Sound — 8
Alright... Of all the Lacuna Coil albums, I have this one, Comalies, Karmacode, Lacuna Coil EP and Halflife EP, so all I'm missing is In a Reverie, and the first thing I have to say about this band that I'm really glad about is that they change for each album, although that change isn't always for the better Karmacode. However, I'm not here to talk about the band, I'm here to talk about the album. The first album I listened to from Lacuna Coil was Comalies, and I instantly fell in love with it. When I got this album, it was a huge change from the heavy, emotional Comalies to this album, but in time it grew on me, and I have learned to appreciate it's unique sound. Some of the songs do, unfotunately sound the same, however that is made up for by not only the originality of the songs, themselves, but how different the other songs that don't sound the same are from the rest of them, such as When a Dead Man Walks or Cold Heritage. A lot of the songs have some sort of Eastern, I guess you could call it, influence, something that I have rarely heard in Goth Metal. Although the musicians themselves aren't anything special, they seem to be at the top of their game in this album, including the vocals from both Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro, who usually isn't a very good vocalist and sounds out of place in a majority of the songs in which he sings in, however if you hear his extremely powerful growls in the first half of 1:19, you'd think that he was perfect for the band. Overall, while it's not their best album, this is still a fairly original and decent album.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics are... well they're diverse... and by that I mean there are some which you have to know what they're singing about in order to understand them, some which you need some sort of emotional connection to them and some which you'll need to just figure out yourself. Personally, I thought that most of the lyrics were decent, and although there were some songs which I thought the lyrics sucked, there were others which I thought they were great. Either way, my opinion is that the lyrics fit in with the music quite well. As for the vocal skills, Cristina Scabbia has a pretty damn good voice, and beats so many of the mainstream crap that's dominating the market. However, in comparison to great vocalists as Sharon Den Adel, Tarja Turnen, Annette Olzen, Liv Kristine and Sarah Jezebel Deva, she doesn't really seem like anything special. This is due to the fact that Metal, unlike the majority of contemporary music styles, has a good ear for female vocals. Still, she's no less skilled vocal-wise than the other vocalists I mentioned before, and she's so much more skilled than so many other vocalists. As for Andrea Ferro, usually he doesn't really fit in with the rest of the band. Don't get me wrong, I don't think he's a bad vocalist, he just doesn't seem like the right one most of the time. However in this album he has his good and bad moments. For example, I kinda dislike his vocals in Heir to a Dying Day, however I love them on 1:19. In conclusion, this is actually a pretty good album for Andrea Ferro.
Overall Impression — 9
Here I will do a track by track analysis. 01. Heir To A Dying Day - I remember first hearing this song, thinking, "This sounds nothing like the other Lacuna Coil songs that I've heard", as the only album I had heard before that was Comalies. Although I didn't like it at first, it grew on me and I realise that while this song isn't the best that they've done, it's pretty damn good and fairly original. It has that Eastern sounding influence that I was talking about which adds to it's originality. It's still fairly heavy even without the use of constant powerchords and it just sounded great after I gave it a chance. Overall, not a bad song. 02. To Live Is To Hide - the biggest disappointment in this song is that it sounds way too much like the first one. It's got that Eastern influence that I was talking about, and once again it's still heavy whilst not overusing the powerchords. And the riffs that they use to replace the powerchords sounded fairly similar to what they used in the first song. Once again, Scabbia was great on this song but Ferro was extremely disappointing. Lyrics were an improvement though. 03. Purify - this song takes a lighter tone than the previous songs, and it's much more emotional both musically and lyrically. One of the lines that stood out to me was, "Don't expect from me this chain reaction, you can't imagine from me this great affection". It may have been something to do with what I was going through at the time I heard this, but ever since hearing those lyrics they've stood out for me. This song does share some slight similarites with the first 2, but thankfully the similarities are insiginificant and limited. So basically, a nice, original, emotional, lightish song. 04. Senzafine - the first thing you realise, aside from the nice keyboard intro, would probably be the fact that it's not in English. This song is actually in Italian, and since I can't exactly examine lyrics that I don't really understand, I guess I'll just have to examine the music. Another thing that I noticed was that Ferro actually sounded decent here, particularly when he says "Madre" (which apparently means Mother, according to my friend). This song sounds separate from the other 3 songs that have been analysed so far, but still sounds like it belongs to the album. And although I can't really say much about the lyrics, the