Dark Adrenaline (Century Media)
By Mike Delano
It seems that, nowadays, a little bit of Lacuna Coil goes a long way. Since finding success with the sleeker, pop-leaning Karmacode, these endearingly melodramatic Italians laid a dud with follow-up Shallow Life, which left one feeling queasy, stuffed as it was with way too many sugary-sweet choruses and filler. It led me to think that the band’s post-Karma albums were probably only worth cherry-picking from, rather than appreciating as a whole, a thought that Dark Adrenaline reinforces. Opener “Trip The Darkness” is streamlined and effective: even if modern-day Lacuna Coil is miles away from the more thoughtful, expansive sounds of 2001’s Unleashed Memories, I’m not one to turn down a razor-sharp Christina Scabbia mega-chorus. “Upsidedown” is similarly to the point, with Scabbia slicing through the song with an uncharacteristically piercing, nasal delivery that’s unexpected and invigorating. The same can’t be said for much of the rest of the album, which is littered with Lacuna Coil-on-autopilot filler or lame ballads like “End Of Time” and “My Spirit,” the latter of which features a creepy midsection of spoken-word Italian cooing that sounds like Puss ‘N Boots trying out pick-up lines. Also, inexcusably, a boneheaded, sterile cover of R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion.” Hey, you may have to cherry-pick on this one (another highlight is the rousing “Intoxicated”), but at least there’s some good stuff that’s well worth picking.