Lacuna Coil @ Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton – Tuesday 23rd October, 2012

This Is She‘s raven-haired voxette, Alana Grace, in vacuum-wrapped, circulation threatening turquoise spandex pants led a trio of fellow LA heads-down thunder blasters. They tick all the bona-fide requisite rocker boxes albeit in fist-clenched crayon. Some interesting sepulchral electronica growling added a diverting, even hypnotic gothic dynamic at times. But, there clearly seemed to be a schism between form and substance – as if that ever bothered third generation Metal heads – it’s the whole point. However, the closing number exploited vocoder like loops and cyber-Garage synth effects climaxing to an industrial drum frenzy – rather impressive actually.

Pledging ‘seductive vocals with a modern, electronica inspired metal sound’ this ‘Dark Legacy’ tour promised old and new ‘Coilers’ alike the chance to bask in nearly two hours of compressed retrospective Rock. Celebrating a recording history of some thirteen years from the 1999 debut album ‘In a Reverie’ up to this year’s ‘Dark Adrenelin’* the promised ‘melodic epicness’ was eagerly anticipated.

There was little to disappoint – unless, that is, you’re averse to having a ‘snakebite’ induced hangover exacerbated by a Medea mascara’d Archangel Thunderbird of bewitching charm doing bulldozer hand-brake turns over your nuts-sack. Milanese Baroque Goth n’Metal rollers, Lacuna Coil, led by cantanti, panda-minx Christina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro, whipped (oh just imagine it!) the faithful Wulfrun Hall punters in to a delirium of mutual ecstatic delight tonight. Moscow is still recovering, apparently.

But, maybe for some of the dedicated, their loyalties might have been tested a metal-lite bridge too far. The mid-evening sit-down acoustic set (they’d done a similar one earlier in the day at Brum’s Kerrang Radio) seeming to compromise the on-going seismic dynamic, preceded as it was by a short interval. For others perhaps, a welcome relief with the Hall already utterly minging humid. They did promise it was going to be a long night. As ever, Christina Scabbia, charmed the crowd with her effusive dialogues and life-affirming stage-presence. Even so, there was a sense that the band were a tad self-conscious with having to play to track in the absence of injured bassist, Marco, as well as bedding in replacement drummer, Ryan Folden (on loan from This Is She?) whilst Cristiano is on paternity leave. But, it was soon back to knee-trembling, power-chord mania and Scabbia & Ferro cranking-up maximum mosh-pit mayhem with their arabesque, adrenalin-soaked vocal incitement to go mental. A good night then.

Photos by Ian Dunn

Review by John Kennedy

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