Not their best, but not their worst either.
Italy's Lacuna Coil went through a bit of a drought with 2009's Shallow Life and 2012's Dark Adrenaline, where experimentation took a backseat and they stuck with a very "safe" sound. In 2014, they put out the surprisingly great album Broken Crown Halo that melded their newer and heavier sound with the likes of their early era atmospheric inventions, and the band felt rejuvenated. Then, they lost longtime guitarists Cristiano Migliore and Marco Biazzi, as well as drummer Cristiano Mozzati. Essentially, the whole band seemed to have fallen apart, leaving bassist/keyboardist Marco Zelati to handle most of the songwriting for the foreseeable future. All things considered, this year's Delirium record could have and probably should have been a bigger failure than it turned out to be. It's surprisingly not terrible, looking on the bright side of things. It's incredibly mediocre though, on the other hand, and the fresh ideas that were heard on their previous album are nothing but a memory.
To its credit, Delirium is a concept album with an interesting storyline, focused on patients of a mental institution. And it does indeed have some creepier atmospheric moments that are quite fitting for the theme. As per usual, a lot of that can be accredited to the brilliance of Cristina Scabbia (hear the title track's chorus for easy reference). As always, she sounds amazing as ever, and continues to be the main draw of the band.
The first three tracks -- The House of Shame, Broken Things and Delirium, show some great potential, but settle into a sort of rhythm that feels a tad stale. We're back into Shallow Life and Dark Adrenaline territory, as it were. Blood, Tears, Dust is an incredible song, where the band hits home on all fronts, and it features one of the most haunting and perfect vocal performances Scabbia has ever given (Andrea Ferro's harsh vocals really fit with the verses). It definitely feels like a turning point for the album, which indeed continues on with Downfall, another fairly awesome track. Unfortunately, this is where the new and interesting ideas start to level off. Not to say that the record falls apart at that point, but it definitely settles back into a rhythm of mediocrity.
Delirium is actually quite good considering that Lacuna Coil essentially lost their core members over the last couple of years. It's listenable, has its catchy moments, and Marco Zelati takes up an impressive amount of work to try and fill in for his departed comrades. It still feels like Lacuna Coil too, even though it's not the best era in the group's history. Fans can only hope that they find a way to bounce back higher in the coming years with something more on par with 2014's Broken Crown Halo.
Images courtesy of Century Media and Alessandro Olgiati.