Released: 2012, End Of The Light Records
Lullacry return with their sixth LP in 2012’s WHERE ANGELS FEAR, and first since 2005’s ancient VOL.4, which sounds nothing like the Sabbath classic, be assured. In 2005, female-fronted metal was selling like pancakes, and VOL. 4 attempted to cash in on the craze. In the end, it was a mediocre and calculated album, fooling no one with its starry eyed ambition. Also, consider that at one point the band was called Sentenced with a female singer, but that is no longer the case. This is Lacuna Coil circa Karmacode’s down tuned and dull riffs with a singer in Tanja that has a more limited range than Cristina, or so the first track would have you believing. You would be completely justified for calling it a day after “Antidote To You”, about as poor and generic a choice they could have picked to open the album. The lead-off track contains every pop/goth/female-fronted metal cliché in the book, the kind that provides ammunition to all the detractors who said “I told you so”. Not helping matters image-wise is the attractive centerpiece, Tanja Laino. Her promo photo has her looking like Kate Beckinsale in the Underworld movies, a guise designed to catch the male eye, but it is the teenage girl audience that Lullacry’s music seems to court. Paradox. Make no mistake, the landscape in symphonic female- fronted metal has changed since the last limp release, and Lullacry have embraced that change drawing on Evanescence and Lacuna Coil for inspiration.
Fortunately, Lullacry still have their one key strength, which is the ability to write catchy songs with memorable choruses and after track one, the album picks up strength. The detuned riffs never really depart, and the guitars sound so processed, cold, and effects laden, that they are really a weakness rather than a strength. However, the melodies of many of the songs are infectious, such as on “Thousand Suns”, which sticks primarily to a thick palm mute guitar chug, the song recalling Beseech at their most promising. The bridge and chorus are probably among the best by Tanja on the album, a worthy and well-rounded tune. “Feel My Revenge” follows, with some clean picked passages for the verse line and a crunching chorus that hearkens to Lacuna Coil as Mikko Herranen formerly of Misery Inc. shares vocals with Tanja.
The rest of the album continues in much the same vein, professionally performed but with no surprises or anything that has not been done a thousand times in this genre of music. Lyrically, Lullacry have always been clichéd lightweights, and there is no improvement on this release. Lullacry just sounds uninspired and out of ideas, really drawing from a well that has gone dry. You can hear a lot of writer’s block on here and while there are elements of heaviness, the band seems content to shoot for European top 40 radio, convinced that their past body of work will be enough to carry what is in sum an average album.
I mean, if you are already a fan of the band then you will be happy to hear the consistency and more of the same. But, to hear the huge lead the competition has, just listen to Within Temptation’s THE UNFORGIVEN to see how far the trophy is out of reach. Despite this, WHERE ANGELS FEAR is a respectable release with a core group of listenable tunes; it’s just fairly generic and lacking in originality. This is recommended for current fans and fans of pop-oriented female-fronted metal, like recent Lacuna Coil albums. Note: This review refers to WHERE ANGELS FEAR that will be released in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe in March. North America and the rest of Europe in will see the release in April.