music itself is rather gripping imo. A good song. 05. When A Dead Man Walks - this song, as well as the 2 songs that follow, is, imo, the climax of this album. The greatest 3 songs of the album, all consecutively placed on this album. This song is a slow song, ranging from light to somewhere between heavy and light. A clean riff is played throughout the verses, and single powerchords are played throughout the entire song, with repeated palm muted powerchords played in the chorus. This is one of the 2 songs with a solo, and although it's nothing special talent-wise, the solos themselves just sound good. Proof that a solo doesn't need to require talent in order to just sound good. This song is incredibly emotional, not only lyrically but musically, in fact I would go as far to say that this song is more emotional musically than it is lyrically. Everything about this song is just great. 06. 1:19 - as previously mentioned, this is one of my favourite songs on this album. That Eastern feeling is back, but this song is still separate from the other songs that use it. For one thing, Ferro's delivery is excellent on this song. He just fits in with the song, particularly with his extremely powerful growls in the first verse. While the verses and solo seem to have that Eastern influence, it switches to a more common metal style during the choruses that seems to fit in perfectly with the lyrics. As for the lyrics themselves, up until the chorus they're not that great. But when they hit the chorus, they're perfect for the song, and I'm sure that quite a few people can relate to them. I myself have had an experience where I tried to hide all my fears, but that just caused my nightmares to become real. Both heavy and original and with a fairly decent solo in the middle, this is definietly a great song. 07. Cold Heritage - I've always loved this song. Even though I'm usually into the heavier stuff, always have been, this song has stuck with me throughout the years. It might have something to do with the lyrics... at the time that I had recieved this album, I was going through something that I could relate to this song in almost every part of this song, especially the first verse: "Don't tell me why I'm so near to commit a crime, when I stay alone here in front of you... I'm here". This basically embodied what I was going through almost perfectly, and even the rest of the song had a strong resemblance, although not as strong as that one line. However, aside from my emotional connection to this song, this is by far the lightest song on the disc. I believe that it's important for every metal band to experiment with a light song at least once, and Lacuna Coil succeeded here. The only distorted guitars in this song are pushed way into the background, used more for emotional atmosphere rather than anything else. Aside from that, it's basically a light beat, bass and a clean guitar. Ferro doesn't make an appearance on this song, and Scabbia's vocals are just beautiful. The lyrics and the song intertwine together magnificently and it is, by far, the most different song on the album. The end result of all this is 5 and a half minutes of emotional awesomeness. 08. Distant Sun - I don't know what it is about this song, but it seems rather unspectacular to me. Perhaps it's because it's played straight after what I view to be the best 3 songs on the damn album, but I think it's more because it's just pretty damn boring. That's not to say it's bad, just a bit repetitive, and there's just nothing amazing about it, nothing that stands out, unlike just about every other song on this album. 09. A Current Obsession - I've never been the biggest fan of this song either, but it's still pretty good, a lot better than Distant Sun anyway. Maybe because it's fairly similar to the first 2 songs on this album. I will say, however, that Ferro's vocals on this song weren't bad. Not as good as they could have been, but not as bad as they usually are. Overall, once again, nothing really spectacular. 10. Wave Of Anguish - I like this song. It's pretty dark compared to the rest of the album. It's got a heavier chord progression and an overall heavier and darker feel. When it reaches the chorus, the feel changes to be much lighter, but immediately it changes back to dark and heavy. The lyrics seem to blend in almost perfectly with the song, giving some sort of sense of hopelessness, until the chorus where it shows a sense of longing. This is my favourite song after the 3 aforementioned awesome songs. 11. Lost Lullaby (bonus track) - I actually heard this song long before purchasing Unleashed Memories. This was a bonus track on the version of Comalies that I had gotten. It's a fairly good song, pretty light comparitively, good lyrics, some people may view the chorus as being a little repetitive but 2 things that I should mention. Listen to Pain Redefined by Disturbed. I think this is just a way of kinda emphasising those particular lyrics, and I actually like this style of emphasising. Although I don't believe it to be anything special, it's still not a bad song. In conclusion, there are a few songs which sound the same and therefore the album itself may be slightly repetitive, however the songs themselves are original compared to most other music you hear these days, and almost every song on this album is awesome in it's own way. If you enjoy listening to Lacuna Coil or are a fan of goth metal, go out and buy this album, however I suggest that if you want to hear something incredibly awesome, get Comalies.