Italian metal act Lacuna Coil were looked at as one of the rising stars of the genre after successful albums Karmacode and Shallow Life, but with 2012s Dark Adrenaline, a certain 'safeness' started to infiltrate their sound as their once dark gothic metal style seemed to be compromised in favor of a more accessible product. That trend continues here on their latest Broken Crown Halo, a perfectly acceptable and even enjoyable album that gives you everything you would expect from the band, with no surprises or new tricks up their sleeves. As always, it's the Cristina Scabbia & Andrea Ferro show, the dueling vocalists who front the band and give it most of its identity. Made up of mostly mid-paced songs littered with chugging guitar riffs and atmospheric keyboards, Scabbia's lovely voice battles with Ferro's aggressive, gruff delivery on catchy tracks like "Nothing Stands in Our Way", "Zombies", and the brooding "Victims". Nu-metal rears its head on "Die & Rise" (which sounds a hell of a lot like Korn), and the emotional ballad "Cybersleep" offers up some wonderfully emotional vocals from Scabbia. One of the best tracks on the CD is the raging "Infection", a charged up song featuring heavy riffs from Marco "Maus" Biazz, well placed Deep Purple/Dream Theater styled keyboards, and great vocal chemistry between Ferro & Scabbia.
In the end, there's nothing really bad about Broken Crown Halo; it's a fun modern metal album that perhaps it too safe for its own good, but enjoyable nonetheless. I don't think this one is going to break Lacuna Coil as superstars (that opportunity has probably come and gone) but for the die hard fans, it's another similar album to what they've released previously, and a comfortable formula that will no doubt be very appreciated.
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1. "Nothing Stands In Our Way" 4:07
2. "Zombies" 3:47
3. "Hostage to the Light" 3:56
4. "Victims" 4:31
5. "Die & Rise" 3:44
6. "I Forgive (But I Won't Forget Your Name)" 3:56
7. "Cybersleep" 4:26
8. "Infection" 4:23
9. "I Burn In You" 4:15
10. "In the End I Feel Alive" 4:21
11. "One Cold Day" (Dedicated to deceased ex bandmember Claudio Leo) 6:09