Italy’s Lacuna Coil have been very prolific ever since their first EP in 1998. Comalies is the band’s third full-length studio album overall and arrives only a year after the excellent Unleashed Memories. For those who haven’t heard Lacuna Coil, they have often been compared to the Dutch Gothic metal band The Gathering. Those comparisons may have been relevant just a few short years ago, but now Lacuna Coil are clearly their own band. One of the band’s trademarks is the duel vocals of Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro. On Comalies, both singers sound better than ever. In fact, everything on Comalies sounds better than ever! Indeed, the production is superb and the mix is crystal clear. The band still writes songs of tortured romanticism along with somber treatises on loneliness and depression. But they have expanded upon their “old” sound by adding more distortion to the guitars and more prominent male vocals. I think this band would very much appeal to fans of the so-called nu-metal scene: bands like Staind, System of a Down or even Korn.
Comalies is comprised of thirteen lean tracks in which none of them are much over four minutes. But attentive listening reveals that this isn’t merely a simplistic pop metal album. It takes many spins to appreciate the subtleties and nuances that are brought forth by just the right mix of keyboards underneath the angry guitars. Nearly every track here is a winner but one of my favorites is "Angel’s Punishment". Cristina Scabbia breathily enchants the words “war-destruction” and makes them sound downright erotic! It has to be heard to be believed. Other highlights include "Heaven’s a Lie", "Swamped" and "The Ghost Woman and the Hunter". Any one of these songs would make for excellent singles or airplay on MTV. Unfortunately, talent is rarely acknowledged by mainstream media nowadays as we all know. Instead, the focus is based on image and it would be easier to exploit Cristina Scabbia’s great looks over her talent, not to mention the critical contributions from the other band members. At any rate, let the media do as it will and just kick back and enjoy the moody and intoxicating sounds of Comalies.