Lacuna Coil are a Gothic metal
band from Italy, starting in 1994. The band is one of the codifiers
of the Soprano and Gravel
style and blends modern rock and Mediterranean elements into distinct-sounding midtempo rockers. They were formed by vocalist Andrea Ferro and bassist Marco Coti Zelati, and second vocalist Cristina Scabbia joined the band after she was asked to provide session vocals for an early demo, because the band liked the contrasting sound of Cristina's vocals versus Andrea's. The word "lacuna" is Italian for "gap" or "blank," but the band's name is sometimes paraphrased as "Empty Spiral," which also functions as the name of their official fansite
Lacuna Coil recorded a two-track demo in 1996 and signed to Century Media Records, and are still on the same label today. Their self-titled EP was released in 1998, but shortly after the band's original guitarists and drummer — Raffaele Zagaria, Claudio Leo and Leonardo Forti respectively — left due to creative differences. Drummer Cristiano "CriZ" Mozzati and guitarist Cristiano Migliore joined just in time to record In A Reverie,
the band's full-length debut, and second guitarist Marco "Maus" Biazzi joined for HALFlife.
Lacuna Coil continued to release one record a year until Comalies
in 2002, a New Sound Album
which also became their breakthrough thanks to their first-ever single, "Heaven's A Lie." From then on, the band began to spend much more time touring for each album and continued to release a few more singles and music videos to go with each album: three videos for "Heaven's A Lie" and one for "Swamped" from Comalies
; followed by videos and singles for "Our Truth," "Enjoy The Silence,
" "Closer" and "Within Me" from Karmacode.
Their fifth album, Shallow Life,
saw the band parting ways with their long-time producer, Waldemar Sorychta, and straying further into Alternative Rock
territory with their new producer, Don Gilmore. The album saw the release of four singles — "Spellbound" worldwide, "I Like It" in Europe, "I Won't Tell You" in North America and "Wide Awake" in Italy only — and all but the last came with music videos.
In January 2012, Lacuna Coil released their sixth album, titled "Dark Adrenaline
," as a darker and heavier
follow-up to Shallow Life
. Two songs from the album, "Trip The Darkness" and "Kill The Light," have already been released, along with a music video for the former. A second video was released a year later for "End of Time".
2014 saw the band release "Broken Crown Halo" which would become the last album to feature the two Cristianos, who both retired from the band for personal reasons just prior to its release.
Their current line-up is as follows:
- Andrea Ferro - Vocals (1994-present)
- Marco Coti Zelati - Bass, Leopards (1994-present)
- Cristina Scabbia - Vocals (1996-present)
- Marco "Maus" Biazzi - Guitar (1999-present)
- Ryan Blake Folden - Drums (2014-present)
The band also has five former members:
- Raffaele Zagaria - Guitar (1994-1998)
- Claudio Leo - Guitar (1994-1998, died 2013)
- Leonardo Forti - Drums, percussion (1994-1998)
- Cristiano Migliore - Guitar (1998-2014)
- Cristiano "CriZ" Mozzati - Drums, percussion (1998-2014)
- Lacuna Coil EP (1998)
- In A Reverie (1999)
- HALFlife EP (2000)
- Unleashed Memories (2001)
- Comalies (2002)
- Karmacode (2006)
- Shallow Life (2009)
- Dark Adrenaline (2012)
- Broken Crown Halo (2014)
Lacuna Coil and their music provide examples of:
- Album Title Drop: Shallow Life.
- Auto-Tune: The bonus track "Dark Adrenaline" employs this as an effect, as does "Cybersleep" from Broken Crown Halo.
- Berserk Button: Do not misspell Cristina's name. Her Twitter handle was even called "NoDamnH".
- Bilingual Bonus: "Senzafine" (from HALFlife and later Unleashed Memories) is sung in the band's native Italian. The title track to Comalies, "Without Fear" from Karmacode and "Die and Rise" from Broken Crown Halo use both English and Italian. Finally, "My Spirit" from Dark Adrenaline incorporates a short speech in Italian during the interlude. Translated into English, it means about the same thing as the first verse and chorus.
- It should be noted that while "Senzafine" roughly translates to "Never-Ending", "Comalies" is a subversion — the band just wanted to use the word "coma" but needed an extra word to place at the end.
