Tag Archives: Lacuna Coil

Fluffrick’s Half-Year Hitters

The best thing that Delain have done to date? I should say so…

Inspired by Angry Metal Guy’s list, and because everybody loves a top ten (no matter how arbitrary they end up being), here’s my selection of the best records in 2012 so far.   I can’t really say that anything which I’ve picked up has been a massive disappointment, and I’ve even found a band in the form of Diabulus In Musica who I totally adore and had never heard of before taking a chance on their second release.  Excellent returns from old-hands, convincing albums from established Euro Metal acts and cracking debut collections – you can’t say fairer than that from a year, can you?

1) Delain“We Are The Others”.  Clearly the best album this gifted Dutch symphonic metal quintet have released so far – as much for the ways that it diverts from the established musical template of that genre whilst still retaining their identity.  It’s the kind of record with enough diversity that your favourite song will change with each listening session – for me, the late-album track “Are You Done With Me?” is an alternate universe smash hit, but “I Want You” is also a genius slab of knowingly overwrought, sweeping metal balladry whose lyrics take a delicious, twisted about face in the last minute or two.

2) Luca Turilli‘s Rhapsody“Ascending to Infinity”.  Face-melting operatic insanity from the former Rhapsody of Fire guitarist.  The soundtrack to movies not yet made, with a lovely cover of the Alessandro Safina opera/pop crossover hit, “Luna”, which somehow perfectly fits in with the neo-classical influence and metal flourishes evident elsewhere.

3) Epica“Requiem for the Indifferent”.  Confident, seemingly effortlessly melodic symphonic goodness from Simone Simons and co – but with the underpinning, genuinely metallic riffing and musicianship which carves the band out a distinctive place of their own amidst the multitude of European bands playing in a similar musical field.  This is a record which I’ll be returning to repeatedly in the months to come, ahead of the band’s UK tour at the end of 2012.

4) Van Halen“A Different Kind of Truth”.  I was an early doubter of this legendarily fractious band’s ability to bounce back, record a record and tour it without something bad happening.  Thankfully, that doubt is more than eclipsed by the quality of this album – it might be a selection of reworked seventies cuts which never made it onto studio records first time around, but the end release is classic Van Halen.  End of debate, I guess.  The proof’s in the likes of “Blood and Fire”, “She’s The Woman” and “Stay Frosty” – all evidence that the VH you know and love still has it.

Another band I’m seeing live this year – I see a pattern forming…

5) Firewind – “Few Against Many”.  A departure from Firewind’s expected Power Metal sound, introducing 70’s hard rock influences into the mix and doing it without sacrificing the riffs and splendid solos that you want from guitar genius, Gus G.

6) SabatonCarolus Rex.  Sweden’s finest purveyors of fist-pumping, martial tunes about war and gubbins head way back into Swedish history for a tale of divine presumption, flawed military campaigns and good old-fashioned hubris married to some of the best tunes they’ve ever written.  All that and inter-band strife which led to the group splintering and taking on a new rhythm section and guitarists right as the record released.  For my money – currently £5.00 and coffee stamp card for the local java palace – “Lion From The North” is the best damn thing that they’ve recorded yet.  I look forward to seeing Joakim and co. pile drive it into the faces of the faithful at their Sheffield show in November…

7) Lacuna Coil“Dark Adrenaline”.  Many fans were split on the merits of Lacuna Coil’s fifth album, Shallow Life.  I wasn’t one of those who didn’t care for it (There’s some classic tunes on there – “I Won’t Tell You”, “Underdog”, “The Pain”) but I think that most fans will agree that Lacuna Coil’s 2012 record is a genuine monster of an album – not that these things count, but it’s been the highest charting release in their career in many countries.   Sleek, modern production makes the likes of “Against You” and “Tell Me Something More” sound impressively huge and expansive – a progressive and contemporary sounding record which skilfully integrates their electronic underpinnings with fantastic, gut-punching riffs and solos.  Modern Metal for the discerning?  I should say so.

