LacunaAs soon as “The House of Shame” begins I am wondering whether I’ve been given the right album. Andrea Ferro’s roaring is far angrier than I was expecting it to be, but as soon as Cristina Scabbia joins in I know I haven’t been duped. Marco Coti Zelati is joined by Marco Barusso on guitar on this song, where the staccato rhythm is accentuated by Ryan Folden’s sharp pounding on the snare and toms. When the tempo breaks down a bit for the guitars to just be driving heavily, the combined vocals showcase what Lacuna Coil is all about.

This is the first album after the departure of the two Cristiano’s in 2014, and Marco Biazzi this year, leaving Marco Coti Zelati looking after not only the bass but keyboards and now guitars too. He is joined by guest guitarists on various tracks and their distinct contributions are quite noticeable.

The second song “Broken Things” has a far slower more laid back feel to the music, however during the choruses it picks up a little making Andrea’s hoarse shouting sound less out of place than it would if he were doing so where Cristina sings.

The title track “Delirium” has a bit of an ethereal feel to Cristina’s twin vocals on the chorus, while Andrea’s singing tone is slow and dreamy, as is the music, thereby creating a perfect tone for the lyrics.

“Blood, Tears, Dust” has a bit of an electronic feel to the keyboards, but the heavy vocals dispel any chance of it every going too far that way. Mark Vollelunga’s guitars are full of fast runs, bends and don’t detract from what you’d expect from the song at all.

The very ballad-like “Downfall” has Cristina’s sultry voice tugging at heart-strings as she emotes gently, while just before Myles Kennedy’s virtuoso lead Andrea’s emotions are closer to frustration and anger.

“Take Me Home” is bubbly poppy number, as the minimalist lyrics attest too, but at the same time it is a rather memetic ear-worm, which is the complete antithesis to “You Love Me ‘Cause I Hate You” which  goes from slow and lumbering to heavy and nasty by using certain notes to make things deliberately uncomfortable. The lyrics are also extremely clever.

Going back to a choppier and bouncier rhythm “Ghost in the Mist” alternates between that and the milder chorus incorporating switching vocals for each too, but for “My Demons” the popping bass and swap for slightly more aggressive choruses to complement the slower verses where Andrea is singing at a near whisper.

Alessandro La Porta plays an eye-watering lead on “Claustrophobia” as the song melds its slow but heavy chugging riff with vocal melodies delivered by Andrea and Cristina.

The final track “Ultima Ratio” is more mid-paced but full of triplets on the drums and guitars with Diego Cavallotti hitting some seriously high notes on his lead, matched only by those hit by Cristina, juxtaposed by Andrea’s frequent low roars.

There’s enough variety and change happening on the album for it to never get boring, but it’s also distinctly Lacuna Coil, which is exactly what every fan shall want.

(8/10 – Marco Gaminara)