Lacuna Coil – Black Anima Album Review

Lacuna Coil – Black Anima

Album Review By Rainer Kerber

The press release of the label refers to them as superstars. There are quite a few indications for this. More than two million albums have been sold worldwide. The official Lacuna Coil Facebook page has over a million likes. That sounds considerable. But the top metal bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden bring it on Likes in the tens of millions. And in the Female Fronted area, the top representatives (Nightwish, Within Temptation, Epica) have two to four million. OK, such numbers do not say everything. Nevertheless, one can say that the Milanese are among the most important rock and metal bands of the present. And they do, although they do not conform to the mainstream. Since 1994, the band is active, initially under the name “Sleep of Right”, later as “Ethereal”. Since the entry of Cristina Scabbia as the second singer (in addition to founding member Andrea Ferro) the band is called Lacuna Coil. Besides the two vocalists is still multi-instrumentalist Marco Coti-Zelati since the early days. Eight studio albums have been released so far, as well as several singles and EPs as well as a live album. Now the successor of the 2016er “Delirium” (Worldwide in the top 50 of many charts: DE: 33, UK: 42 US: 33) is in the starting blocks. Let’s listen in, in “Black Anima”.

The intro “Anima Nera” is intended to guide the listener into the gloom of the album. Industrial and spheric sounds, the ethereal vocals of Cristina Scabbia and the piano melody tune in to the following three-quarters of an hour. Probably one of the best intros I’ve heard in recent years. After the fade-out of the piano starts “Sword Of Anger”. Singing partner Andrea Ferro screams out his entire pent-up anger, supported by banging guitar riffs. These are joined by dark melodies. Andrea takes the growls a little bit back and lets some even hear his clear vocals. And Cristina forms, as usual, the vulnerable counterpart. “Reckless” was released as the second single of the album. Vocally Cristina Scabbia takes over the command here. In the chorus she ventures into extremely high tone ranges, so that the vocals sound somehow crazy. In this gloomy mood then fits the short, chaotic-looking guitar solo. The ticking of a big clock starts “Layers Of Time”. Bass and drums as well as the heavy riffs of the guitar dominate this song. Andrea’s harsh vocals adapts to the rough music. And it is always noteworthy how the songstress can assert herself with her voice in this sound-storm. For me “Apocalypse” is one of the best songs of the album. Although no less gloomy, here you can hear great melodies. Is there something like a gloomy anthem? Then you should invent the term for this song. The ingenious guitar solo is then the icing on the cake.

“Now Or Never” seems to have sprung from the soundtrack of a horror movie. This fast pace would ideally suit an escape from the horror. Even on “Under The Surface” Lacuna Coil do not allow themselves a respite. Mercilessly the drumming is driving. Both singers go easy on this high speed. The melodic chorus sung by Cristina stands in contrast to the heavyness of the sound and thus offers a small resting point. In “Veneficium” Cristina sings in Latin. The sound is reminiscent of the great Italian operas. Very epic. And certainly, another highlight of the album. In “The End Is All I Can See” you can hear again Industrial soundscape. A reminder of the gothic beginnings of the band. Cristina convinces with wonderful vocals, the duet with her vocal counterpart Andrea Ferro is simply heavenly. “Save Me” is then a very melodic, radio-compatible rock song. After a few spoken words, the singer initiates the last refrain with the cry for help “Save me from myself”. The title song “Black Anima” is the end of the album, introduced with a creepy-sounding e-piano. Also, this song would fit the soundtrack of horror movies. During the vocalises of Cristina you can hear again the powerful (roaring) vocals of Andrea Ferro.

With “Black Anima” Lacuna Coil have recorded probably the best album of their long career so far. Despite all the musical gloom, there are always positive sounding melodies to be heard. I rarely heard the change singing “The Beauty and the Beast” in such perfection. And completely without pathos. The Italians have taken a big step here to actually become really big superstars, at least in heavy metal.

Lacuna Coil – Reckless:


Cristina Scabbia – Vocals
Andrea Ferro – Vocals
Marco “Maki” Coti-Zelati – Guitars, Bass Guitar, Keyboards & Synths
Richard Meiz – Drums

Label: Century Media

Out: October 11th, 2019

Playing time: 44:05

Track list:

  • Anima Nera
  • Sword Of Anger
  • Reckless
  • Layers Of Time
  • Apocalypse
  • Now Or Never
  • Under The Surface
  • Veneficium
  • The End Is All I Can See
  • Save Me
  • Black Anima

Rating : 8.5/10

MHF Magazine/Rainer Kerber