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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another solid album from Lacuna Coil!
Since first hearing this Italian goth metal band, I have always been a fan. The one-two punch of Cristina Scabbia’s hauntingly powerful vocals and Andrea Ferro’s deeper more gruff sounding voice gives them a unique sound when combined with the instrumentals of the talented band members supporting the two singers. Each album seems to have it’s own...
Published 9 months ago by MonsterZeroNJ

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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but Nowhere Near Their Best
Lacuna Coil has slipped into a pattern of delivering a great album followed by a so-so one. Back in 2009, they releades 'Shallow Life," which is regarded as one of their weakest albums. The songs lacked the raw energy and hooks that the band is capable of. It had the feel of a somewhat generic release; one that many bands would be capable of delivering. In contrast,...
Published 9 months ago by Cory T. Shaeffer


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another solid album from Lacuna Coil!, April 1, 2014
This review is from: Broken Crown Halo (Audio CD)
Since first hearing this Italian goth metal band, I have always been a fan. The one-two punch of Cristina Scabbia’s hauntingly powerful vocals and Andrea Ferro’s deeper more gruff sounding voice gives them a unique sound when combined with the instrumentals of the talented band members supporting the two singers. Each album seems to have it’s own personality and are equally strong in presenting a solid set of tracks that all seem to fit together… and Broken Crown Halo is no different. This new album of 11 strong tracks presents the theatrical and powerful sound this band’s fans love and yet somehow seems intriguing and fresh at the same time. Maybe it’s just that after all these years… they formed in 1994… the band still has a strong passion for their music. And no more proof of this then in the fist pumping opening track “Nothing Stands In Our Way” that hits us with a blast of Ferro’s fierce growl and intense guitars and keyboards with Miss Scabbia joining in for a head banging anthem whose title says it all. The album and it’s songs are filled with the type of gothic lyrics we expect from Lacuna Coil evoking dark images, equally dark emotions and creatures of the night but, not without a glimmer of hope or a chance of overcoming the darkness. No matter how bleak or gloomy things get, the band’s songs always seem to offer the strength to overcome or carry on, such as in the song “Victims” which is about being anything but. My favorite songs are always the ones where Cristina Scabbia really cuts loose such as “Hostages To The Light” and ”I Forgive (But I Won’t Forget Your Name)”. While certainly no slight meant to the talented Andrea Ferro… who can hold his own quite well vocally… Scabbia has one of the best voices in rock and obviously it’s a feast for the ears when she unloads with her full range. She and Ferro compliment each other very well, which is why the songs sound so rich especially when layered with the instrumentals which sometimes go beyond guitar, bass, keyboards and drums to have a more orchestral sound. Again, their stuff is very theatrical but, producer Jay Baumgardner has ensured it’s all mixed perfectly with one element never overpowering another, despite the strength each element has on it’s own. All the pieces come together to compliment the big picture. No better example of this deft production work then the powerful “Cybersleep” and the somber final track “One Cold Day” which contain all these elements in an intoxicating mix. And despite their flair for dramatic sounds, none of the songs ever overstay their welcome with even the 6 minute + “One Cold Day” seeming just right in it’s length. Obviously I am biased. I love this band and am a huge fan. But, it still doesn’t overshadow the fact that this band consistently puts out quality albums with few, if any, weak songs. Obviously, you have to be a fan of this kind of music and as someone who loves both metal and goth/industrial, I get the best of both worlds from Lacuna Coil and they deliver solid album after solid album. I have yet to be disappointed by one of their discs and I don’t expect to be anytime soon. And Broken Crown Halo is about as far from a disappointment as one can get. A powerful, consistently strong album of songs from a band that is passionate about making their music and let’s you hear it for yourself in every track. If you’re a fan, I highly recommend this, their latest album. If you’re not familair with them but, love metal or goth metal, I equally and enthusiastically recommend you give Broken Crown Halo a spin. Lacuna Coil also includes Cristiano Migliore, Christiano Mozzati (who both retired from the band early this year but, are featured on the album) Marco Biazzi and Marco Cot Zelati along with Andrea Ferro and Cristina Scabbia. All songs were written and composed by the members of Lacuna Coil and Jay Baumgardener.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but Nowhere Near Their Best, April 3, 2014
This review is from: Broken Crown Halo (Audio CD)
Lacuna Coil has slipped into a pattern of delivering a great album followed by a so-so one. Back in 2009, they releades 'Shallow Life," which is regarded as one of their weakest albums. The songs lacked the raw energy and hooks that the band is capable of. It had the feel of a somewhat generic release; one that many bands would be capable of delivering. In contrast, 2012's "Dark Adrenaline" was a great album. It featured emotion, energy, hooks, passion, and great lyrics. There was not a bad song on that album. Unfortunately, that brings us to "Broken Crown Halo," which finds the band in a holding pattern, failing to expand upon the energy and songcraft from "Dark Adrenaline." If anything, the album sounds more like "Shallow Life," containing too many filler type of songs that sound like leftovers from the "Dark Adrenaline" sessions. All the elements that made "Dark Adrenaline" great can be heard on "Halo," but in much smaller doses. Furthermore, there is far too much male vocal. There are times, such as on "Die and Rise," when it almost sounds like a Rob Zombie record. And that is all well and good, except for the fact that Cristina Scabbia is one of the greatest singers in all of metal, and her presence is drowned out all too often by the male growls. All in all, when compared to other bands of this genre, Lacuna Coil is still at the top of the list. But the best moments on "Halo" would barely compare to the weakest moments on "Adrenaline."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The True Lacuna Coil Is Back, April 7, 2014
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This review is from: Broken Crown Halo (Audio CD)
Lacuna Coil as we know are a European gothic rock band. I will also admit that I prefer Lacuna Coil's earlier albums more than their new albums. Karmacode still sounds like that European gothic style like Comalies and earlier albums; I am aware there are people who will disagree me on that album. My least favorite albums were Shallow Life and Dark Adrenaline. I'm not saying I dislike those albums (I'll admit I like those albums.) but they were not as nearly as good as previous Lacuna Coil albums(In my opinion). I also thought that Shallow Life and Dark Adrenaline sounded more generic, more American, and poppy at times(Shallow Life was especially criticized for sounding too commercial and generic for some fans.). There are some people who thought that Dark Adrenaline was better, but to me the material on that album was similar to Shallow life. The only song on Dark Adrenaline that sounded like the "old" Lacuna Coil, was the song My Spirit.

