Lacuna Coil Rock Hammer Halloween Bash!
Lacuna Coil / Sentenced
Astoria Theatre, London
31 October 2002
It’s taken them three years, but at last Italy’s Lacuna Coil have become an overnight sensation. Suddenly, everybody’s talking about them – and everyone wants a piece of the action. So, maybe it wasn’t a surprise when this show was moved from the smaller Mean Fiddler to the Astoria – and the place was packed with enthusiastic bodies. And if the band themselves are a little taken aback by their sudden surge to fame, then it didn’t show in this confident, strident performance.
Decked out in Halloween black, the band hit the right note from the start with the striking Cristina Scabbia the obvious focal point. But while she has charm and style in abundance, this is not a one person operation. Fellow vocalist Andrea Ferro provides an aggressive counterpoint to Cristina’s feminine wiles, and the musicianship backing them up is formidable.
Essentially goth metal, the Coil also have the advantage being more diverse than one might expect. There are hints of Zeppelin and even Soundgarden in their music, and they deliver some of the most intense melodies around, with ‘Heaven’s A Lie’ rapidly becoming a live fave. Just a shame one or two idiots chose to ‘celebrate’ the end of the set by hurling beer cans towards the stage. But that couldn’t dampen the ardour and delight of the atmosphere.
Finland’s Sentenced provided a decent support set, although they are so heavily derivative of Paradise Lost that one must wonder what’s the point when the real deal are still very much alive and kicking. Sure they have a decent take on the whole genre, but they never rise above the average, pounding out a set of obvious goth metal anthems that don’t sit close to the premier league. Strange that Sentenced were actually due to headline above Lacuna Coil until days before the show – now that would have been a massive mistake.
Malcolm Dome