Metal 2004
LACUNA COIL Alien Vs. Predator album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Alien Vs. Predator
Gothic Metal 2004
LACUNA COIL Sampler album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sampler
Gothic Metal 2006
LACUNA COIL I Like It album cover 1.00 | 1 ratings
I Like It
Alternative Metal 2009
LACUNA COIL I Won't Tell You album cover 1.50 | 1 ratings
I Won't Tell You
Alternative Metal 2009

LACUNA COIL re-issues & compilations

LACUNA COIL The EPs: Lacuna Coil / Halflife album cover 3.92 | 6 ratings
The EPs: Lacuna Coil / Halflife
Gothic Metal 2005
LACUNA COIL Manifesto of Lacuna Coil album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Manifesto of Lacuna Coil
Gothic Metal 2009
LACUNA COIL The Presence of the Past (XX Years of Lacuna Coil) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Presence of the Past (XX Years of Lacuna Coil)
Alternative Metal 2018

LACUNA COIL singles (18)

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0.00 | 0 ratings
Heaven's a Lie
Gothic Metal 2002
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5.00 | 1 ratings
Swamped
Gothic Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
4.50 | 2 ratings
Our Truth
Alternative Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Closer
Alternative Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Enjoy the Silence
Alternative Metal 2006
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Within Me
Alternative Metal 2007
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 1 ratings
Spellbound
Alternative Metal 2009
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2.50 | 1 ratings
Trip the Darkness
Alternative Metal 2011
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Fire
Alternative Metal 2012
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Die & Rise
Alternative Metal 2014
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
I Forgive (But I Won't Forget Your Name)
Alternative Metal 2014
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Nothing Stands In Our Way
Alternative Metal 2014
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Ghost In The Mist
Gothic Metal 2016
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Naughty Christmas
Alternative Metal 2016
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The House Of Shame
Gothic Metal 2016
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 1 ratings
Layers Of Time
Alternative Metal 2019
.. Album Cover
4.50 | 1 ratings
Reckless
Alternative Metal 2019
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Save Me
Alternative Metal 2019

LACUNA COIL movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
3.75 | 2 ratings
Visual Karma (Body, Mind and Soul)
Gothic Metal 2008

LACUNA COIL Reviews

LACUNA COIL Unleashed Memories

Album · 2001 · Gothic Metal
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lukretion
Hailing from Milan, Italy, Lacuna Coil have become one of the most significant names in the gothic/alternative metal scene. Unleashed Memories is their second full-length album. It was released in 2001 and it is where the band truly began the ascent to the gothic/atmospheric metal throne. It is a far more polished record than anything the band had released up to that point. The heaviness and rough edges that had characterized the band’s early releases have almost completely vanished, leaving room for a lighter, more refined form of gothic metal that takes inspiration in equal parts from the gothic/doom of Paradise Lost (probably one of the band’s biggest early influences) and the atmospheric rock/metal of The Gathering. The Dutch labelmates’ sound between Mandylion and Nighttime Birds is in fact the main reference point for the overall sound and feel of this album.

The strength of Unleashed Memories lies in the smoother songwriting and more sophisticated arrangements relative to the band’s previous records. The rough edges that were present on Lacuna Coil’s debut EP and LP have been ground down. The songs here rarely explode in harsh and aggressive passages as they did in the past. The distorted guitars are still there, but are no longer dominant in the mix. Bass, clean guitars, keyboards and programmed samples are given more space in the song arrangements and in the mix. These production choices gives Unleashed Memories that slick sound that was a trademark for Century Media productions at the time and make the album feel less anchored in the 1990s gothic/doom sound and more propelled in the new millennium instead. The new sound direction has both pros and cons. The advantage is that Unleashed Memories sounds smoother and more professional relative to the debut record and it is therefore better catered for the international market. The disadvantage is that the band’s sound loses a bit of the uniqueness and spontaneity that had characterized their early recordings. The differences between Lacuna Coil and the other gothic/atmospheric metal bands in the Century Media rooster became smaller and smaller, which is a pity. One gets the impression that at this point of their career the band made a conscious decision to reduce the more challenging (but unique) aspects of their sound in order to seek wider commercial appeal, even if this came at the cost of making slightly less interesting music.

