The LACUNA COIL‘s name may be a staple in the Gothic metal scene, as well as being one of the most well-known heavy metal bands from Italy. However, 20 years ago, they were still very much on the rise, with hit albums like “Comalies” (2002) and “Karmacode” (2006) still to come. Today, we look back on their second album, “Unleashed Memories,” which was released on this day in 2001, to see how much the band has changed throughout their impressive history.
Alongside having some of LACUNA COIL‘s earliest best tracks, “Unleashed Memories” was also the moment the band’s original line-up was completed, as it was the first record to include Marco “Maus” Biatti on lead guitar. It is also depictive of a rather different sound than LC are known for these days, as there aren’t a lot of speedy, hard-hitting, radio-friendly tracks; rather, the album chooses to take its time and have a bit more of an ambient feel to it. Vocalist Cristina Scabbia strongly shows why she is a legend, with her vocal soloing and the echoing, eerie quality in her voice are what really draws the listener into the album, paving the way for more interesting sounds to pop out. Contrasting this are the vocals by Andrea Ferro, who has always had good chemistry trading vocals with Scabbia, but his voice was not nearly as powerful in 2001 as it is now.
The album opens with “Heir of a Dying Day,” which sets a fairly steady pace in which the rest of the album follows. Marco Coti Zelati proves himself to be a stylish bassist and a creative songwriter, clearly in the early stages of finding his sound, which again, develops very well in the albums that come. “Unleashed Memories,” as the band’s sophomore effort, is like the prequel to their best era, running from about 2002-2007 (I’d argue 2009, but we’ll save that for another anniversary, perhaps). Some of the album’s highlights include, naturally, their native language piece, “Senzafine,” and a song that would later go on to share a name with one of LACUNA COIL‘s biggest event in London, “1.19”; The former has an intoxicating melody and incredible Italian vocals, while the later takes a slightly more alternative approach and has a mesmerizing chorus.
Though this album doesn’t necessarily have many of the band’s best hits, it did solidify Scabbia as a unique voice in the scene that, to this day, remains quite unique (at least as far as my familiarity reaches); I simply don’t know anyone else who sings the way she does, and I wouldn’t hate it if she’d dip back into this sound a bit. Admittedly, for me personally, this album as a whole lacks a bit of dynamic charge to help differentiate a lot of the tracks from one another, making it a bit of a back-ground album more than an active-listening album, yet as their second full-length release, it shows off a lot of what the band had to offer. Ultimately, this album proves to be one that perhaps doesn’t stay on the regular rotation but definitely is nice to return to from time-to-time.
- Heir of a Dying Day
- To Live Is to Hide
- When a Dead Man Walks
- Cold Heritage
- Distant Sun
- A Current Obsession
- Wave of Anguish
- Andrea Ferro – male vocals
- Cristina Scabbia – female vocals
- Marco “Maus” Biazzi – lead guitar
- Cristiano “Pizza” Migliore – rhythm guitar
- Marco Coti Zelati – bass, keyboards
- Cristiano “CriZ” Mozzati – drums, percussion
Century Media Records