For most of my teenage years I was obsessed with Lacuna Coil. When they came to Australia as part of Gigantour in 2007 I forced my sister tog with me so my parents would let me go. When I found out they were doing a meet and greet at JB Hi-Fi at The Galeries Victoria I made sure I was there and in that line probably a good 4 hours before they were even scheduled to be there. I also made my sister come along with me to that too. I perfected “Closer” on expert on Guitar Hero 3 – it was pretty much the only song I played – well, just because. But then something happened. I just wasn’t that obsessed any more. I still listened to them, I just no longer had that obsessive need to listen to them daily. Maybe I just became preoccupied with other bands – or maybe Shallow Life just left too much of a bad taste for me – whatever it was, I was just no longer obsessed.
That is until now.
With the release of Delirium just around the corner, and a few choice tracks picked out as teasers, it’s hard not to become obsessed with Lacuna Coil again. Opening track – and first song released off the album – “The House of Shame” – explodes through your speakers in a way no Lacuna Coil song ever has before. Delirium has been dubbed a “new chapter” and “new beginning” for the band and from the moment Andrea Ferro screams the word “run” you know you’ve entered a whole new world. This is probably Lacuna Coil at its heaviest, and hearing Ferro utilise rougher vocals over his usual cleaner is a very welcome change. Coupled with Cristina Scabbia’s iconic softer vocals – this is easily the best pairing of their vocals we have heard to date.
“The House of Shame” starts the album off strong, and while the rest of Delirium in no way falters, it is a kind of false start. The album just doesn’t hold up that level of heaviness that the opening track introduced. Don’t worry though – the album doesn’t fall flat – tracks such as “Blood, Tears, Dust”, “Ghost In The Mist” and “You Love Me ‘Cause You Hate Me” certainly bring in that new heavier Lacuna Coil sound. And you know being heavy isn’t the be all and end all. This is still one hell of an album.
Lacuna Coil have been at this game for two decades with eight albums under their belt. You wouldn’t really blame them for sticking with what has worked. Or even being unable to break out of what they have been doing day in and day out. But Lacuna Coil are no such band. Even after this long they are willing to experiment. And this experiment has certainly paid off. Probably the best thing about Delirium is the fact that even with the new elements they still sound like Lacuna Coil. They haven’t let a new sound take over. The album is still quintessentially Lacuna Coil – but an upgraded version.
Held together on the concept of mental illness, with each track dealing with a different condition, Lacuna Coil adopt new techniques to drive the theme home. The almost claustrophobic repetition of the the word ‘Delirium’ within the title track captures the essence of a state of mind associated with restlessness, illusion and incoherence. And while children’s playground rhymes aren’t exactly nightmare inducing – slow it down and add some distortion over the vocals and instruments and you have just successfully scared most people listening. “Take Me Home” opens in just such a manner adding the necessary creepy factor an album such as Delirium needs.
There is a frantic nature about the record, which is highlighted in the instrumentation of “Blood, Tears, Dust”. It’s like they are rushing to finish – but not because they want it over with, because they have a need to get it out before it’s too late. There is an intensity in every track. A raw emotion that hasn’t been heard from a Lacuna Coil album in a while. Delirium is probably the most authentic we have heard Lacuna Coil in a long time.
As Lacuna Coil embark on this new chapter of their career with Delirium, I will be revisiting my old obsession with the band. Now…where did I put my copy of Guitar Hero 3?