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A night at the 'metal' opera with Lacuna Coil

by Frank Ralph. Published Wed 13 Nov 2019 22:31, last updated: 13/11/19

Tonight’s show at the O2 Ritz in Manchester was a night of firsts. It was the first night of the completely sold out UK run of Lacuna Coils’ Black Anima tour, it was the first time Infected Rain had made it to these shores, and it was the first time I’ve ever considered doing a jig at a metal show.

Moldovan metallers Infected Rain opened the show in style with a short but emphatic set played to a near full venue. It’s taken 11 years for them to visit the UK and they looked to be enjoying popping their cherry as much as the crowd enjoyed getting infected. It shows what an audience they have built for themselves that the Ritz was pretty much full to capacity for their set.

Lena had the crowd in the palm of her hands as the pummelling music got everyone suitably warmed up. Hopefully they will return soon for some more dates as they added tons more fans to the ones they already had, and they’re the kind of band that make you feel excited about metal again. Make sure you check them out as soon as you possibly can.

Eluvietie’s t-shirts state that they are Pure F*@king Folk Metal, and they are in fact, Pure F*@king Folk Metal! They created a brut-iful cacophony with stunningly beautiful vocals from Fabienne Erni paired with front man Chrigel’s brutal punchy growls.

The band themselves, consisting of 9 members, were crushingly heavy. Supplementing the traditional guitar, drums and bass with tin whistles, harps and a whole host of instruments I’ve never seen or heard before – including one called a hurdy-gurdy.

Ultimately they weren’t my cup of tea personally but they certainly put on a hell of a show and almost got me jigging along to the Celtic vibes. The rest of the audience absolutely adored them and the number of people who visited the merch stand after their set showed exactly how well they went down.

Lacuna Coil are a class act. The operatic scales of Cristina Scabbia’s voice were incredible, and the juxtaposition of Andrea’s growls has always made the Italians stand out from the crowd. Not only were Cristina’s vocals pristine but also they were spine-tingling at times, filling the whole room with her words. Truly a voice of a (dark) angel.

Diego Cavalotti’s guitar tones were exquisite too and were quite often given lots of space in the songs to breath. Combined with the pounding backbeat and Marco Zelati’s bass they created a heavier sound than I remember them having live previously and brought the new Black Anima material to life beautifully.

Reckless was a personal highlight as was House Of Shame, which followed an open welcome for all the extended Lacuna family, but the set was full of incredible moments.

Closing the set with their fantastic cover of Depeche Mode’s Enjoy The Silence they left the stage to rapturous applause returning shortly after to close the show with a surprisingly early Xmas banger called Naughty Christmas – which was wonderfully twisted and deranged – before crowning the night with arguably two of their biggest hits in Swamped and Heaven’s a Lie.

With this short 5-date run selling out completely, we believe it won’t be long until they are back for more and they’ll be welcomed with open arms when they do.


For more photos from the show click here


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