Being a fan of this band, it's not easy to watch them disintegrate from a band that once had an edge and offered something very different from everything else to a middle of the road pop rock band. That's exactly what's going on here. By no means is this a bad album, but it's just another album that proves the creativity that came up with "Heaven's A Lie" and "Our Truth" does not exist anymore.
Again, DARK ADRENALINE is not a bad effort by any stretch. Every aspect of this release is polished to a bright, shiny gleam - maybe too polished. With all the edge of an orb, DARK ADRENALINE puts forth 12 tracks that are hardly memorable and really don't do much for the listener.
As always, the focal point of the band is vocalist and primary lyricist Cristina Scabbia. She sounds as good as she's ever sounded here. Her haunting, clean vocals are solid as always and set the mood for most songs. On songs like "End Of Time", she croons with her flowing voice overtop of the song and in stark contrast to the band's other vocalist; the more growly Andrea Ferro. She sounds fine, but a bit too polished and just lacking any emotion at all. While she's never been one to really spew emotion into songs, most of the songs here are very paint by the numbers for Scabbia. For Ferro, he's also tuned it back a bit, taking away the jagged opposite edge of the vocals that dominated early albums. Having given this 10 or 11 listens, it's clear that something is missing here vocally, but I can't quite put my finger on it. That said, songs like "I Don't Believe In Tomorrow" are fairly tepid in their vocal mix.
To be fair, the band sounds really good here; specifically guitarists Cristiano Migliore and Marcos Biazzi. Unlike anything since COMALIES, the guitars are a lot more vibrant and loud in the mix. At times, like on the aforementioned "I Don't Believe In Tomorrow", they seem to have reached back a decade and channeled Korn for their tone and direction, but for the most part the guitars have a big, thick Drop-D sound that carries the bulk of the songs. Their sound on "Intoxicated" is remarkably similar to something Disturbed has done in the past, but don't read that as a bad thing. It mimmicks Disturbed in that it sticks in your head a bit. They play well overtop the thick foundation laid down by drummer Cristiano Mozzati and bassist Marco Zelati.
As I stated before, the problem really isn't the band for the most part. It's the lack of edge to the sound itself. That's a twofold problem. First, it really appears as if they are writing material with much less bite than they did on previous albums. There's the occasional song with some energy ("The Army Inside"), but for the most part, the songs are all similar, all hard rock/pop metal instead of darker Gothic like they used to do, and seemingly written to give program directors a lot of choice on what to play. The other problem is that producer Don Gilmore has rubbed the edges of this band until it's as sharp as a marble. Their unique cover of REM's "Losing My Religion" is a great example of this. The arrangement was great, and the pattern between Scabbia and Ferro was well thought out. Yet, when you listen to it, it's dull and more like a hard edged Madonna song than anything a metal band would have ever done. In short, song after song just comes off way too slick and polished.
PITRIFF RATING - 64/100 - Over the last two albums, Lacuna Coil has transformed themselves from the better, edgier femaled fronted goth metal band to the "other band like Evanescence". For some, that may be a good thing. For me, it just doesn't feel right. If you were happy with SHALLOW LIFE last time, you will probably enjoy DARK ADRENALINE as well. If you were disappointed with it, don't expect much of a rebound. It's technically decent, but far from great.