With a new album recently released, Lacuna Coil are touring again and for their London show they brought along two very different sounding bands, Eluveitie and Infected Rain, and the odd combination still worked very well.
Coming from Moldova with a sort of evolved nu-metal type of sound, Infected Rain played for the first time ever in London. Despite it being their first time in the big smoke, the band looked very comfortable on stage and kept the interaction with the audience going between songs. The singer Lena ‘Scissorhands’ sounds exactly like in the album, alternating between clean and growling vocals, but despite the power of her growls I would say that the clean registry is where her vocals shine. With such big name bands coming up after, they had big shoes to fill and they certainly did a good job of opening the stage.
Eluveitie bring to the stage as many people as you can count on both hands and even more instruments. Sounds like a recipe for chaos but it all works extremely well. Rather than throwing everything at the audience at the same time, each instrument and singer comes on at the right time and in appropriate measure to create different textures that sound equally beautiful and heavy. Fabienne Erni’s vocals, in particular, were spot on, never missing a note and making even the hardest parts seem effortless. From start to finish there were smiles on the band’s faces and they seemed to truly enjoy being on stage and have a good time. Regardless if folk metal is your cup of tea or not, Eluveitie’s great stage presence makes it hard to not get into the spirit of it. Their performance was only faulted by a not so great sound mix which put too much emphasis on bass and drowned out everything else in particular whenever there were blastbeats.
Followed by a short dramatic intro, Lacuna Coil entered the stage to the sound of “Blood, Tears, Dust” from their previous album Delirium. Lacuna Coil’s shows have been gradually changing over recent years and the band has been making more and more use of face paint to create a darker tone and embody the themes of their songs. These characters they create end up feeling underutilised and making the use of face paint feel a bit gimmicky. Still, it doesn’t ever feel like it gets in the way of the performance.
While the setlist travelled back and forth between their different albums, it clearly focused on their more recent portfolio of songs with only a couple of songs from Karmacode and “Heaven’s a Lie” being the farthest they went back in time. The highlight of the show was not surprisingly the cover of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” which was sung loudly by the audience with hands up in the air. Because it’s nearly Christmas time, and because in the UK Christmas season starts early, the inclusion of “Naughty Christmas” in the setlist as the first song of the encore felt appropriate. London was also treated to the premiere of “Save Me” being played live.
Depending on where you stand in terms of what phase of their career you prefer, there were some really great moments, and others not so amazing. On the last Lacuna Coil show that I had seen there were a few moments when both singers were out of tune (potentially due to not being able to hear themselves), and I was happy to see that during the whole of this show they were both on point.
Photos by Luis Rodrigues