8) Halestorm  –“The Strange Case Of…”.  I’m inclined to say that this is the closest thing that this list will get to provoking controversy, as in some corners this band is very much persona non grata – a radio-friendly US rock quartet led by noted spell-check confoundress, Lzzy Hale whose tunes have been tearing up US radio and sneaking into “Glee”, just for the hell of it.  There’s no doubt that they have their detractors, but I’m not one of them and I’m pretty sure that this record is a quantum jump forward from their debut album.

That wasn’t a terrible record by any sensible application of the term, but it pales in comparison to this record – go and listen to “American Boys” or “I Miss The Misery” and be hooked by the riffs, Lzzy’s voice – which goes from zero to ‘whisky-soaked, bar-room fight starting hellion’ in five seconds flat.    Not Metal, but bloody magnificent.

9) Diabulus in Musica“The Wanderer”.  This appallingly photogenic band of Spanish symphonic metallers are one of the few bands with the ‘beauty & the beast’ vocal divergence that I can get behind without feeling slightly as though I’m being growled and simpered at by a sugar-deprived Cookie Monster and his mate, Dame Olivia Von Divason.  The symphonic synths, galloping guitars and dark operatic vocals on “Ex Nihilo” make for some of my favourite tunes of the year – in fact, it may be my favourite trad metal song of 2012.  UK shows, please!

10) End of September – Self-titled.  One of the bands that I’ve discovered through a review in the UK’s “Power Play” rock magazine, and a genuinely nice surprise.  Hailing from Sweden and straddling the middle ground between Delain, contemporary Within Temptation and, say, Kamelot, End of September have a female vocalist in Elin Redin who doesn’t go for operatic flourishes but a soulful, distinctive and plaintive tone which serves the band excellently.  If you love your rock big, dramatic but not veering into the full-on metal attack of many groups in this top ten, End of September are a band that you’ll definitely want to listen out for.  Their single “Isolated” is a great indicator of their sound – if you like that, you’ll love their album.

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Sonisphere line-up confirmed…

Yes, that is F1 driver Lewis Hamilton with Kiss. No idea, mate, no idea...

Our initial suspicions proved correct – Queen with Adam Lambert on vocals are headlining Saturday and Faith No More close proceedings on Sunday at this years UK leg of the Sonisphere festivals, with Kiss kicking things off on Friday.  Quite a decent line-up, if truth be told.

All Time Low fans? Ghost is probably not your band...

To add to the headliners, we’ve got the likes of Marilyn Manson, reunited Swedish punk audio nail bomb Refused (really keen to see what they’re looking like now), Mastodon, The Darkness, French metallurgists Gojira and Swedish Occult Rock mentalists Ghost.

Tim Minchin - It's like he's looking directly at you, isn't it?

Not finished yet – not by a long chalk.  Lacuna CoilYES! – are confirmed alongside fellow European symphonic rock royalty, Within Temptation.  Occasional motivational speaker and full-tilt party metal eccentric Andrew W.K. returns to the UK, multi-million selling Evanescence, the previously confirmed Cypress Hill, flour friendly goths Fields Of The Nephilim, Boston punks Flogging Molly, Aussie RAWK! outfit Wolfmother, Swedish doomsters Katatonia and, in the Bill Bailey role of straddling music and comedy, the splendid Tim Minchin are all now confirmed to play.

Incubus. Can you feel the rock? Hmm...well...

Currently rounding out the bill are Welsh rockers The BlackoutI Killed The Prom Queen, Incubus and Switchfoot too.

That’s a decent line-up, I think – If you’re not going to Download, there’s more than enough variety and periods of rock music covered for people to not feel at all short-changed by the line-up.  I would imagine we’ll have at least a few more announcements between now and the festival proper at the beginning of July.

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Fluffrick’s iPod Shuffle Follies 2: The Quickening!

The initial post in this series went down pretty well first time around.  Either a lot of you are interested in music or utterly bewildered by the noise which occupies my iDevices.

