Lacuna Coil – Delirium (Century Media)Wednesday, 1st June 2016
When a veteran band begins losing members, it can be a catalyst for change or can make the band all the more willing to settle into the comfort zone in their songwriting. With Lacuna Coil losing a number of members of the last few years (only bassist Marco Zelati, and vocalists Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro now remain), and already settling into what seemed to be a fairly predictable sound in their releases (though admittedly the last two albums did nicely bounce the band back from the mostly forgettable Shallow Life), it was a very pleasant surprise to hear Delirium hit the reset button for the band.
While the long-standing elements of Lacuna Coil are very much present, the notable changes do make an impact on the overall sound and approach. First off, it’s significantly heavier – the pre-album release hype was remarkably on-point, as lead-off track “House of Shame” gleefully introduces. Ferro amps up the intensity on his vocals, and the occasional growls are an added bonus that adds to the dynamics of the tracks. It’s also more cinematic in tone, with gothic synths (manned by Zelati – who also did guitars and the production of the album) elevating the choruses of songs like “Blood, Tears, Dust” and “You Love Me ‘Cause I Hate You” into more grandiose territory.
The blend between the band going back to heavier roots alongside what they have done for the past few albums ensures that fans should find something to like about the album. The more modern sounding songs, like “My Demons” and “Broken Things,” benefit from the more aggressive approach and gives them some added depth. Of course, the vocal interplay of Scabbia and Ferro is as strong as ever, with “Delirium” and “Claustrophobia” providing some highlights alongside the previously mentioned “House of Shame.”
Nice to see a veteran act like Lacuna Coil being willing to step outside of their comfort zone this far into their career. While still maintaining a sense of Lacuna Coil’s long-time sound, Delirium feels fresh and invigorated by new dimensions and experimentation. As such, it should find little trouble maintaining the current fanbase while expanding outward, potentially pulling back in those who wanted more heaviness from the act.