Lacuna Coil – Shallow Life

shallowlifeLacuna Coil’s stock-in-trade, the gothic-metal-power-ballad, comes in two forms – slow and fast. The fast songs have a guitar hook and some crushing riffs, soaring Cristina Scabbia choruses, and puzzling male vocals. They are short. The slow songs are melodically pleasing and atmospheric. Like AC/DC or The Hives, they do the same songs again and again, and their new albums are refinements, not revolutions. Shallow Life is the sound of this system breaking down. Every song has a similar tempo, structure, and melody to the one previous, and the directions they go in are not complimentary to LC’s strengths: Scabbia’s vocals have been toned down, with far less range, so the almost universally insipid lyrics are foregrounded. Maybe they should have sung everything in Italian, so the stupidities of “I Like It” and “I’m Not Afraid” were limited to the feel of the over-compressed generic music. Lacuna Coil are usually reliable. Here they’re boring.

Rating: C-

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