The Italian gothic metal merchants are back with a new album hoping to continue the path they made with previous 2012 studio album Dark Adrenaline. This path the band made heralded a commercial success when they entered the Billboard Top 200 album chart at number 15, and went on to sell over one million copies in North America alone. Fronted by both the feminine vocals of Cristina Scabbia and the testosterone-driven vocals of Andrea Ferro, they really are charging forward with Broken Crown Halo.
Ferro had this to say about the new album, “We’ve fused dark and horror elements with real life situations and have created a metaphor – we are fighting for a kingdom and a crown that is not what it seems, it represents the moment of confusion we’re living in and the very fragile situations we face every day.”
Highlights on what is a crisp sounding affair include Hostage to the Light, I Forgive (But I won’t Forget You) and album closer One Cold Day. There is no escaping the balance that is achieved throughout between the two vocal approaches which lay on a blanket of melancholy flavored power. Broken Crown Halo easily satisfies the furrowed brow and the aching heart with its evident dark beauty, and should please both existing fans of the band in conjunction with those who fear very little and wish for a new musical adventure.
If you’re searching for big riffs that bleed crimson tears, look no further than Zombie or Die & Rise; if you’re yearning for hook-laden gothic rock then Infection, In the End I Feel Alive and Victims cast their ominous shadows as they cast their spell. One moment they’re a version of Moonspell, the next they are another fine example of female-fronted hard rock.
From the 11 tracks caged within their own nightmare upon Broken Crown Halo, the many different emotive gears that are tapped radiate sincerity. There’s no room disputing how good this album is; the only question that remains is whether this will cement their place within the ocean of gothic/symphonic acts that already occupy this cobwebbed corner of the rock/metal marketplace.