With that in mind, these are the five tracks which randomly played when hitting ‘shuffle’ on dear old Poddy today:

(1) “Feeling Alive” Glamour of the Kill

They've got a thing for fringe...

They may look as though they’ve stepped out of a Sunset Strip rock club, but they’re from the less glamorous and  more historical city of York, in the north of England.   They’ve got the requisite post-Emo looks for the “Kerrang!” generation of rock fans and songs which harken back to vintage Motley Crue with more contemporary metalcore touches.  Love ’em.

(2) “A Different World” Iron Maiden

The second single from the metal legends’ 2006 album, “A Matter of Life & Death”.   If you like Iron Maiden, you’ll know how their sound had developed by this release to include a distinctive progressive rock influence alongside the galloping rhythms and soaring guitars which have long been their musical trademark.

(3) “Holy Diver”Dio

Throw your horns up for the late, great RJD

Ah, the late great Ronnie James.  Former singer for Black Sabbath after Ozzy departed for the first time and full-time rock legend.  If you’re not into rock and metal, you might best know him from his appearance in the Tenacious D movie “The Pick of Destiny”.  Ronnie James Dio passed away after fighting a battle against stomach cancer in 2010.  He was 67 years old.

(4) “Unchained”Lacuna Coil

Rocking out in binary colours, Lacuna Coil.

It’s fairly inevitable that something by the Italian maestros of melancholic metal might pop up in one of these shuffle sessions, as I’m more than a bit partial to their music – this is from their 2009 release, “Shallow Life”.

(5) “Love Will Set You Free” – Whitesnake

Ain't no love/in the heart of the outside promotional photo shoot...

Disgraceful, twinkly-eyed old reprobate David Coverdale and the latest line-up of his blues-influenced hard rockers released their latest album “Forevermore” last year and this was the first single from it.

An intriguing selection this time around – I’m not sure that Lacuna Coil transition smoothly into Whitesnake but that’s kind of how this series of posts works.  The Church of Rock?  ‘Tis an unpredictable thing and no mistake.

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Lacuna Coil – “Dark Adrenaline” studio footage and preview clips

The best bands always look like a bit like gangs - discuss?

As I gear up for the release of Lacuna Coil’s new album “Dark Adrenaline” at the end of January, it’s always good to feed the inner music geek with fresh studio footage and gossip via Blabbermouth.

There’s also the third part of an online teaser video series up on YouTube – mini slasher movie, anybody?  Each released clip has been quite fun, with the second chapter – featuring singer Andrea getting his Count Orlok on – almost qualifying as suitable material for one of my “A Season of Vamps” posts.

The whole ‘metal/rock/vampire’ cross-over music video round-up has to be a winner and no mistake…

 

 

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Lacuna Coil – “Trip the Darkness” video online

Hmm...binary.

If you were to hop over to US clothing chain Hot Topic’s website , you could get all the US dates for their forthcoming tour – they’re part of Megadeth’s ‘Gigantour’ touring festival, with Motorhead and Volbeat.

Sounds sweet to me.

And if you head over to Hot Topic’s YouTube channel, you can catch the video for “Trip the Darkness”, which has some very neat yin/yang-style visuals.

Hey up - it's Cristina Scabbia rocking the house!

Their new album, “Dark Adrenaline”, is out in Europe and the US in January – or as soon as a certain, river-based retailer ships my copy to me.

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Lacuna Coil – live video of “Kill the Light”

How Darkcore? None more Darkcore.

Found this via Blabbermouth.net, and thought that the Lacuna Coil fans out there would be interested – live video of new song “Kill the Light” from the Glasgow show at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, from YouTubist VonBat1.

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Lacuna Coil/Straight Line Stitch, Corporation, Sheffield, 04/11/2011

Alexis from Straight Line Stitch rocking an appreciative crowd...

So, I went to a gig last week, which in my world is a thing.  And on my own, too. Somehow, that doesn’t seem like quite the badge of sadness that it might once have been – when your other half doesn’t get into the same music that you do (but is wholly supportive of your enthusiasm for it), and you would quite like to see a band, then it makes sense to go along and see that band whilst rolling solo – because who knows when you’ll get a chance to see a band again.  Not that I had tickets to see Refused or At The Drive-In back in the day or anything quite so dramatic, but I think you get the picture.

