Lacuna Coil @ HMV Institute, Birmingham – 5 November 2011

It’s a sad fact that with age comes some stark realisations. One such revelation is that standing in the great outdoors on a freezing November night whilst domestic explosives and semi cooked tramp food assault at least three of your senses is, in fact no fun at all.

So it’s off to the warm and friendly confines of The HMV Institute to see if tonight’s bill can serve up something a little more appealing than the aforementioned traditional bonfire party fare.

I have no idea why but Lacuna Coil always remind me of 1970s low-budget Italian vampire movies – fundamentally naff but loaded with the kind of kitsch that enthrals and beguiles you for reasons that you can’t fathom even if you try. The best thing to do with Lacuna Coil is to forget trying to work it all out and just go with it, it just works better that way.

Musicians Pizza, Criz, Maus and Marco walk on and lay straight into the intro of ‘Our Truth’, instantly sparking the expectant “Coilers” into a baying pack of hounds. It’s an easy task for vocalists Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro to enter the fray and cast an unbreakable spell over all present.  This is a magic that has endured, and as Cristina broods over her acolytes Andrea provides solid back up all the way, whilst the unyielding backline tightens its grip and the whole shebang thunders on.

The music is high in emotional content and newbie ‘Kill The Light’ gets a resounding seal of approval.  It’s then that Lacuna Coil start to bring out the really big rockets with the all out Goth march ‘Fragments Of Faith’ and the standard bearer ‘Heaven’s A Lie’, all fuelled by the surgically tight musicianship with their crashing open power chords laced with sophisticated guitar riffs.

A low point arrived when ‘Without Fear’ came without Italian/English subtitles and as a result all but fizzled out. The band might want to take note of the bit in the firework code that warns against returning to fireworks that fail to go off before including this in the set again.

The dip was thankfully short lived as the show was emphatically reignited by ‘Swamped’ and a more than pleasing version of Depeche Mode’s ‘Enjoy The Silence’.

The excellent ‘Spellbound’ brought the curtain down on a performance that will leave embers burning in the minds of the Brummie Coilers for some time to come.

Review: Noel Fischer
Photography: Steve Johnston

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