This album (Broken Crown Halo) brings back the "old" Lacuna Coil sound. There are times when I hear American culture in this album, however I hear that European gothic style again in this album. For example, the song I Forgive But I Won't Forget Your Name has a melodic and haunting feel to the song(Kind of like the album Unleashed Memories), but this song also has a radio friendly "Shallow Life" feel to this song as well. Lacuna Coil also has heavy songs such as Nothing Stands In Our Way, Zombies, and of course Die and Rise. If your a fan of Comalies and earlier material, I doubt you will be disappointed with songs like Victims, Cybersleep, Infection, Hostage To The Light, One Cold Day. I should also mention that Cybersleep, Hostage To The Light, and One Cold Day are songs that Cristina Scabbia sings alone. I can't say that this is my favorite Lacuna Coil album, but I'm glad to say that it is at least better than the previous two albums(In my opinion). I recommend this album to 2006 and earlier Lacuna Coil fans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome album!, April 8, 2014
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This review is from: Broken Crown Halo (Audio CD)
Had the whole album on repeat now for days. My favorites are Hostage to the Light, and In the End I feel Alive. Definitely worth the purchase!! This group has always been a solid bunch, and I am so glad I started listening to them a couple years ago. My old favorite use to be Evanescence, so of course I am thrilled that this group has that theme and feel. This band definitely has made me a long time fan. And Evanescence definitely lost me with their last album.
I cant wait to see these guys live!! I have yet to see them. Hope they visit a place close to my home town, within driving distance.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite a Halo, but a Broken Crown it is, April 1, 2014
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This review is from: Broken Crown Halo (Audio CD)
Broken Crown Halo is a continuation of the sound Lacuna Coil developed with Dark Adrenaline. However, while Dark Adrenaline was heavy, catchy, and full of energy, much of Broken Crown Halo feels like it came from a stockroom of stale rock melodies. I wouldn't call it quite commercial, but a third of the album is made up of filler. It's one of those albums you can put on in the background at work or doing chores - while nice enough to listen through, nothing is extremely remarkable. That being said, I recommend giving it a few listens through and deciding for yourself -- many of the songs seem bland upon first listen but grow on you.

