Scabbia is very much the public face – both literally and metaphorically – of the Italian’s. As such, in common with many people we had assumed it was some sort of Nightwish/Epica type deal, all symphonic power metal, when actually their sound owes far more to the doom end of the market and with this years “Dark Adrenaline” album marking a near-career highlight, a first time view of the band live was eagerly anticipated.
The set is promised to be a mammoth, career-spanning two hour affair, but the band are short of two regular members. Bassist Marco Zelati and drummer Criz Mozatti are missing this tour due to injury and paternity leave respectively, which is a shame, but soon forgotten when “I Don’t Believe In Tomorrow” kicks us off, with twin singers Scabbia and Andrea Ferro wearing matching what look to be Army uniforms and masks.
The driving rhythm of “I Wont Tell You” soon follows and by the time “Senzafine” comes along on a wave of Paradise Lost type grooves and “To The End” has created mass headbanging the momentum is really building.
The trouble is what happens next. After a five minute break and a costume change, the band are back – on stools – for an acoustic portion, and lets be brutal about this, for all Scabbia’s protestations that this is their favourite portion of the show, the songs don’t really lend themselves to the stripped back format.
There is then another break before the band are back for part three, and this plugged in section of pretty straight ahead metal is much, much better. “Swamped” gets things jumping, while “Fragile” is awash with Eastern rhythms and the anthemic “To The Darkness” sees the band cut lose.
“My Spirit” closes things and the band take their bows after what has been a fine show. It could have been a great one, but the mid set lull and stop-start nature rather put paid to that.
Quibbles and personal preferences notwithstanding, Lacuna Coil are a band with much to offer, and one that should be cherished as being far more important than just a vehicle for Cristina Scabbia’s considerable talents. Megadeth may have led us here, but Lacuna Coil were worth it.