Lacuna Coil + Straight Line Stitch @ HMV Institute, 5th November 2011


UK tour support band Straight Line Stitch announced that they were from America and were, ‘Gonna make some Fuckin’ Noyz!’ And, true to their word in a sort of, anesthetic-free hemorrhoid by-pass done by a mate’s mate he knows down the pub, that’s what they did. Noisily, brutally, insistently led by shockingly non-girlie lead vocalist Alexis Brown. Unrelenting, merciless Grind/Metal/Speed-Core viscerally stripped-down to its DNA. Amidst this sonic carnage there were the most subtle of finger-tapping bass refrains that were rather engaging.


Lacuna Coil are ‘Atmospheric’ migraine- massaged Baroque Goth‘n roll metallers from Milan have a vixen disciplinarian sauce-minx lead singer whom we suspect was very likely sent home after the first night on Girl Guides’ camp. However, Cristina Scabbia, had her oh so naughty mascara-snake charming stage persona rather compromised when a punter cried out that he wanted her babies! She smiles as beautifully as if Michael Jackson had Moon-walked across your heart.


With twin-axe guitars in tandem synch and a beautiful woman who is Amon Duul’s Archangel Thunderbird made flesh this was all our Christmases come together right now. Vox partner in Grind, Andrea Ferro, has the eye-popping visage of Dave Grohl’s mad twin brother locked away in the attic. Possibly. It’s a rare, male/female vocal combo, taking one back to the Jefferson Airplane’s Slick/Kantner/Balin. Off then on a relentless mosh-mad Grind of motor-head-banging bulldozers on steroids. Incessant spiraling riffs and Scabbia’s pyrotechnic vocals have the faithful like putty in her hands (if only!)

Time for the power-ballad and cue lush keyboards for ‘My Life’. An up-beat life affirming homily with ubiquitous swirly synth angel effects but mercifully no cigarette-lighters to be seen. ‘Fragile’ ironically, nearly had the punters pogoing through the floor with a climactic 1-2-3-4 mega-stomp. Apart from basting an City banker on a spit this is the best fun possible.


Set closer was the shrewdly chosen Depeche Mode cover, ‘Enjoy The Silence’. Some might suggest a closing cover song is a bit of a cop-out but they’d worked the dynamic to perfection and the collective choral participation was a joy to behold.

Encores came with the epic grandeur of the rhino shagging a blender ‘Trip The Darkness’ and the sweatily exhausting speed-rocker ‘Spellbound’ – as indeed we remained far into the night.

Setlist:Intro, Our Truth, I Won’t Tell You, I’M Not Afraid, Kill The Light, Fragments of Faith, Heaven’s A Lie, Daylight Dancer, Wide Awake, Without Fear, Swamped, Fragile, Enjoy The Silence, The Darkness, Spellbound.

Review – John Kennedy
Photos – Ian Dunn

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