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Album Review: Lacuna Coil Play it Safe on Broken Crown Halo

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At this point in the game, the only people who are actively looking forward to a new Lacuna Coil album are the fans. After their breakout album, Karmacode, in 2006 — I distinctly remember the video for “Our Truth” being played on MTV2 and a few singles appearing on the radio — it’s hard to imagine the band gaining further ground in popularity. Lacuna Coil have found their sound, and follow a sturdy “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. To that end, the band’s seventh full-length, Broken Crown Halo, is exactly the album you’d expect to hear.

Lacuna Coil have always offered reasonably catchy pop metal with just enough thinly-veiled “gothic” aesthetic to keep things somewhat mysterious, and there are no major new developments heard on Broken Crown Halo. Perhaps the nu-metal grooves on “Zombie,” “In The End I Feel Alive,” and the infectious “Die & Rise” (which does a pretty spot-on Korn impression) cater to those looking for something a bit more substantial to chew on than your standard ballad fare, but this is once again largely easily digestible (and for the lack of a better word, decent enough) for those bridging the gap between metal and more mainstream sensibilities

For the rest of us though, Broken Crown Halo is an underwhelming addition to Lacuna Coil’s increasingly homogenous discography. It isn’t exactly offensive — aside from the heavier “alternative metal” moments that make the aforementioned tracks, the band have shown that they can still come up with a few earworms, with “I Forgive (But I Won’t Forget You)” in particular being a strong single fit for radio success — but it’s clear that the band are content with just going through the motions and playing it safe.

Broken Crown Halo isn’t bad, it’s just boring. That’s what makes it so frustrating; the band have some classics under their belts and have potential to create something epic and powerful, but have instead chosen to paint themselves into a corner. Cristina Scabbia’s choruses are no longer enough to make up for uninspired songwriting. It won’t be long before the band run out of ideas, and what’s worse, it won’t be long before listeners out of patience.

Lacuna Coil’s Broken Crown Halo comes out April 1 on Century Media. You can stream the track “Die & Rise” here and pre-order the album here

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