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8/10

Lacuna Coil - ‘Shallow Life’

Victoria Durham
Victoria Durham 20 April at 16.00
Lacuna Coil - ‘Shallow Life’ Cover

Edgier, racier and more accessible than almost anything they’ve done to date...

Usually, the press blurb accompanying a new album will contain many grand and unsubstantiated claims. Not so with Lacuna Coil. On reading singer Cristina Scabbia’s comments about ‘Shallow Life’, you feel she’s been too modest. Describing the record as “a natural metamorphosis” and “a challenge” may be accurate, but it doesn’t reflect what a huge leap forward many of these songs are for the Italian sextet. Edgier, racier and more accessible than almost anything they’ve done to date, ‘Shallow Life’ is the sound of a band that’s reaping the rewards of over a decade in the business. Their trademark gothic metal is tempered by strong choruses and vibrant pop to create winning tracks with instant appeal. ‘I Won’t Tell You’ and ‘Not Enough’ are shining examples of this bold new approach; they’re powerful, coherent and memorable. Elsewhere, ‘I’m Not Afraid’ challenges Linkin Park in the dynamic rock stakes, and ‘I Like It’ is both seductive and rebellious. Unfortunately though, even good albums have low points, and for ‘Shallow Life’ that’s the second half. No doubt, you could argue that ‘The Pain’ and ‘The Maze’ showcase the band’s darker, atmospheric flipside. But the truth is they just sound a little lacklustre after such a show-stopping start.

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