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Album Review: LACUNA COIL Broken Crown Halo

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Lacuna Coil has generally stuck with their strengths in the mainstream with their brand of gothic metal without drifting too much into uncharted territory. However, their last few albums have seen a little less of the more melodic and gothic flavors in favor for a more simpler and alt metalish sound. Their previous album, Dark Adrenaline, brought them back to what we’re used to hearing from them and ended up being a really solid release in general. Hopefully, on Broken Crown Halo, this trend can continue.

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I have a feeling Broken Crown Halo is going to be an important album for the band. Not long before the release of this album, longtime guitarist Cristiano Migliore and drummer Cristiano Mozzati announced their retirement, making this album the last full collaboration from the usual line up. This could probably mark a change in their sound in the future, so Broken Crown Halo could be the last benchmark for Lacuna Coil. Well, I suppose that sounded less sensational than I originally thought, but losing a longtime guitarist really isn’t something to be taken lightly. So hopefully Broken Crown Halo delivers on what the fans really want and love.

Honestly, on my first couple of listens of this album, I really didn’t like it. It just seemed pretty boring to me. Some songs like “Zombie”, “Die & Rise”, and even the single “Nothing Stands in Our Way” just seemed like pretty generic alt metal with a female singer. The fact that the album starts with some of those songs doesn’t really help its case either, and some more of that sound pops up later in the album as well. And not that alt metal is a bad thing, as their sound has delved a little into that realm in the past, but it’s just nothing spectacular. There may be keyboard sounds laced within those tracks as well but it doesn’t really add too much flair to them to make them anything more than they are, which is just boring.

However, other tracks in the album like “Cybersleep”, “Victims”, and “I Burn In You” really demonstrate what the band can do really well. It’s not so much focused on a heavy riff, and it’s also not just focused on a lot of synth or Cristina Scabbia’s voice. It’s really just everything wrapped into one singular package to enjoy. They’re certainly still heavy, the chord progressions can move in unexpected ways to give off more of the dark-ish vibe, and they’re still pretty catchy as well. Once I got to some of these songs, it got me listening to Broken Crown Halo more and more. And when I feel like having a re-listen, I tend to just skip right to these songs and enjoy them just immensely.

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There’s also a pretty cool track dedicated to an ex-bandmate who died in 2013 called “One Cold Night.” It’s probably the most melodic song on the album, and probably the darkest at that, but it’s also my favorite song as well. It begins with a cool music box melody with strings and deep piano gradually layering over it, and only gets a little louder once the electric guitars come into play. It just stays on this general plane of sadness and gloom with not as much focused energy, which I think contrasts itself well from the other songs on the album.

I really wanted to give this whole album a pretty negative review, but I just couldn’t; it got me pretty well. There are definitely some songs than can be forgotten, but there are also a good chunk of songs that definitely should not be forgotten and given special attention. I mean, if we’re comparing their last two albums, Dark Adrenaline was probably a better album. But while I can’t say all of Broken Crown Halo is a winner, there are still lots of shining moments akin to what the band is most known for doing. This isn’t really a good representation of the best of Lacuna Coil, but it’s still a great album for the band and for the fans as well.

"Nothing Stands In Our Way"

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