Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
About The Greatness of Unleashed Memories
Italian heavy Gothic metal band Lacuna Coil entered the years 2000 and 2001 on an extremely high note. They would get even better with their second studio album called Unleashed Memories. This may be the band’s best album and their finest hour! There is a bonus edition of this album which has the five songs from their Half-life mini album. That extended play CD also has a short instrumental song called Trance Awake and the song called Senzafine (Without End). Unleashed Memories is also the first album to feature guitarist Marco Biazzi as a member. One point worth mentioning here is that many of you may be annoyed by the heavy accent of male vocalist Andrea Ferro when he sings alongside Cristina in the song called “To Live is to Hide.” You can really notice the accent when the following line is sung: “and to finish this search for the meaning.” The singing of Andrea Ferro shouldn’t be a deal breaker for those of you that have been familiar with Lacuna Coil’s music. This band was absolutely superb in the beginning of their career which covers the period of 1994 through 2001. This seven year period was the band’s peak. So why is Unleashed Memories the finest hour of Lacuna Coil? There are three major reasons why you could provide a solid argument for this.
Cristina Scabbia of the Band Lacuna Coil
The Excellent Vocals
- The powerful, towering vocals of Cristina Scabbia
This is one of the aspects of the album that makes it the band’s finest work. The vocals of Cristina Scabbia have power, range, and a clearness that is hard to find in many other vocalists male or female. I was so impressed back in 2002 with her voice that I felt that she was the best singer that I had ever heard in my life up to that point. Especially in the song “Purify,” we clearly hear how soothing and powerful her voice really is. She has not been able to duplicate this kind of performance since. If I had to come up with an example of a female vocalist that is soothing and has power in her voice it is Tanja Lainio (ex-Lullacry). Distant Sun sees Scabbia become more operatic only adding to the depth of her vocals. A Current Obsession features another soothing example of the vocals when she sings “hiding to survive.” Her extension in this part is beautiful also because it is understandable, that’s the key. Not only is Cristina’s voice beautiful but she herself is one of the most attractive women in the heavy metal genre! I had the pleasure of meeting her back in 2004. For this writer and heavy metal fan, that will be an unforgettable experience!
The Songs On Unleashed Memories
2. The Songwriting in Unleashed Memories
The songs on Unleashed Memories are simply amazing having influences from Fates Warning and just plain old quality Gothic metal and rock. The song 1:19 has the first instance of Andrea Ferro using death metal style growls. The guitar work reminds me of In a Reverie and the song Veins of Glass. The band has said in interviews that the song 1:19 is about the distance between two places. They have not revealed any other information about the meaning behind the song and they say that it is up to the listeners to figure out what that message may be. The last few guitar riffs may remind listeners of thrash metal as the song ends with a flourish! Cold Heritage is another ballad in the history of Lacuna Coil following the first one called Falling back in 1997. The song is about someone who feels the urge to commit a crime because she has lost her lover. She feels a deep loneliness inside of her, as if her spirit is really lacking that connection. She is asking for forgiveness from her lover because of the mistakes that she has made. It is very hard to forgive someone that has made so many mistakes if they were a former lover because there is a loss of trust in those situations. Wave of Anguish is the weakest song on the album and it may be the one that some of you may skip over. The song is influenced by early The Gathering albums. Half-life has some Amorphis influence it, such as the type of songs that you would hear on the Tuonela album. Hyperfast features some intense death metal growls by Andrea Ferro! The album ends with a performance of the song called Stars by the British band Dubstar.
In an album that is this solid, Purify is the best of the first few songs and one of the reasons why is the production which is discussed in the next point.
Note: in the kinds of things to be grateful for in life, this writer is always grateful that he got the chance to meet Lacuna Coil in person! That was a dream of mine as I considered Cristina Scabbia a role model at the time.
The Song Called "Half-Life"
3. The crisp production work of Waldemar Sorychta
The production work of Waldemar Sorychta is well-done and for a 2000 or 2001 album, Unleashed Memories really excels in this category! Sorychta of course played in the band called Enemy of the Sun which has members from Finland, Poland, Germany, and Russia. Well he was an asset to that band and he sure helps Lacuna Coil here!
The Amazing Song Called "Purify"
The Greatness of Unleashed Memories
The Excellent Song Called "Hyperfast"
Even More Reasons That Unleashed Memories is So Great
The bottom line is that Unleashed Memories really put Lacuna Coil on the map as far as elite Gothic rock bands are concerned. These Italians just work so well together and that’s another key ingredient to making a successful band. Italy is not just known for its food and ice cream but they also have outstanding rock and metal bands and Lacuna Coil is one of the finest bands in all of Italy. There is a 2011 re-released version of this album that has a beautiful ballad type song called Lost Lullaby. How great is Unleashed Memories in terms of points? Well, points do not do enough justice for such a fine piece of music! 100 points would not even be high enough! Cristina beats the operatic vocals of Tarja Turunen and even the vocals of Liv Kristine Espanaes. Cristina is almost in a category of her own in terms of metal female singers! This is a few steps above the excellence of the 1999 album In a Reverie. If In a Reverie can be compared to being like some tasty vanilla ice cream, Unleashed Memories is probably as good as Italian Gelatto!
"A Current Obsession"
Rate Lacuna Coil's Unleashed Memories
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2016 Ara Vahanian