Lacuna Coil Biography
Last updated: 07/01/2012 11:00:00 AM
(An update to include the latest release):
Lacuna Coil is a six-member band hailing from Milan, Italy, although the vast majority of their lyrics are sung in English. Their music is usually lumped into the category of “goth metal”; however, they’ve developed their own unique sound by using heavily distorted guitars overlaid with melodic keyboard arrangements and a powerful blend of both male and female lead vocals. The name “Lacuna Coil” means “empty spiral” and is said to represent the band’s life philosophy. Major players in the European metal scene for nearly a decade, the band was virtually unknown in the U.S. until they began touring there in 2003-4, with probably their greatest exposure resulting from the infamous Ozzfest tour. This discovery by American fans subsequently made their most recent CD entitled “Comalies” the best-selling release in the history of their record label, Century Media, with over 150,000 copies sold last year in the U.S. alone. In addition to touring with Ozzfest, having a song (“Swamped”) on the soundtrack of the movie “Resident Evil: Apocalypse” introduced them to new legions of U.S. fans. Add to that the promotion of “Comalies” through commercials on major music-video TV channels, and you have the recipe for the band’s newfound international success.
The brainchild of bassist and chief songwriter Marco Coti-Zelati and his long-time friend, male vocalist Andrea Ferro, the group first formed in 1994 under the name “Sleep of Right”. They asked a female friend, Cristina Scabbia, to sing backing vocals on a few songs, but it wasn’t long before they realized that her clear, soaring voice made the perfect foil to Ferro’s deep growling style of singing, and they soon asked Scabbia to join the band permanently. Thus, the three core members of Lacuna Coil that remain today were in place. In 1996, they released a 2-song demo, changing the band’s name to “Ethereal”, and this eventually led to a recording contract with Century Media in 1997 under the name Lacuna Coil.
On their self-titled first effort (a six-song EP released in 1998), Claudio Leo and Raffaele Zagaria played guitars, while drums were the domain of Leonardo Forti. However, these three members left the band while Lacuna was touring with Moonspell in support of the EP. Lacuna Coil’s first full-length album, “In A Reverie” was completed in 1999, with Cristiano Migliori on guitars and Cristiano Mozzati (“Criz”) on drums replacing the departed members. These two musicians proved a good fit for Lacuna, and they’re still with the band today. “In A Reverie” had a heavier sound than their debut EP, and earned the group further recognition in the European metal scene, particularly in Germany and Scandinavia, and somewhat in Great Britain. Ironically, the band says that metal isn’t a very popular style of music in their native Italy, except in the underground club scene.
Next in Lacuna’s discography was the five-song “Halflife” EP, which came out in 2000 and further defined their unique style, which uses inventive songwriting and their signature duality of male & female vocals to portray the good-evil/light-darkness/strength-despair themes that run throughout much of their music. The final member of the group, Marco Biazzi (“Maus”), was added as a second guitarist on this EP, and he completes the band’s line-up as we know them today. 2001’s “Unleashed Memories” was the prolific sextet’s next release, a full-length album that has a grinding, slow & heavy feel throughout many of the songs, much to the delight of their goth fans.
What many consider to be Lacuna Coil’s break-though album, “Comalies” came out in 2002, completely produced in an astonishing two months’ time. This release shone with even more innovative keyboard arrangements and brighter sound effects than their previous work. It showcases their ability to stay true to their patented style while maintaining creativity and originality, so that no two songs sound alike.
With the highly-anticipated release of “Karmacode” finally arriving in the spring of 2006, Lacuna Coil debuted yet a heavier, faster sound while retaining traces of their original melodic underpinnings. The band took some definite risks with the stronger baseline and overall edgier feel to the songs on “Karmacode”. This may be an acquired taste for some fans of the classic Lacuna sound, but marks a creative progression that will undoubtedly attract new fans more inclined toward heavier sounds. Repeated and attentive listening reveals that LC’s core attributes are still audible on “Karmacode”. The slight middle-Eastern flair in some of the new tracks follows LC’s tradition of combining haunting ancient melodies with innovative new hard rock rhythms. This seamless combination of old and new is the hallmark of Lacuna Coil, and perhaps their greatest and most original asset. Hopefully it will continue into many future releases.
Written by Loretta Walters Huston
Sources: lacunacoil.it, the band’s website; and emptyspiral.net, the official fan-site
Thanks to firstname.lastname@example.org for submitting the biography.