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Lacuna Coil Goes Delirious on Eighth Album

Italian goth band’s Cristina Scabbia on how they channeled madness on ‘Delirium’, going old-school with cassettes and the “constant honking” in India

Anurag Tagat May 26, 2016
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Lacuna Coil. Photo by Alessandro Olgiati

Lacuna Coil. Photo by Alessandro Olgiati

Some of the craziest things about Lacuna Coil’s eighth full-length album Delirium go beyond the thematic influence of madhouses and mental illness in their lyrics. The metallers all mimicked kids’ voices on the intro to the track “Take Me Home”, invited Myles Kennedy [from metallers Alter Bridge and vocalist for guitar legend Slash] not to record his next-level vocals, but to show off his guitar skills on “Downfall”. The Italian metallers’ label Century Media will also release limited-edition cassettes, in a nod to go old-school. Says vocalist Cristina Scabbia over the phone from Dortmund, “When we started, our demo was on a cassette. It’s refreshing in a way, which is weird, because it’s definitely an old-school thing to do.”

Fuel for the hype machine notwithstanding, Delirium is yet another release that is enveloped in Lacuna Coil’s love for all things dark, brooding and of course, gothic. The 11-track album addresses “the horrors that we must face in everyday life by exploring the unknown, and to one day, hopefully find the cure.” Scabbia specifically notes that as much as they present gloomy music, there is a message of hope. She adds, “I want to say that everyone who feels rejected, alone, that is having problems ”“ in Delirium they will find comfort, because it’s been written by someone who went through tough moments and it’d be nice to get through everything together.”

The vocalist, who fronts the band alongside co-founder and co-vocalist Andrea Ferro, doesn’t divulge any specific details, but there have been recent professional challenges thrown the band’s way. Long-time members such as guitarist Cristiano Migliore and drummer drummer Cristiano Mozzati left in 2014, while their second guitarist Marco Biazzi also amicably left the band earlier this year. Lacuna Coil now comprises Scabbia, founding members Ferro and bassist/keyboardist Marco Coti Zelati, guitarist Daniel Sahagun and drummer Ryan Blake Folden, who has spent more time in the band’s headquarters in Milan than in his native California in the two years that he’s been part of the band, according to Scabbia. The vocalists adds the new lineup is already tight-knit. “It’s really like family. He’s not only a fantastic drummer ”“ that’s pretty clear when you hear the record and when you see him live ”“ but also to us, an amazing person. It was like we had also found a great person.”

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Recorded with just four members [Sahagun joined the band in February], it’s no surprise that Delirium features guest artists, including guitarist Mark Vollelunga of American rock band Nothing More on “Blood, Tears, Dust” and Myles Kennedy on “Downfall”. Scabbia, who previously performed a duet with Kennedy on Alter Bridge’s song “Watch Over You”, says, “I just happened to send him a Christmas message in December and I also asked him if he wanted to be part of the record and put a solo on one of our songs. Instead of doing all the jobs by ourselves, we thought it would be even cooler to have guests and people we admire. I think he’s not only one of the most talented and amazing singers of our times, but a lot of people don’t know that he’s an incredible guitar player.” Sonically, the album follows the band’s influences of goth, industrial and modern metal, a crushing mix that couldn’t get more anthemic. Although Scabbia’s trademark lilt comes through, she says she wouldn’t mind picking up other vocal styles. “I would actually love to learn how to growl. Just for fun and to see how it would be, because a lot of people tell me that with my type of voice, ”˜It will be interesting to hear you growling’. That’s the only thing I’d be curious to try,” she says.

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With one single ”“ a signature epic song called “The House of Shame” ”“ released and a North America tour in the works to coincide with the May 27th launch of Delirium, Lacuna Coil are also hitting new shores. “We’re going to play for the first time in the Philippines at the end of the month. We’re going to play our first show in China as well. This year is going to be pretty full,” says Scabbia. They’re going a long way from home, although there are shows in Italy as well. Scabbia does echo the sentiment shared by fellow Italian metallers such as Fleshgod Apocalypse that it’s tough to be a metal band in their country. She says, “It’s a very conservative territory [for metal]. There isn’t a lot of space for rock and metal. It’s not like living in the States or in Germany. There are fans, but it’s very difficult for a band to come to the surface and become more known, because we just don’t have that rock/metal history.”

While there are a few Asia stops on the tour so far, Scabbia doesn’t know if an India show is on the cards yet. Lacuna Coil made their India debut in 2010, at the Great Indian Octoberfest in Bengaluru. Scabbia recalls, not surprisingly, her best memory of India, “The thing that really hit me was the constant honking. While we were driving, everybody was honking in the streets. It was like a party, 24 hours a day. I was really impressed. I really hope that we can come back to India.”

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