Lacuna Coil / Orpheus Omega* / Gods Of Eden*
Stuart Park, Wollongong 14/10/2016
Review: Peter Zaluzny | Gallery: Gwendolyn Lee
Is “metal veterans” the right term to use when referring to Lacuna Coil? Twenty years in the game is nothing to sneeze at right? In any case, they really should come to Australia more often. Wait, let’s rephrase that, we want them to come to Australia more often, specifically Sydney. Yeah, it’s selfish, but who cares, Sydney loves Lacuna Coil, and it seems that feeling is reciprocated.
Playing to hundreds of punters in a packed Metro Theatre, the Lacuna crowd came from all walks of their career. The young bloods that had arrived at the party recently, before digging through the band’s extensive discography. The long-termers that had been listening since day one, and throngs of twenty/thirty-somethings who had fond memories of rocking to the Coil when they were teenagers.
See back in the day, they were one of those bands you’d encounter when your love of metal was just starting to bloom. A gateway band of sorts that could ease you into the heavier stuff. As such, Lacuna Coil hold a special place in many metal-head’s hearts, and they had turned up at the Metro in droves.
Clad in bloody, filthy white straight-jackets and pants (a nice change from the usual all black and brutal attire of the average metal band), the show quickly grew beyond the music. For 90 minutes, Lacuna took Sydney into the conceptual, visual side of their new record, Delirium, striking the perfect balance between being intriguing, entertaining and just that little bit cheesy. The slight slice of cheese that every metal head secretly loves, even if they’re not prepared to admit it.
Most eyes were turned towards the Scabbia-Ferro dual-vocal powerhouse. Those two work perfectly on stage, constantly leaning over the monitors and interacting with the crowd, bouncing lines off one another all while reinforcing why they’re one of the few bands than can justify two singers. When one was singing, the other was entertaining. Neither stopped moving, and Sydney followed suit. Honestly, most bands made up of fresh-faced 18 year olds are immobile compared to Lacuna Coil. But special mention goes to bassist Marco Coti Zelati however, who went all out with exposed-brain head paint, ala Ray Liotta in Hannibal.
With new and old cuts served up in equal measure, the recent releases from Delirium made much more sense in a live setting. Their gradual shift towards metalcore hasn’t been the smoothest ride, but when Ferro’s normally clean voice roared over breakdowns that shook the walls during tracks like “House of Shame,” the impact hit hard and fast, throwing the room into an involuntary frenzy.
Still, when you create music that resonated with so many metal fans during their youth, the classics are always going to get the biggest roar. Lacuna knew it, and when they launched a three-pronged attack by playing “Our Truth,” “Swamped” and “Enjoy The Silence” back to back, the Metro erupted in a state of nostalgic euphoria. “Do you remember this one!?” Scabbia screamed before “Swamped”. Of course we do Cristina, and it was so good to hear it again.
Shows like this are so in-your-face, you just can’t deny anything that flies from the mouths, strings and sticks of everyone onstage. When Scabbia starts a song by clenching her fist and screaming “we fear nothing, say it with me!” you want to scream back. When Ferro teaches the crowd how to chant to the tune of “Olé, Olé, Olé, Olé! La-cu-na-Coil!” you want to sing along. And when they stand up and say “thank you for entering our house of shame,” you’re forced to snap back to reality because you know that it’s the closing song. Suddenly the wonderfully delirious world that you were a part of for an hour-and-a-half is ending, and it sucks because Lacuna Coil aren’t just musicians. They’re entertainers, and damn good ones at that.
Depending on your age, Lacuna Coil have an undeniable nostalgic factor to them. But they’re not leaning on the past. The legendary Italian outfit are always moving forward, and if the performance in Sydney was anything to go by (which it is, it’s absolutely something to go by), they can only climb higher from here.