Gig Reviews

Gig review: Lacuna Coil in Tokyo

Italian modern metal band Lacuna Coil rose from the dark to shine in Tokyo for its first headline show in Japan.

Lacuna Coil and Amiliyah at Shibuya Stream Hall, Tokyo, Japan on 16th December 2022

Lacuna Coil has performed in Japan several times in the past, but those shows were shorter festival gigs. On Friday night, we finally got to experience a full headline show by the band. And what a show they put on!

Kicking off the evening was Amiliyah. This terrific Japanese band’s music combined many different styles and influences, including goth, shock rock, heavy metal, melodic metal, J-pop and more. Moel’s violin added a touch of folk metal to the mix as well. The band paired its music with outlandish costumes in a self-described “princess and monsters” theme. Goth princess Kimi on lead vocals was surrounded on stage by monster-clad musicians. Weird? Yes. Good? Yes. It worked. Amiliyah’s high-energy 25-minute set was a good way to wake up the audience and get them warmed up for the evening’s main attraction.

Lacuna Coil, putting on their first full headline show for Japanese fans, didn’t waste the opportunity. They walked on stage and delivered like it was nobody’s business. This was the final night of the band’s “Rising from the Dark” tour and it was obvious that the band had decided to finish the tour by exceeding all expectations. Lacuna Coil plays modern metal of the best kind. The heavy-yet-melodic metal music is fabulous. Few modern metal bands have the same quality songs. What takes this from great to world-class is the combination of the song material (mainly the work of bassist Marco “Maki” Coti Zelati) and the very effective dual vocal attack that features the harsh, dark pipes of Andrea Ferro and the powerful melodic voice of Cristina Scabbia. The band’s newer additions, guitarist Diego Cavallotti and drummer Richard Meiz have grown into important parts of the Milanese band. The show featured eight of the tracks from the band’s brand-new album “Comalies XX” (including what was perhaps the show’s highlight, “Heaven’s a Lie”). The “XX” versions of the songs originally recorded two decades ago are generally heavier and darker (“Rising from the Dark” is a very fitting name for this tour) and the songs are better. It is a risky move to rewrite and rerecord old fan favourites. Lacuna Coil pulled it off and live the new versions were simply awesome. The new album is fantastic and I am glad that it featured so prominently in the live show. This evening we also got treated to three songs from the 2016 “Delirium” album (“Blood, Tears, Dust”, “Delirium” and “My Demons”) and six songs from the 2019 album “Black Anima”. Songs from the band’s early albums did not feature at all in the live set, but with such a powerful 90-minute show, overflowing with positive energy and a real connection between the band and the audience, I don’t think anyone present was unhappy with what the band served them this evening. The excellent set also featured “Kill the Light” (from 2012’s “Dark Adrenaline”) as well as “Our Truth” and the Depeche Mode cover “Enjoy the Silence” (both from 2016’s “Karmacode”). A highly enjoyable show came to an end with the fabulous “Nothing Stands in Our Way” from the 2014 album “Broken Crown Halo”. What a night! What a return to Japan!