Dark Adrenaline - Lacuna Coil
Dark Adrenaline - Lacuna Coil (2012)
Alternative Rock / Nu-Metal / Industrial Rock
There comes a certain time when a band in decline enters a creative dead end that they can never leave. I mean, most bands will release a few terrible efforts before picking up their socks and either outdoing themselves or managing to create music that isn’t terrible; others will continue on, destroying their legacy and becoming a mockery of themselves and their music. Lacuna Coil seem to have entered that dead end, ever since the band decided to drop their gloomy riffs and melancholic atmosphere and replace it with groovy, generic, alternative rock/metal riffs halfway through 2002’s Comalies. And as always for legit metal bands who make that shameful, shameful jump to hard/alternative rock, nu/alt metal, aggro rock etc (whatever your name for down-tuned alternative rock containing a heavy production similar to metal, but the heart—and shame—of industrial rock and grunge i.e. Drowning Pool, Evanescence, or Disturbed), it turned out terribly. Unfortunately for Lacuna Coil’s metal fans, this sound had a massive audience at the time and thus the style was a hit with the radio rock crowd.
Although Lacuna Coil will need to release another 4 albums of consistently terrible material if they want to claim the crap crown from current leaders, Queensryche (Suckin ass since '94!)
Two albums after their clear move into trendy territory on Karmacode, Lacuna Coil are back withDark Adrenaline, as they once again put forth a painfully noticeable effort to try and appeal to as many people as possible. I think the most irritating thing about this album is that there are songs that sound like Lacuna Coil imitating their own imitators, but even then failing to pull that off by mixing in other, uncomplimentary trendy elements. In some songs they use the same mid-paced and moody, yet painfully bland riffing similar to Evanescence but while such a comparison is an insult in itself, the band adds vapid, techno-like doodads here and there, because it’s 2012 and everything has to have over-loud, synthy bollocks, right? (WRONG!!!). My boiling point for this terrible musical formula was reached when they used it to cover R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion.” And to answer your questions: Yes, it’s as bad as it sounds and no, it’s not redeemable in any way, shape, or form.
Lacuna Coil. No, wait. I mean Evanescence...Yes? Wait...Yeah. Yeah, Evanesoil...?
Cristina and Andrea’s vocals are still technically good and show little age other than the continued absence of Andrea’s harsh vocals (although that was a given considering the band’s commercial philosophy). But in their best efforts at mass appeal, they both show off their ability to sound like pop singers, often sounding stunningly similar to Katy Perry and Chad Kroeger respectively. Yikes! Also, for some reason the band has an affinity for bass guitar-driven songs here, and Marco clearly read Meshuggah’s Bass Riffing For Dummies prior to the recording, as there are quite a few signs of the prog-metal giant’s style strewn throughout here, albeit done terribly. A lot of the time poor Marco verges on funky, rap/rock bass lines à la Korn instead of the head-spinning, calculated madness he was aiming for. I think there’s drumming on here somewhere, but Katy & Kroeger, the obnoxious techno-y doodads, and terrible alt rock riffs cover it up most of the time.
All of this is terrible. Like, really bland and terrible. I’m sure if you liked Karmacode this might be good, but since I can’t fathom how anyone could stand that release in itself, I can’t make a objective call. Both albums try so hard to appeal, but end up mixing the wrong combinations on their smorgasbord of generic crap, thus falling flat on their faces. I guess it’s kind of heavier than the previous two records, but in all honesty it doesn’t matter when all the riffs have no substance past that. I’m used to gothic metal bands having soppy, over-dramatic melancholy in their music, but that over-dramatic melancholy turns into superficial whining when you abandon, you know, the gothic and metal aspects. What we seem to be left with is a piece of music so painfully infused with tasteless melodrama and teen angst that it fits better as the soundtrack to a Twilight fangirl’s poetry book than as the album of a band that was once known for metal. I don’t know, I just thought bands were supposed to mature with time, not the opposite. Either way, if you’re like me and hate everything post-Comalies, this is another one for the DO NOT LISTEN file, i.e. the recycle bin. If you liked Karmacode onward, you’ll probably find this falls somewhat below expectations in that regard as well. 2.5/10
Best Songs: the part where my swiss army knife pierces my eardrum and brings sweet, sweet deafness to my increasingly bleeding ear canal.