Aboriginal led punk rock band Chasing Ghosts have just dropped their new single Summer off …
Far away from the bright lights of our virtual lives, our smiling pictures and over-elaborated presentations of living our dreams, lurks the greyscale of reality.
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In the shadowy realms of real experience we find not only the sparkle of achievement and beauty, but also the depths of despair, of pain and loneliness. It is to these moments that Italian gothic band Lacuna Coil has given a voice on their ninth studio album Black Anima. Stronger, darker, and heavier, Black Anima is Lacuna Coil more ferocious than ever.
“Well, after Delirium,” Lacuna Coil’s vocalist Cristina Scabbia reflects, “and especially after the tours with it, we automatically realised that we liked it heavier. Because on stage, there is a completely different energy, and we liked it the most. So we followed this idea, and we started to write music that was already heavier than before. Of course adding Andrea [Ferro, vocalist] singing with growling made it even heavier, so all I had to do was, you know, to add melody with my type of voice. But the songs were written heavy and we like them this way.”
Inside of the darkness there is always that glimmer of hope that we put in our songs, because I love balance. I love darkness and I love the light.
[ Cristina Scabbia ]
It certainly has been a powerful development for the band, and as Scabbia continues to discuss, Lacuna Coil fans have enthusiastically embraced it. “It’s been really incredible,” She says, “because we always had a very loyal base of fans that have been following us throughout our careers. They always say it’s the best record, but with this record it was something different. It seems that a lot of fans found out that there were a lot of things from the very beginning of our career, sound-wise, and it is very curious, because of course the song writers are still the same, but its not something we did consciously, so I was wondering how is it possible that after so many years there is something coming out again, from the past? It makes me feel pretty good, and people are singing the songs in the live shows which is great because it means that they have learned the songs and like them … it is a beautiful feeling.”
‘Anima’ is ‘the soul’ in Italian, which is very profound subject, as Scabbia elaborates on what ‘black anima’ is, and how it manifests on the album. “It is hard to review what the whole album means,” she explains, “but as usual there is a line that brings everything together, there is a vibe that permeates this record. When I try to sum it up I always say that this record is a realisation that it is okay to not to be okay all the time. Sometimes we stress too much. Perfection! Everybody wants to look pretty and perfect, filtered and happy and rich, especially nowadays with social media, but real life is something completely different, and sometimes we forget about it, because life is of course made of beautiful things, but all the struggles, all the pain, all the solitude, all the depression, all the darkest moments are not showcased. We wanted to give space to those moments because we feel that it’s time to talk about it, because we are all on the same note, we are all going through those moments, and we wanted to let our fans know that we went through them as well, but we survived and we feel stronger, because we went through those darkest moments. So it’s like an invitation, to try to master darkness, not run away from it.”
While Lacuna Coil has generally danced in the arena of darkness, why the introspective turn this time? “Well I think all this introspective stuff is due to our personal experiences. The more you grow, the more you experience in life, and the more incorporate into your music, because music is basically what you have inside, and you translate everything with lyrics and music. So yeah I guess we are talking about our lives, and putting it out there, and sometimes it’s even more complicated to describe why write music in this way and in reality its way, way simpler, because you just sit down and there’s something on your mind, or in your soul, and you just take it out. It is already inside of you waiting to come out. It’s like starting a painting, and you don’t know where the brush is leading you, but you keep painting until the painting comes out of the frame, all of a sudden.”
This painting analogy works perfectly for Black Anima, for it ranges in emotional palette from heated fire to cold isolation, On how she represented different and multifaceted ‘darknesses’, Scabbia says, “It was just fun getting inspired by every single thought, the songs are very diverse from each other. I personally experimented a lot more with my voice because I already went really high and really low with my vocals but I never really changed the tone of my voice. There is a song right at the beginning of the album called Anima Nera, which is ‘Black Anima’ in Italian, in which I’m doing almost like a childish evil voice, and a lot of people believe that it was effects, but I was like no, there is no effects, I made this voice, that is really my voice, there is nothing extra. I tried to do this in a few songs, and tried to go even lower, and we used Andrea’s growl, which I love very much, I think he has a very distinctive and unique voice. So we played a little.”
The track Save Me contains a beautiful spoken word piece, which as Scabbia informs us, represents much about the message within Black Anima. “That was another way of sort of acting,” she says of how these profound words came to be, “I say ‘sort of acting’, because I feel that everyone has those times in life where you feel that you can’t go any lower, but there is always that spark of life that makes you go, fuck it, I will go on because I want to. Inside of the darkness there is always that glimmer of hope that we put in our songs, because I love balance. I love darkness and I love the light.”