Another subtle difference relative to previous albums is that the instrumental arrangements seem to have been more purposely written to support the vocals rather than to stand as fully accomplished musical pieces of their own. Again, there are pros and cons. The new songs flow better and feel smoother, making the vocal melodies more effective. On the other hand, instrumentally there is not much going on in the songs and not a lot of variation across tracks, which makes the listening experience somewhat sedated and unexciting. But then again Lacuna Coil have never been the greatest instrumentalists so the decision to focus on the impressive vocal talents of singer Cristina Scabbia was probably the right one for the band.

By 2001, the alternation between male and female vocals was nothing really surprising or new in the metal arena, as a few dozens symphonic gothic bands had now adopted the so-called “Beauty and the Beast” style. Lacuna Coil always stood out in the female-fronted symphonic gothic scene due to Cristina Scabbia’s unique timbre and vocal approach. Instead of resorting to operatic vocals as many of her contemporaries, Cristina relies on a warm and full timbre that at times reminds me of Dolores O'Riordan from The Cranberries. Of course, when the song needs it, she does not hesitate to soar and make full use of her upper range, which she is fully in control of. Overall, she offers a complex and rounded performance that is undoubtedly the main highlight of the album. Her male counterpart, Andrea Ferro, also puts in a good performance, much more assured compared to the early albums. His vocal talents are limited, especially compared to Cristina’s, and so Andrea relies on passion and expressiveness to make up for it. His vocal lines have character, both when he adopts his trademark shouted style (not too different from Paradise Lost’s Nick Holmes vocal style) and when he uses his clean gothic croon. Most importantly, in many songs, both Cristina and Andrea are given strong melodies to sing, making tracks like “Heir of a Dying Day”, “Purify”, “Senzafine”, “When a Dead Man Walks” and “Cold Heritage” particularly enjoyable.

Elsewhere, the vocal melodies are less inspired and the songs become immediately less interesting. This is not an uncommon feature of Lacuna Coil’s albums, where the quality of tracks is often inconstant, alternating between strong memorable pieces and more pedestrian ones that feel like faded-out versions of the former. Tracks like “To Live Is to Hide” and “Distant Suns” are particularly unspectacular and can be arguably considered as fillers. But it’s the whole second half of the album that feels generally weaker and less inspired. It is a pity because the presence of these lesser tracks spoil the listening experience somewhat. Boredom inevitably sets in as the album plods towards its unglamorous conclusion, offsetting the pleasant experience of strong tracks like “Heir of a Dying Day”, “Purify” and what is probably the best song of the album, “Senzafine”, made even more interesting by the lyrics in Italian.

Despite this alternation of highs and lows, Unleashed Memories is nevertheless a good album. If on previous records Lacuna Coil gave the impression of still being in the process of figuring out the precise coordinates of their sound, on this album the band feel mature and completely in control of their music. They also feel ready for bigger success, their slick modern sound having nothing to envy to other established bands in the international metal arena.

[Also published on metal-archives.com]

LACUNA COIL Lacuna Coil

EP · 1998 · Gothic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
lukretion
As a young metal fan living in Italy in 1998, I still remember very well the excitement of the Italian specialized press when this EP was announced. Lacuna Coil were a young talented band from Milan who, all of a sudden, were being picked up by one of the biggest metal labels of the time, Century Media. In a European market dominated by bands from Germany and Scandinavia, this was big news for Italy. Very few local metal bands had found themselves in a similar position, especially without having yet any official release in their name. So, was all the hype that surrounded this record justified?

