The Italian group Lacuna Coil has been around for quite a while now releasing albums for their small but hard core audience. Their music has always been really hard, edgy and gritty Gothic music with a plenitude of guitar riffing around. The music has always been in the front seat and Cristina Scabbia's amazing vocals has been fighting for it's place in the arrangements.
Several female fronted metal and Gothic bands have achieved huge success like Evanescence, Nightwish and Within Temptation only to mention a few. It is easy to understand that Lacuna Coil are tempted to jump on board the same bandwagon, good music and good money. The label surely is an malicious accomplice, their only interest is to build a brand that they can capitalize on so they surely have had some to say regarding Shallow Life. The previous album Karmacode was a careful and fairly successful attempt at flirting with the mainstream rock audience. Lacuna Coil were at the crossroad and have made a crucial decision with Shallow Life, make or break, they have decided to abandon their current loyal but small fan base for something potentially a lot bigger.
Shallow life is a lot more melodic than any of the previous albums, great effort has been put into catchy choruses and they sound more like any female fronted metal band. This really is the first album where Cristina Scabbia get a true possibility to show her abilities. Actually Shallow life sound like Paradise Lost during their One Second / Host era.
The production is meticulously polished and good but in some senses this actually hurt Lacuna Coil since Shallow life sometimes sound more like a pop production than a Gothic Metal band.
If Shallow Life is for better or worse depend completely what music you are into. We guess that Lacuna Coil will loose some of their fans with Shallow Life and maybe, just maybe win a lot larger fan base. A mainstream audience that love bands like Lambretta and Within Temptation.
We wish they do, they are worth it!