O2 FORUM KENTISH TOWN, LONDON. 19.01.18 GOTHIC METAL MAESTROS BRING THE CIRCUS TO LONDON FOR 20TH ANNIVERSARY
WORDS: JAMES MACKINNON PHOTOS: PAUL HARRIES
■ THERE ARE demons and angels spinning above the stage, theatrical gothic romance in the air, and even a circus big top here tonight.yes, this is the O2 Forum Kentish Town, but not as you’ve ever seen it. It feels an appropriate way for Lacuna Coil to mark 20 years together, though, because they essentially did run away to join the circus – wandering metal misfits offering glimpses of an astonishing world.and the presence of fans from such far-flung corners as Argentina and Australia is testament to their beguiling legacy.
Over almost three hours there are plenty of thrills and zero spills, as Lacuna Coil execute the high theatrics with shadowy flair. Fire dancers resembling Sia on Halloween hypercharge the lunatic chug of Blood,tears, Dust, while The House Of Shame sees them clawing through sheets at Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro. Surprises aren’t reserved for the visual trappings, mind. Receiving its first-ever airing, Soul Into Hades demonstrates how Lacuna Coil’s mysterious gothmetal blueprint was in place from their first EP, and the seldom-heard One Cold Day is a touching tribute to late founding guitarist, Claudio Leo.
The best, as always, is saved for last. Cristina emerges for the encore in an elaborate ball gown, singing Wide Awake accompanied only by desolate piano.then she starts to rise… high. As she hovers 20 feet in the air, her pealing high notes are matched only by the sound of collective jaws hitting the floor. Impressively, the band manage to follow that spectacle on their return, as Enjoy The Silence and Nothing Stands In Our Way culminate in an extravaganza of pyro, passion and jubilant applause.this may have been a one-night-only affair, but it’s the celebration of a lifetime.
duo featuring ex-the Chariot chap Josh Scogin, who is reassuringly still warping rock into unrecognisable shapes.afterwards,all Hailtheyeti’s endearing passion continues to outstrip their songcraft, though new song Slow Season suggests they are hard at work addressing that balance. Inevitably, tonight belongs to Crazyfists as they deliver unimpeachable anthems like At The End Of August and I’ll Go Until My Heart Stops, as well as a cover of Alice In Chains’ We Die Young and the live debut of Sea And Smoke. It is all as breathless as it is ferocious. Sadly, bothvanish and Reviver are AWOL tonight, plus it would be welcome if they had indulged in the acoustic brilliance of, say, Dark Corners or The City Ignites. That said, nuance is perhaps a necessary sacrifice on a night that transforms the Academy into a warzone. Just another quiet Sunday evening with one of metal’s most frustratingly underappreciated bands.