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Lacuna Coil - 'Dark Adrenaline' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/c3/58/dc/2228_LacunaCoilDarkAdrenaline_1338569561.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 01, 2012    
 
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Arguably the band's strongest overall release.

2009's 'Shallow Life' came during something of an experimental period for Lacuna Coil. It was certainly the band's most commercial offering up to that time and received mixed critical responses. I guess it's fair to say that 2012 finds the Italian sextet back in familiar territory in terms of musical style yet still developing their easily identifiable sound. 'Dark Adrenaline' comes as a result of personal experiences many would regard too challenging to channel into something creative but this seems to have had the reverse effect. Pushing themselves like never before, everyone seems to have turned in their best performances to date. There is, as the title explains, a renewed energy in the camp demonstrating a hunger which some thought had been lost.

Taken as a whole 'Dark Adrenaline' is the perfect blend of power and melody. Every hook is dripping with passion and emotion. The band has the ability to attack the material with an aggressive bravado one minute then withdraw into intimately subtle passages with consummate ease. The approach is bold and the individual performances merely enhance the quality of the songs. There is great variety on offer and the structures are never formulaic. Not once are there any thoughts of repetitiveness and the compact running times merely add to the addictive impact each song has. The boundaries of Cristina's vocal ranges are tested to the full and she is never found wanting (opener 'Trip The Darkness' and 'Intoxicated' being prime examples).

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Andrea's singing has often received criticism in the past but his limits are less prevalent this time and he actually sounds galvanised by his vocal partner's performance. The decision to utilise Don Gilmore's services as producer once more seems a prudent one and it has certainly proved beneficial due to his involvement in the creation of the songs. Marco Barusso's generous mix gives the guitars plenty of room to manoeuvre so Cris and Maus take full advantage to ply their trade. The song structures allow the riffs to cut through with an intense ferocity whilst the unbridled causticity of the solos eclipse all those from previous releases ('Against You' sears!). I can't pick any favourites from the 11 original tracks on offer as each one appeals for different reasons. If I have one doubt it is aimed at the cover of REM's 'Losing My Religion'. It is certainly a track suited to Lacuna Coil's style but sits uncomfortably within the rest of the material and doesn't have the same effect as the cover of Depeche Mode's 'Enjoy The Silence' from the 'Karma Code' record.

Existing fans disappointed with the melancholy nature of 'Shallow Life' will be overcome with joy after just one spin of 'Dark Adrenaline'. Anyone new to Lacuna Coil will also be impressed by what is arguably the band's strongest overall release.

Dave Bott

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