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Lacuna Coil
Unleashed Memories
May 2001
Released: 2001, Century Media
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Rick

When I think of Italian metal I usually think of powermetal bands like Rhapsody, White Skull and Labyrinth. Well I have been overlooking one great band in Lacuna Coil. I have heard a track or 2 from this band in the past but have never had the opportunity to hear a full CD until now. UNLEASHED MEMORIES is the latest release from Lacuna Coil and only their second full length CD. The bands first release was their e.p. .LACUNA COIL (1998) followed by their first full CD IN A REVERIE (1999) and finally the HALFLIFE e.p. released in 2000. Incidentally, this E.P. is included at the end UNLEASHED MEMORIES. A real bonus! By the way, If I haven’t already mentioned it... Lacuna Coil play gothic metal and the lineup is Cristina Scabbia: female vocals, Andrea Ferro: male vocals, Cristiano Migliore: guitars, Marco Biazzi: guitars, Marco Coti Zelati: bass and Cristiano Mozzatti: drums and percussion.

As I started listening to the CD I figured out right away that Lacuna Coil, while playing gothic styled metal, was in no hurry to leave the guitars behind. I have had the opportunity to listen to a number of other gothic metal bands and one of the faults that I always find is that the guitar is sacrificed for the sake of atmosphere. Lacuna Coil throws that theory out the window. The music is not wall to wall shredding by any means but they do not bury the guitar so far back in the mix that it becomes just a muddy noise indistinguishable within the song. "To Live is To Hide" is a great example of this idea. The guitars are up front as is the beautiful voice of Cristina Scabbia. This woman has a very haunting and melodic voice which gives Lacuna Coil much of its unique sound. The ethereal "Purify" exudes emotion as Scabbia draws the listener into her pain. The band perform the track "Senzafine" in Italian. Though I have no idea what is being said, the Italian language just fits this type of music so well. "1:19" is probably my favourite track on the disc. Andrea Ferro delivers some almost death metal growls which add a perfect counterpoint to Scabbia’s tormented voice. Along with the ten songs from UNLEASHED MEMORIES are the 5 songs which comprise the HALFLIFE e.p. The title track "Halflife" is probably the heaviest song that I have heard from Lacuna Coil. Ferro also uses a rougher vocal style on the e.p. which makes it stand out from the newer tracks.

Gothic Metal is often accused is being less heavy than other genres of our beloved heavy music. It might not have the in your face guitars of death metal or the relentless double bass drum pounding of powermetal but it does have as much emotion and intensity as any other metal genre. When you want something a little more laid back and relaxing but still metal then check out some Lacuna Coil.

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