Listening to the album today, more than twenty years after its initial release, I can see why Century Media decided to take a chance on this Italian sextet. The level of maturity in the songwriting and arrangements is indeed special for a band at the beginning of the career. Lacuna Coil already possess a fairly well-defined sonic identity, halfway between the doom of Paradise Lost and the gothic/atmospheric metal of The Gathering. Most importantly, the band can rely on the undeniable talent of leading vocalist Cristina Scabbia. The use of female vocalists alongside male singers was not uncommon for metal bands at the time, especially in the symphonic gothic/doom genre. But most bands typically enlisted in their ranks soprano-like singers and used them in a sort of supporting role, their ethereal and fragile vocals complementing the grunts and croons of the (leading) male vocalist. Lacuna Coil turn things on their head here: Cristina’s voice is lush and warm and she mostly uses her powerful mid-range rather than the upper register. She clearly takes the leading role in the band, with co-vocalist Andrea Ferro playing more of a supporting role. This is a wise move, as Andrea’s voice is not nearly as good as Cristina’s. His gruff and half-shouted vocal style sounds like a cross between Paradise Lost’s Nick Holmes and Metallica’s James Hetfield, which is not necessarily a compliment. Occasionally he resorts to a clean gothic croon, but he does not sound fully comfortable with it yet on this album. Despite the limitations, the alternation between Cristina’s and Andrea’s vocals works well and gives Lacuna Coil a distinctive sound which makes them instantly recognizable.

Although Lacuna Coil show considerable promise on this EP, not all songs are equally impressive. Opening track “No Need to Explain” is a strong doom/gothic piece that makes an immediate impression on the listener. It is fuelled by some beautiful vocal melodies sung by Cristina (with Andrea providing backing vocals), laid on top on a varied and interesting musical background. The guitar work is heavy and tight, with good alternation between riffs and melodic leads. The tasteful piano flourishes (courtesy of producer Waldemar Sorychta) add a touch of levity to the arrangements. The rhythm section is somewhat unspectacular, but the simple groove works well to propel the song forward. This is easily the best track of the EP. Another highlight of the album is the atmospheric piece “Falling”, featuring only guitars and Cristina’s extraordinary voice. It is a beautiful ballad, somewhat reminiscent of some of the acoustic songs written by Anathema around the same years. This song is so good that it will be re-arranged and re-recorded for Lacuna Coil’s full-length debut album, released the following year. “This Is My Dream” is another interesting piece, based on a nice, slow bass groove and clean guitar arpeggio that reminds me somewhat of early Katatonia (circa Tonight’s Decision). Unfortunately, none of the remaining three tracks leave a similarly strong impression. “The Secret…” and “Soul into Hades” sound like faded-out versions of “No Need to Explain”, featuring similar ideas and arrangements, but without the strong vocal melodies that make that opening track stand out. “Un Fantasma Tra Noi” is an atmospheric but unspectacular instrumental that shows more than anything else how important Cristina’s voice is for the band's sound.

The alternation between stronger and weaker tracks in the space of the same record is a feature of many Lacuna Coil’s albums and one of the reasons why, personally, I never fully connected with the band. This EP is no exception, but it nevertheless holds a special place in my collection. It is an impressive debut record, showing a band that has already a fairly clear identity and the means to translate their musical ideas into tasteful compositions. Relative to later albums, this EP also retains a certain rough edge (the heavily distorted guitars, the simple monotonous drumming, the unpolished male vocals) that is somewhat endearing. These rough edges will be smoothened on later albums, giving Lacuna Coil wider commercial appeal, while at the same time taking away some of the spontaneity and uniqueness of the band’s early sound.

[Also published on metal-archives.com]

LACUNA COIL Black Anima

Album · 2019 · Alternative Metal
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Kev Rowland
Lacuna Coil are back with their ninth studio album and I for one am very pleased indeed. There has been another change in line-up, in that drummer Ryan Folden has departed after four years in the seat to be replaced by Richard Meiz (Genus Ordinis Dei). His role, along with that of guitarist Diego "DD" Cavallotti and Marco "Maki" Coti-Zelati (guitars, bass, keyboards, synths) is to provide the musical backdrop and muscle for the two people at the front of the band, namely Christina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro. Along with songwriter Marco they have been there since the very beginning of the band in 1997, and they just seem to be getting better and better.

