Lacuna Coil - Black Anima review



Reviewer:
2.5

117 users:
7.31
Band: Lacuna Coil
Album: Black Anima
Release date: October 2019


01. Anima Nera
02. Sword Of Anger
03. Reckless
04. Layers Of Time
05. Apocalypse
06. Now Or Never
07. Under The Surface
08. Veneficium
09. The End Is All I Can See
10. Save Me
11. Black Anima
12. Black Feathers [bonus]
13. Through The Flames [bonus]
14. Black Dried Up Heart [bonus]


Fuck it, let's talk about Black Anima...


Lacuna Coil was once one of my favorite gothic metal bands of all time. This was back in 2014 while I was in high school, where my obsession with Lacuna Coil peaked. In fact, they were one of the three gothic metal bands that led me to dig deeper into the gothic metal genre. However, as I discover more obscure, high-quality bands, my love for Lacuna Coil has decayed, and no album put the nail on the coffin for my love of Lacuna Coil more than Black Anima.

For the longest time, I have defended that Lacuna Coil still has their gothic sound with Broken Crown Halo, and a little bit on Delirium. With Black Anima, it's safe to say that this has zero traces of gothic metal influence that I can pick up with my ears. This is where I start to believe that this is more alternative or metalcore-sounding than on albums like Comalies and Broken Crown Halo. I thought I was in a Bizarro world criticizing this album in the past while the rest of people have been modest about it, and there's rarely an album for which I have so much disdain. Even Celtic Frost's Cold Lake or Metallica's St. Anger I can say at least one or two good things about the album, even if it manages to entirely fail. That's not the case with Black Anima; I can argue that this album is much worse than Shallow Life, and I can't find one redeeming quality about the album.

So what's so bad about Black Anima?

Let's start with the music: the music is really generic. The riffs are stale and the use of breakdowns has diminished a lot of the enjoyment for me. Lacuna Coil has said that this is their heaviest album. Nothing wrong with getting heavier or changing into a different style of music; it picks up where Delirium sounded, but they were not catchy, they were more repetitive. The worst part about the music is how each song begins, with each track starting either with that generic bassline inspired by Korn or electronic-sounding keys that provide no ounce of atmosphere. Even Delirium had soundscapes that were more atmospheric than this entire album. These electronic sounds plague the album to the point that it sounds too mainstream for my ears, rivalling Nightwish's current sound. The music all felt too unoriginal and predictable, like the band was trying to be a second-rate Korn band, but with a female singer.

My biggest criticism of Lacuna Coil's career is of course the lyrics. For some reason with every album released, I feel the band's lyricism has gone weaker since grabbing a wider audience with Karmacode. There are ways to write a theme of "I'm feeling hurt, but nothing will stand in our way" in a sophisticated matter, but it is not shown here. Black Anima's lyrics are so blatant and generic that it makes the album cover look deceiving with the tone and theme of the album. As with Shallow Life, album titles are so generic that you can take most of these words and turn them into two sentences of puns.

"Save me from the sword of anger and the layers of time. Under the surface, the end is all I can see through the flames of a reckless Apocalypse."

There's really no point in hoping that Lacuna Coil would return to their lyrical glory days of Unleashed Memories and Comalies because the imagination is void.

Shockingly enough, the vocals on Black Anima are not really that good either. The majority of the vocals are dominated by Andrea Ferro's constant growling. He has done this with a few early albums like Unleashed Memories, but here this all sounds too stale and generic. As for Cristina Scabbia, there is not much for her to do to make her performance sound unique. Sure, there is that moment in "Veneficium" where she was able to bring some power into her performance, but I know she can do much better when looking at the rest of the band's discography. I want to say that her vocals have deteriorated, but it's more unoriginal than bad, much like the entire album. I didn't think it was possible for a Lacuna Coil album to have me not like the vocal performance, it's almost amazing.

