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Lacuna Coil - Shallow Life review


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Band: Lacuna Coil
Album: Shallow Life
Release date: April 2009

01. Survive
02. I Won't Tell You
03. Not Enough
04. I'm Not Afraid
05. I Like It
06. Underdog
07. The Pain
08. Spellbound
09. Wide Awake
10. The Maze
11. Unchained
12. Shallow Life
13. The Last Goodbye [Deluxe Edition bonus]
14. Leaving Alone [Deluxe Edition bonus]
15. Oblivion [Deluxe Edition bonus]

Lacuna Coil has a new album, I think I like it. I do, the Italian iconic historic Gothic act has released a new work and it's not that bad at all, yes, not t h a t bad. I once reviewed their first full-length album, the tender and warm In A Reverie which is at the beginning section of their artistic evolution scale and now here we have the steely and much more aggressive Shallow Life. The journey once taken on the same path side by side with their comrades The Gathering has been leading into a separate direction for a long time already but this is the furthest point from the warm and mellow poetry from their early days.

The overall structure of the album is quite firm and made up of more or less fast and catchy songs with a small proportion of slower songs out of which one stands up as a quite beautiful ballad. One aspect that has angered many people, namely the presence of sounds so familiar from nu-metal groups becomes evident already in the first track, but to protect the band a bit I must say that the rawness of the style shared by bands such as Slipknot and Korn is toned down by Lacuna Coil even though they do use similar instrumental effects in their later works. That smooth softness is still in the air that was created on the first albums and no one can deny that Cristina Scabbia is one lovely singer. This is where the musical journey has taken the band and, to be honest, Lacuna Coil has managed to incorporate all the musical effects into their work and have not forgotten to add their own original sauce to all of it.

All in all every album of Lacuna Coil has its pros and cons. This one is similar to Karmacode but the layout of pros and cons appears in a slightly different way. Karmacode had a strong and catchy part in the beginning and lost the grip in some places in the end, the strength of Shallow Life is a bit more equally distributed along the length of the whole tracklist. But then again the differences are only minor.

The best songs I would like to point out are "Survive" and "Not Enough" appear as the catchier ones and serve as potential "hit songs", "Wide Awake" stands out among the slower songs and the best of the best from this album is "Spellbound", a perfect song which actually does recall that good soft Gothic movement of the band's past days now appearing in new fine form fit for new days. And a particular song that caught my attention is "I Like It", a simple song with a simple message and a hilarious video. Why are we listening to their work anyway, we like'em, and why are they making music for us, they like it. It's that simple. With all this I wish success for the band and hope to hear more from them soon.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9

Written by Ernis | 15.07.2009


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


Comments: 8   Visited by: 135 users
15.07.2009 - 23:50
Liver Failure
It is an ok album. I liked I liked .. it is the best song of the album absolutly.
The other are decent as always, but in every album they release I like less of this band...

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
16.07.2009 - 00:03
Red Nightmare
The review is OK, if you like this album it has surely nothing to do with me...but I think this is pure crap. One of the very worst albums I've listened in my life. Songs are plain, boring, without any soul. Just a terrible album.
IntoPlighT said: "Slipknot is 15 years old how the fuck is that Nu metal?"

19.07.2009 - 14:44
Au Pays Natal
Hmmm...I like the album...It's what I've come to expect from LC - radio friendly, groovy, 4 minute long songs
19.07.2009 - 18:12
Dark Phoenix
Well written and I agree with the grading. I was expecting something worse and was quite surprised, it's a well structured rock album, but that's it. It's good, listenable, enjoyable, but it has no highlight for me to say ''wooow, this is an amazing song'' like I felt when first hearing In A Reverie, Unleashed Memories and Comalies. But still, imporvement after Karmacode.
20.07.2009 - 18:52
Ag Fox
Angel No More
Good review, though the score still seems a few decimals too high
loves 小巫
12.08.2009 - 09:11
Account deleted
Personally i think it's Lacuna Coils best album. They went totally backwards with Karmacode. Spellbound and The Maze are my favorite songs on the album but the whole thing is great! I don't get why people are saying its so bad.
06.09.2009 - 19:34
Lady Margoth
No, it's bad. Nothing catching. I could say Shallow Life is shallow. Every previous album was more more better. Seems they've made this album in one week. They become more alternative and more nu-metal less gothic. Unleashed memories - the best of them.
08.09.2009 - 08:37
Jason W.
Yeah, outside of Spellbound, I've totally forgotten about this album, and that's not really saying much, as that song is just a "good" one and not really special. I do think the band succeeded in doing what they set out to do: have an "American production" style, and that's just what this is: fully vocal-hook driven and with the life sucked out of it like most mainstream hard rock here.

In a way, I guess you are right it's not a bad album, but in comparison with the nu/alterna scene, it's really just maybe a 6 for me, but good review nonetheless
"After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." - Aldous Huxley

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