- Black Blood: Used in "End of Time", with black blood dripping from Cristina's and Andrea's noses, hands and ears.
- Black Sheep Hit: "I Like It" from Shallow Life, in particular, even for many fans that didn't mind most of the album. Out of all the singles they've released, it's the only one that has never been performed live.
- Camera Fiend: Cristina has an Instagram account and uploads pictures multiple times on a daily basis. Notable for taking a number of self-portraits without makeup on.
- Chess Motifs: Used in the video for "I Forgive (But I Won't Forget Your Name)" with Cristina playing the role of the The Chessmaster.
- Concept Album: Shallow Life, loosely. The album talks about superficial lifestyles in most of the songs. Other albums like Comalies play with this by having a few groups of songs directly connect to form single storylines.
- Cover Version: The band covered Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" on Karmacode and R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" on Dark Adrenaline.
- Creative Differences: Why the original guitarists and drummer left. Apparently, it was actually their idea to record the One-Woman Wail song "Falling" on the original EP with just an acoustic guitar and leopards for backing; the rest of the band re-recorded it as "Falling Again" on In A Reverie, this time with distorted guitars, bass and drums.
- Creator Couple: Cristina and Marco Coti Zelati until around 2003-4.
- Dark Is Not Evil / Light Is Not Good: The message behind the "Trip The Darkness" video.
- Determined Defeatist: "Survive".
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Cristina. Also gender-flipped with both Andrea and Cristiano Migliore.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Cristina reportedly attracts just as many crazed lesbian groupies as males.
- Executive Meddling: Suspected to be why Shallow Life was rereleased with a bonus disk just under a year after its initial release.
- The Faceless: Their band logo.
- Also the cover to Karmacode.
- Fading into the Next Song / Siamese Twin Songs: "Trance Awake" / "Senzafine" from HALFlife, "Aeon" / "Tight Rope" from Comalies and "You Create"/"What I See" from Karmacode.
- Fake-Out Fade-Out: "Our Truth" fades out over a repeating riff, only to fade back in and immediately end.
- Finger Snap Lighter: Cristina does this in the video for "I Won't Tell You."
- Five-Man Band:
- For Doom the Bell Tolls: A repeated church bell can be heard in the background in "Trip The Darkness."
- Garfunkel: Andrea Ferro tends to be overlooked by the media and casual listeners (see Face of the Band). To say nothing of the other members — Cristina and Andrea write lyrics, but the others compose all the music.
- Andrea does a lot of the singing himself nowadays, although he's... arguably not very good (especially when compared with Cristina). However he seems to have improved on Dark Adrenaline.
- Subverted with the release of the video for "End of Time" — only him and Cristina appear in the video.
- Gender-Blender Name: Andrea Ferro, but only to the Anglosphere.
- Gothic Metal / Alternative Rock: How much of each depends on the album. Shallow Life contains the most of the latter; their extended plays and In A Reverie, the most of the former.
- Harsh Vocals: Andrea, on two or three songs from each of the early albums (examples include "Stately Lover", "Angel's Punishment", "Fragments of Faith", "Zombies").
- In Memoriam: "My Spirit," the final track on Dark Adrenaline, is dedicated to Peter Steele, a long-time friend and musical influence of the band.
- Similarly "One Cold Day", the final track on Broken Crown Halo, is dedicated to Claudio Leo, one of the band's founding members who passed away from an illness in 2013.
- Instrumentals: Un Fantasma Tra Noi (A Ghost Between Us).
- It Is Pronounced Coma-LISE.
- Long Runner Line Up: Type 2. The lineup did not change from when Maus joined as second guitarist in 1999 until 2014 when the two Cristianos announced their retirements...
- Longing for Fictionland: "To Myself I Turned".
- Lyrical Cold Open: "Reverie", "Swamped", "Within Me" and "Fire".
- Melismatic Vocals: Used in the choruses for "Intoxicated", "Swamped" and "To Live Is To Hide".
- Mind Screw: The bonus DVD for Dark Adrenaline.
- The "End of Time" video qualifies as well.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Most of the time, either a hard 6 or a soft 7. They go down to a 5 more than occasionally, though.
- Name's the Same: "Closer" is not a Nine Inch Nails cover nor is "The Game" a Disturbed cover.
- New Sound Album: Comalies. The sound was simplified, and Ferro's harsh vocals were almost completely gone.
