“Karmacode” by Lacuna Coil

Artist: Lacuna Coil
Title: “Karmacode”
Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: 4/4/2006
Genre: Gothic Rock
Rating: 3.5/5

“Karmacode” is the long-awaited follow up to Lacuna Coil’s ground-breaking “Comalies” album and at first listen you will find that while this is a great production it is not exactly the same Lacuna Coil that we loved on the record that garnered them so much attention. As a fan of that album especially, I felt that the band was aiming a little more at the audience that follows Evanescence and there is some of that vibe happening in the music as well. Given that bands absence from new material when this hit the streets this was perhaps a good decision to make in order to fill the need for this style of music. I really enjoyed “Comalies” and it’s always hard to compare a follow up to an album that did so much for a bands career and became so endearing. Remember, it was released in 2003 and then found a special edition release with tons of bonus stuff in 2004. With “Comalies” they showed a lot more intensity and drive while this “Karmacode” seems to take a safer route and focus less on dramatics and more on atmosphere. “Closer” and “In Visible Light” in particular showcase this premise for me. I did not find the production to be as eerie as “Comalies” nor as much in your face. Tracks like “Fragile” and “To The Edge” are nice, but did not hit me with the same level of impact that “Heaven’s A Lie” did. Yes there are a couple of numbers that have the expected vibe such as “Closer” and “The Game”, but overall the whole release seems like the band was trying different things with some of the songs on this one.

There is a surprising cover of “Enjoy The Silence” and while the band is adept during their version, Cristina’s voice is too pretty and high for this number. It’s a moody-Goth-Pop track that is better suited to a deeper male vocal register. The “big” chorus in this one is unique but I don’t think it fits all that well. Despite my feelings on the album there are no real bad songs on it, just different from what I was expecting. Instead of going darker and heavier they went a little more accessible and melodic/atmospheric. Ms. Scabbia is proving herself to be one of the most versatile females that music has to offer today.

The booklet includes great portrait shots of the individual members along with lyrics. It is also an enhanced CD that offers some other features when you play it in your computer and includes a mini-poster of the band. It is definitely a solid listen but it took me a couple of turns until it caught me.

Track Listing:
1. Fragile
2. To The Edge
3. Our Truth
4. Within Me
5. Devoted
6. You Create
7. What I See
8. Fragments Of Faith
9. Closer
10. In Visible Light
11. The Game
12. Without Fear
13. Enjoy The Silence

Official Web site: www.lacunacoil.it

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