The band in question that so spurred me into action is Italy’s finest purveyors of glacially cool metallic melancholia, Lacuna Coil, who I am quite a fan of – they’ve got heaviness but don’t stint on melody, do the male/female co-vocals thing and rock the odd song sung in their native language, which is a fine change of pace in this Anglophone world in which we live.  They are a band with style and can certainly boast an evolution in their sound, which is ongoing even if it doesn’t always connect with critics.  I had never seen them before but they’re got a very decent reputation live and I was more than keen to see whether it was justified.

Added to that was the fact that they were playing the Corporation in Sheffield, which is possibly my favourite place to see bands in Sheffield – it’s not very big, the crowd’s friendly and diverse and on a Friday night, whenever I’ve been, the gig’s usually done by 10:00pm to allow the Club Night to start – a fact remarked upon with some bemusement and ethereal comic disdain by Melissa Auf Der Maur when I saw her last year.

Supporting Lacuna Coil this time around were Straight Line Stitch, who I had heard a few songs by prior to the show and embodied that most welcome of live music cliches – a band who is much heavier live than they are on record.

They came, they rocked, they smashed up the joint - in a metaphorical way...

Alexis the singer was quite the live wire, as you might expect for a front person, and operated on the principle that the crowd wasn’t necessarily expecting a support band with quite as heavy a sound as SLS has.  She worked the audience with aplomb, bigging-up Lacuna Coil, thanking the fans between songs, inviting us to go and hang out in the merch room after their set and generally did her best to introduce the band to a new set of fans, leaping up and down and head-banging herself into a right old state. I felt very bloody old watching her, but utterly entertained at the same time.

The Straight Line Stitch sound is somewhere betwixt the Metalcore style of a band like Avenged Sevenfold or Killswitch Engage, with a hint of the impassioned, raging vocals of Bring Me The Horizon or Parkway Drive. We’re talking grinding beat-downs, vocals so harsh and startling that they could easily peel paint from the walls at fifty paces and drums so satisfyingly meaty that you could feel them in your chest – which isn’t to say that SLS were unlistenably harsh but more that they attacked from the outset and made it their task to win people over – I’m pretty sure that they did, as people were going absolutely nuts for them from where I was standing.

The best song that they played was “Conversion”, which is brutal metalcore at it’s best – grunted verses, soaring melodic chorus and a pummeling riff which went to interesting time-signature-based places.  Plus, pounding double-bass runs from the drummer.

If they were the surprise of the night, Lacuna Coil were equally satisfying and so completely worth going to see that I really hope to see them if they make it to the UK next year after the release of “Dark Adrenaline”.

Lacuna Coil, rocking it last Friday night in Sheffield

The band played stuff from all over their career – with a couple of new songs from “…Adrenaline” thrown in to test out the crowd’s reaction, to good effect.

Highlights for me were “Heaven’s a Lie” – I apologise to those around me who were regaled with a caterwauling, out-of-key rendition of the chorus not once but twice – and “I Won’t Tell You” (ditto), with “Swamped” also standing out alongside new tune, “Kill The Light”.

The band was a few shows into the tour and very polished – I get the sense that this was very much the same kind of show that they might play outside at a festival in Europe or in a larger hall.  Though this was a smaller house than they might regularly play, I didn’t get the sense that they were going through well-rehearsed motions or phoning a performance in – not at all.  They’ve been around a fairly long time now and know how to play to a crowd – if Andrea’s singing lead, Cristina Scabbia supports and doesn’t have to grab attention – similarly, Andrea backs up his co-lead singer on her lead lines.

Lights! Phone Camera! Lacuna Coil rocks!

If you get a chance to see them on this tour – or the next – be sure to grab it.  They’re melodic, dark, heavy and quintessentially European Metal with a touch of melancholic class which is very particular to them.

Loved it.

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