It's quite obvious that Black Anima is one of the worst albums I've ever heard and the biggest letdown of 2019. Coming from me, who rarely hates on an album and finds some good qualities in most records, that means a lot. I will give respect to those that like this album and that is alright. However, whatever defenses anyone throws at me to help me change my mind about this album, I can't recommend this album. Even though Shallow Life is a bad album there are at least a few songs there that I like that make me want to go back to that album, but with Black Anima, there's no song that I enjoyed. Not only did this album make me feel less anticipated for new Lacuna Coil albums, but it made me want to have an enema.

Written by Gothic Metalhead | 06.11.2020


 


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments

Comments: 8   Visited by: 47 users
06.11.2020 - 12:38
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
When i was in school, i ignore this one, I was in true metal then, it was not for me. Same feeling i have now, few songs, not albums.
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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06.11.2020 - 17:00
Gothic Metalhead
Pro Introvert
Written by Bad English on 06.11.2020 at 12:38

When i was in school, i ignore this one, I was in true metal then, it was not for me. Same feeling i have now, few songs, not albums.


I'll still be a fan of their music(I painted their logo on the back of my gothic metal jacket), but I doubt I'm gonna be excited for the next album after this one.
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06.11.2020 - 17:14
Elisyon
Lol are you kidding me?? one of their best albums so far. hope they make more of this!
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06.11.2020 - 18:50
Gothic Metalhead
Pro Introvert
Written by Elisyon on 06.11.2020 at 17:14

Lol are you kidding me?? one of their best albums so far. hope they make more of this!


At least you like it though and that's alright. But I'm not kidding I didn't really enjoy this album.
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08.11.2020 - 16:05
boo-boo
Not here to defend the direction LC chose after (let's say) Karmacode, but honestly...I get that you're angry, man, but the 2,5 rating says a lot more about your feelings than it does about the album.
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World won't end today - it's already tomorrow in Australia.
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08.11.2020 - 21:23
Gothic Metalhead
Pro Introvert
Written by boo-boo on 08.11.2020 at 16:05

Not here to defend the direction LC chose after (let's say) Karmacode, but honestly...I get that you're angry, man, but the 2,5 rating says a lot more about your feelings than it does about the album.


I understand what your saying. At the end of the day this isn't anything personal for LC it's really just my honest opinion. Even with the rest of their albums I have something good to say and would be more sparing with how I would rate their discography, this was just the first time I actually didn't enjoy at all from LC. I enjoyed shallow life more because theirs at least some good things I would say about it and some songs I liked that made me go back to it.
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08.11.2020 - 22:58
nikarg
Mod
Ok, your review made me listen to Lacuna Coil for the first time in a very long while, since I dropped the band completely when they dropped gothic themselves. It's not often that we see a 2.5 after all. You are right, this doesn't sound like LC at all. I cannot say if it objectively lies between "very bad" and "pure shit" (which is what your rating suggests) but subjectively it is pretty bad indeed because I personally hate this metalcore/alternative bullcrap type of music with illimitable passion. However, I can understand that people who are into this style may actually enjoy this album and I respect that.

p.s.1 I cannot find anything listenable in either St Anger or Cold Lake but that's another discussion.
p.s.2 "Veneficium" is listenable.
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08.11.2020 - 23:38
Gothic Metalhead
Pro Introvert
Written by nikarg on 08.11.2020 at 22:58

Ok, your review made me listen to Lacuna Coil for the first time in a very long while, since I dropped the band completely when they dropped gothic themselves. It's not often that we see a 2.5 after all. You are right, this doesn't sound like LC at all. I cannot say if it objectively lies between "very bad" and "pure shit" (which is what your rating suggests) but subjectively it is pretty bad indeed because I personally hate this metalcore/alternative bullcrap type of music with illimitable passion. However, I can understand that people who are into this style may actually enjoy this album and I respect that.

p.s.1 I cannot find anything listenable in either St Anger or Cold Lake but that's another discussion.
p.s.2 "Veneficium" is listenable.


I'm happy to hear that you've been listening to LC. The rest of their career hasn't been too bad though nothing can beat unleashed memories or comalies. I was immune to the changes that they made with Karmacode to delirium because there are always good music to listen to in these albums. I did give this album .5 more points because Veneficium is the closest I liked about this album.

I know many can't find St. Anger listenable, I'm just one of those people that thinks it's a "so bad it's good" album
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