- Then Karmacode came along, with a guitar and bass-heavier mix, Middle Eastern influences and a greater emphasis on every member of the band. Andrea even appears in every song, and has dropped the growls entirely.
- Shallow Life saw the band changing producers for the first time and going Lighter and Softer for a more straightforward alternative rock/metal sound. The lyrics were simplified, but the band sought more help with their English and it showed.
- Dark Adrenaline is Darker and Edgier again, at least instrumentally. The lyrics seem to float somewhere between the straightforward ones from Shallow Life and the deeper messages on the early albums.
- Older Than They Look: Cristina is 40 years old, but looks much, much younger.
- Andrea is in fact two years younger than Cristina, but does not show it because he actually looks his age.
- One Steve Limit: Completely averted with two guys named Cristiano and two named Marco. There are nicknames for some of them, but they aren't actually that widely used.
- One-Woman Wail: Karmacode and Dark Adrenaline are the only albums so far that don't have a "Cristina solo" song.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Before significant improvement in Shallow Life a number of mispronunciations occur in a few of their songs:
- "Fragile" has the lyrics "Wounds are bleeding in my hands" / "Wounds are healing in my hands". Wounds is pronounced the same way as "round".
- The h in "honest" is pronounced in "Cold Heritage".
- The vibrating 'th' is uncommon outside of English; thus in "Our Truth" it's being sung "Our Troot".
- "Entwined" is this and AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle.
- "Closer" has "there's no hell to discover" with "discover" pronounced as though it rhymes to "over".
- The Pete Best: Three of them, actually. Raffaele Zagaria, Claudio Leo, and Leonardo Forti all played on the original six-song EP, then left the band before the recording of In a Reverie.
- Record Producer: Waldemar Sorychta falls under the George Martin category, having worked with Lacuna Coil from their signing onto Century Media up through Karmacode. They switched to Don Gilmore (better known for working with bands like Linkin Park and Good Charlotte) for Shallow Life and Dark Adrenaline and Jay Baumgardner (POD, Sevendust, Evanescence and Papa Roach) for Broken Crown Halo.
- Religion Rant Song: "Give Me Something More" is a Type 1 example.
- Subverted with "Heaven's a Lie" — it's actually about a failing relationship.
- Repetitive Audio Glitch: Done intentionally in "Aeon" — the song skips three times halfway through.
- Sampling: "Tight Rope" takes a sound bite from the video game Descent, and "Angel's Punishment" seems to sample a news report.
- Scatting: "You Create" and "What I See" from Karmacode and "Wide Awake" from Shallow Life.
- Self Empowerment Anthem: "You will not "Kill The Light" inside of me" definitely applies.
- Soprano and Gravel: Played with. The first three albums had Ferro utilizing both clean and harsh vocals along with Scabbia's singing. The harsh vocals were dropped in Karmacode but brought back in Broken Crown Halo.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Hammered home quite emphatically on Scabbia's Myspace page: "Cristina... NO DAMN H in it!!"
- Spiritual Successor: They're regarded as Italy's answer to Type O Negative and, lately, Incubus.
- Subliminal Seduction: Subverted with "Self Deception" — the backmasked messages that play throughout the song is simply the chorus played backwards.
- Surprisingly Good English: Shallow Life and Dark Adrenaline in particular. Cristina and Andrea have become much more fluent since the initial demo in 1996.
- Title Track: Comalies and Shallow Life.
- Subverted with In a Reverie — the song in question is simply titled "Reverie".
- Also subverted with Dark Adrenaline — the song itself only appears as a Japanese bonus track.
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: "Without Fear" goes up for the second part of the second chorus, back to the original key for the bridge, and then back up for the final chorus and outro.
- Interestingly zig-zagged with "Fragments of Faith" — the home key is G-sharp minor, but pre-choruses are in A minor and both the first chorus and the first half of the second chorus is in F-sharp minor. The "offending" gear change during the second chorus is actually a return to the original key.
- Vocal Tag Team: Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro.
- War Is Hell: "Angel's Punishment," from Comalies.
- Woman in Black: Easily Cristina's favourite colour.
- Word Salad Lyrics: A lot of songs before Shallow Life seem like this, but often have deeper meanings. "1.19" might be the standout example in the band's catalog, though — all the band revealed is the title refers to a distance between two places, and that might be the most we'll ever get.