When there is a need for a song to become bombastic, epic and over the top, then it is there in spades, but there are also times when they are more reflective, but t often doesn’t last too long. The bottom end builds a foundation which would allow a double-height Burj Khalifa to be built on it, with guitar, bass and drums combining to create a solid wall of sound. The keyboards sometimes provide additional lightness and melody, but there are others when they too join in the fun to create a sold slab of metal which may only be lightened by the contrast of Christina. There again, it may just be a force for Andrea to show he is never going to play second fiddle and that it is the mix and combination of the two very different singers that makes this band what it is, combined with the epic songwriting and performance of Marco and the others.

They shift from maelstrom to beauty, back again, or off in a new direction, and all the listener can do is smile. The very first time I played this I started to think this may actually be their best release yet, even better than the first three albums (which are all classics in their own right). Scabbia says: “This record was really written around our live performances. The songs we enjoy playing live the most are the heavier ones. So, when we started writing, the songs naturally were heavier. We have more growls (for Andrea) and epic parts (for me), too.” Epic, awesome, totally essential.

LACUNA COIL The 119 Show - Live In London

Live album · 2018 · Alternative Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kev Rowland
To celebrate twenty years, Lacuna Coil played a special sold-out show at O2 Forum Kentish Town in London on 19th January 2018, which has now been made available in multiple formats. After the release of their 2014 album ‘Broken Crown Halo’ the band went through some major line-up changes with the departure of drummer Cristiano Mozzati and guitarists Cristiano Migliore and Marco Biazzi. But they returned with a new line-up and ‘Delirium’ in 2016, and there is certainly nothing here that shows that the band have been through any significant change.

Although bassist/guitarist/keyboard player Marco Coti-Zelati has been providing music since the very first album, he is happy to hide behind a mask, as does new drummer Ryan Blake Folden and guitarist Diego Cavallotti, as their role is to provide the music for Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro who control the stage. There are times when the three musicians all stay at the rear to allow all the spotlights to be on the singers, and it is their harmonies and different styles working together with the dark melancholic Goithic metal that really makes this band stand out. For fans who have been there since the beginning there is plenty here to enjoy, as they really do run through their whole career in a set that is nearly three hours long. To hear songs such as “My Wings” from their debut ‘In A Reverie’ is wonderful, while “Comalies” of course gets a huge reaction. Theatrical, over the top, this is an amazing set, which of course finishes with the mighty “Nothing Stands In Our Ways”.

This is a superb record of the first twenty years, and they are showing no sign at all of slowing down. If you have yet to hear Lacuna Coil then this is essential, and if you are a fan they you must already have it. Exciting, dynamic and powerful, this is Lacuna Coil at their very best.

LACUNA COIL Broken Crown Halo

Album · 2014 · Alternative Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kev Rowland
I still remember hearing ‘In A Reverie’, ‘Unleashed Memories’ and ‘Comalies’ when they were released – three albums that made a huge impact and certainly launched this Italian dual vocal Gothic inspired act straight into the big time. I hadn’t heard any of their material for a while until I came across this 2014 album, which immediately got me wondering why on earth I hadn’t stayed current with their career, as Cristina Scabbia has an amazing voice, singing sweetly or with venom as the need arises, and in Andrea Ferro she has the perfect foil and when they combine they lift each other, and then there is the driving bottom end of the music which is punchy, hard and bombastic with symphonic elements that lift it way out of the norm.

There are times when it somehow feels commercial, with buzzsaw riffs, but is that just because the scene has moved so much since they first came on the scene, as there is still an honesty and passion shining through what they are delivering. Ferro is a great singer in his own right, able to provide multiple styles, and with these two at the front it is no surprise the guys behind them have to keep mixing it up and punching hard. The more I played this album the more I wanted to play it, as there is a groove and life behind this which is simply superb. Hard, smooth, heavy, silky and raw, this is well worth investigating.

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