It’s a sign of the fickle state of the music industry these days,that bands largely need to work not only hard, but also fast, in order to keep their fans. Lacuna Coil’s forthcoming ‘Karmacode‘ album has been roughly four years in the making, and although a band’s creative process shouldn’t be hurried, their absence from the scene has arguably allowed the likes of Evanescence to flourish in popularity with a watered down imitation of the Italian gothic metal crew’s sound. That said, the fact that Lacuna Coil can sell out the Forum with only the slightest whiff of new material is testament to the loyalty and respect that their fans afford them.
First up tonight are Deathstars, a bunch of Swedish guys who favour the ‘gothic stormtrooper’ look once so beloved of a certain Marilyn Manson. However, vocalist Whiplasher (!) isn’t as given to between-song speeches as the self-styled God Of Fuck, so the band get to work with a set of competent, if unoriginal, synth-laden industrial metal; with pounding beats and juddering guitars in abundance. They’re hardly essential, but they keep the crowd entertained.
Lacuna Coil receive a heroes’ welcome as they take the stage, and as they launch into ‘Tightrope‘, it’s clear that their confidence has never been higher; with vocalists Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro exhorting the crowd to greater efforts. Clearly proud of their latest efforts, the band debut no less than eight new songs tonight; songs which combine their traditional sound with a heavier, more groove orientated approach – all to excellent effect. Elsewhere, there’s plenty of older material to keep the strongly partisan crowd happy – with ‘Swamped‘ and ‘Humane‘ received like old friends – and even a surprisingly good gothic-metal reworking of Depeche Mode’s ‘Enjoy The Silence’ to finish the main set.
It’s the onstage chemistry and stage presence of Cristina and Andrea that helps to make the Lacuna Coil live experience so enjoyable, and they soon return to charm us one last time, with an encore featuring new single ‘Our Truth’ and old favourite ‘Heaven’s A Lie’. With a slot at the Download festival confirmed and the imminent release of ‘Karmacode’, 2006 looks to see Lacuna Coil’s star shine ever brighter. Don’t bet against them.