The first track and single, "Nothing Stands in Our Way," is the most addictive of the album. This is one of the tracks that I thought was so-so upon first listen but fell in love with after replays. It's the anthem of the album: the chorus is practically shouted and sung through very quickly, but the lyrics are encouraging: "Life-long road blocks, high walls, teardrops - nothing stands in our way!" I can see this as a favorite during the Broken Crown Halo tour.

The track "Cybersleep" has a few experimental electronic effects on Cristina's voice, which is interesting but not as memorable as Dark Adrenaline's "Intoxicated," which demonstrated Cristina's ability to sing runs. "Cybersleep" reminds me of Collide's album Chasing The Ghost combined with Stream of Passion's Darker Days. A decent track.

I have never been a fan of Andrea's vocal contribution, but his part in "In the End I Feel Alive" is energetic and fun, and saves the song from filler status with its average melody. His singing shows improvement in "I Burn in You," with a clear tone and better pronunciation than in the past, at least in the opening verse. This track has him gradually descend into a thicker voice each time he sings until he finally goes all-out grunt at the height of the song (minute 2:30 to 3:00). The opening and closing instrumentation has an oriental feel that is refreshing. A highlight of the album.

Cristina still displays great talent in her vocal ability and control. Like previous albums, the songs are all mid-tempo (with the exception of the ending pseudo-ballad "One Cold Day") with prominent guitars and bass. Despite some commercial filler -- notably "I Forgive (But I Won't Forget Your Name)" -- this album is still metal.

Stand-out tracks: Nothing Stands in Our Way, Zombies, Die & Rise, Cybersleep, I Burn in You, In the End I Feel Alive

So, 6 / 11 tracks equals to about 3 out of 5, but I like it enough to give it a 3.5, which rounds up to 4 stars.

For fans of After Forever, ReVamp, Nightwish, Delain, Within Temptation, Epica, and Stream of Passion
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars one of the best Hard Rock groups in the last 15 years!, May 19, 2014
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This review is from: Broken Crown Halo (Audio CD)
I have been a huge Lacuna Coil fan since the early days and have all there albums.this new album for me is a letdown I thought the last two albums Shadow Life and Dark showed a lot of growth and had a chance of helping the group to get a bigger audience and some radio play, but this album is a step back .since I bought this album a few weeks ago i have listened to it a bunch of times and no songs stick out as great or memorable.Christina's voice remains strong and wonderful one of the best female hard rock singers around and the band still sounds very good .but there are no catchy melodies I like the ballads which show Christina's vocal range,but the male singer is very annoying shouting all the time and ruins a lot of the songs and does not add anything.Christina saves the music when she comes in on each chorus with her angelic voice.this album is not as good as Comalies which is there best album ever or Shadowlife which i like a lot also .this is the weakest album since Karmacode but if your a huge fan like me there are enough good moments to give it a listen but not a favorite of mine . a 3 rating !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Broken Crown Halo, A Crown Indeed, April 19, 2014
This review is from: Broken Crown Halo (Audio CD)
And I thought Dark Adrenaline was a return-to-form effort. Broken Crown Halo in my opinion is actually Lacuna Coil's best work since Karmacode. It is also the first album I can listen to without skipping a track since that album. This brings back even more of the Gothic tones alongside with the newer Alternative Metal influences we have come to enjoy from them. There are moments in some of the songs crafted for this album that will remind you of who Lacuna Coil is from previous efforts but includes some new elements that will make them sound fresh.

