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Lacuna Coil - Comalies XX Award winner

Lacuna Coil
Comalies XX
by Kevin Lewis at 14 November 2022, 2:21 PM

LACUNA COIL is one of the best imports Italy has ever given the world. Their Gothic Metal infused music combines clean and harsh vocals, male and female vocals, bombastic rhythms and intricate guitar work into a beautiful melody fit for metalheads worldwide. Comalies XX is a reworking of their breakout 2002 album for its’ 20th anniversary. It’s been completely re-recorded by the current lineup with a new outlook and attitude. Century Media Records released this reimagined version on October 14, 2022.

The lead track, “Swamped XX” is a fairly close representation of the original track from 2002, but not 100% the same. Andrea Ferro goes with more harsh vocals, but the overall tone stays relatively close to the first version. Christina Scabbia sounds almost exactly the same, though there are subtle differences. The melody is tightly bound to the older song.

Heaven’s A Lie XX” gives the original tune an almost complete makeover. Christina’s delivery is different, even in the cadence of the lyrics and Andrea goes fully harsh on the male vocals. There are additional strings and keyboards woven into the background and the tuning sounds a little lower. The rhythm is very similar, keeping the phrasing almost the same, but it is just different enough to make it fit better with the new guitar and vocal timbres.

With “Daylight Dancer,” there are differences, almost as radical as “Heaven’s A Lie.” Richard Meiz has a different style of drumming than Cristiano 'Criz' Mozzati, who did the original recordings. Richard uses more double bass drumming, giving many of these re-worked songs a heavier feel. His more melodic drumming is also different. He uses different phrasing and patterns to fit into the newly styled compositions, putting his own stamp on these classics.

Diego Cavallotti plays the guitars parts fairly true, but the tuning and tones he brings in are new, vital, and fit the newer LACUNA COIL musical image. His tunings better fit Andrea’s new, harsher vocal delivery. I’m still waiting for Christina to drop a growl or two onto a track. There is video evidence she has worked on growls a bit, so I’m dreaming of harmonized growls from both of them.

The backbone of this band, Marco Coti Zelati, is a complete savage on bass. Hs goes from subdued and melodic to bombastic and driven. I’ve seen him almost tear the strings off his bass at a live show. He is intense and can pluck the strings with a ferocity that is borderline violent, then drop back into a gentle, almost loving strumming that hovers under the riff, influencing the overall tone of the song without you even realizing he’s there.

The updated versions, like “Tight Rope XX,” “Angels Punishment XX,” and “Comalies XX” all hit somewhere in between the two polar reworkings from the first two tracks. They are use the new attitude well, straying farther from the original than “Swamped XX,” but not as far afield as “Heaven’s A Lie.” Most of the tracks sit in this zone, adapted for the new sound, but not so far off the original that it feels like a new song.

LACUNA COIL has done one of the most tasteful updates I’ve ever heard. In their own words, this is not to be considered a new studio album, just a new vision, a modified blast from the past. The sound on this reimagined work is consistent with the sound of their latest albums, Delirium and Black Anima. It stays true to their current sound. This is a definite celebration of these older songs. They’ve been updated lovingly and still sound as good as they ever have.

Songwriting:  10
Musicianship:  10
Memorability:  10
Production:  10

5 Star Rating

1. Swamped XX
2. Heaven's a Lie XX
3. Daylight Dancer XX
4. Humane XX
5. Self Deception XX
6. Aeon XX
7. Tight Rope XX
8. The Ghost Woman and the Hunter XX
9. Unspoken XX
10. Entwined XX
11. The Prophet Said XX
12. Angel's Punishment XX
13. Comalies XX
Andrea Ferro – Vocals
Christina Scabbia – Vocals
Marco Coti Zelati – Bass
Richard Meiz – Drums
Diego Cavallotti – Guitar
Record Label: Century Media


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