The opening track, "Nothing Stands in Our Way", begins with keyboards that sound like they are from a horror movie from the 70s or 80s as they stated in interviews of what inspired and influenced them on this release. And what's this? A growl from co-vocalist Andrea Ferro which is something we haven't heard since "Fragments of Faith" from Karmacode right when the heavy chugging guitars kick in. I think the verses soften the song a bit as far as such a heavy opening but Cristina's vocals shine nonetheless. The heaviness doesn't stop with "Zombies" in which we hear more growling from Andrea. He takes lead in the verses in which I ironically think sound like they would have come from a Rob Zombie tune due to its tempo and rhythm. The chorus from Cristina starts off kind of eerily at first with "Our lost souls..." but then flows into something more poweful when "We are alone..." comes in. For those of you more interested in Cristina taking the lead, next comes the first of three Cristina-only songs with the ballad "Hostage to the Light". The verses are very melodic and steps into a strong and powerful chorus to maintain the mood of the song. Next is one of my favorites, "Victims". This sounds like it wouldn't sound out of place on the group's first full-length album, In A Reverie. The guitar work is very similar to songs you would hear from that album as well as the overall tone of the song. You can hear aggression through the chorus. It seems that not a lot of people care much for the middle of the song with the "rapping" from Cristina but I think it stands out and puts emphasis on some aggression in the song. The next song takes you through a time warp with some evident Karmacode influence on "Die & Rise" with its guitar tuning and chugging korn-like bass that was heard on songs like "Our Truth" and "What I See". This is the first radio single and it is a wise choice as it is one of the most radio-friendly tunes on the album with its simple, catchy chorus. Not much is heard from Cristina in this one with the exception of a line in the chorus and the Italian bridge. At first, I was turned off by the "riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiise" part of the chorus but it grows on you. I've always enjoyed when they incorporated choral effects in their songs like during the verses of this song as well as the next song up which is "I Forgive (But I Won't Forget Your Name)". An eerie guitar begins the song with haunting choral elements throughout. This could be another contender as the next radio single. Next comes the second Cristina-only song, "Cybersleep". A true standout that to me oozes some of Comalies and Unleashed Memories with its guitar work and melodies. The autotuning on Cristina's intro and outro actually works very well for the song. The heavy hitter "Infection" slides in next with some Middle-Eastern chanting from Cristina in the bridge that what have come to know. "I Burn in You" brings their Middle-Eastern influence to a whole new level. This may come off as a ballad but once the heavy bridge comes in it adds even more power to the song. The tenth track, "In the End I Feel Alive", starts off with some melancholic keyboards and breaks out into a Nu-Metal influenced track. The chorus is one of my favorites from the album. I kind of think the "Burn baby! Burn baby!" from Andrea is a little out of place, but it's not enough to ruin the song. Finally is the next Cristina-only ballad "One Cold Day". To think that I thought "My Spirit" was their best closer. This definitely takes the top spot as the best and ends the album on a strong note.

Overall, I believe this album stacks along the side with Karmacode and Comalies as one of Lacuna Coil's best. I was impressed with the comeback of Dark Adrenaline after the disappointing Shallow Life. However, when I go back to listening to Dark Adrenaline after this I can't help but feel that I wanted more out of some the songs from that album. Along with others, I believe Don Gilmore simplifies a band's sound to making more no longer than three minute radio-friendly tunes that suck some of the creativity out of them. Not to mention, the vocals on this album are a great improvement as they don't sound as processed as Dark Adrenaline or Shallow Life. Well, Scabbia and Ferro didn't hold back on this one as this is the best vocal delivery both of them have ever delivered. Jay Baumgardner did an excellent job at producing which puts it up their with Waldemar Sorychta's. All in all, if you fell out of love from Lacuna Coil's past two efforts for bringing a more commercialized appeal then give this one a shot. It will make you become a fan again.

Top favorite tracks (then again they are all good): "Zombies", "Victims", "Cybersleep", "Infection", "One Cold Day"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Broken With This Halo, December 23, 2014
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This review is from: Broken Crown Halo (Audio CD)
"Nothing Stands In Our Way" is the theme/message conveyed on the opening track of Lacuna Coil's 7th studio release, and a strong statement indeed ... and with the music to back it up no less. Black Crown Halo continues in the vein of the vastly successful Dark Adrenaline as the band continues to explore horror/vampire themes, along with their usual emotive outpourings. And while not quite as breathtaking as its predecessor, there is plenty for fans to appreciate here - the consistency quality-driven by the Cristina Scabbia's radiant and compelling voice accompanied by her long time co-singer Andrea, along with catchy song writing. Lacuna Coil has never been known for long compositions or intricate technical wonderings, but instead they focus on melody and mood. The darker vibe is retained from Dark Adrenaline, partly due to the lyrical musings, but also due to the guitar tones ("Die & Rise" for starters) and rhythms which mirror, to a large part, those for DA. While it could be argued that they've repeated themselves, there is a more commercial aspect, more melodic aspect to these songs that sets them apart. These songs don't feel as heavy, but nevertheless, it's a good follow up release and it stands well on its own. Lacking in filler, this is a great listen beginning to end, but highlights would be "Zombies," "Victims," "Cybersleep" and the mesmerizing ballad "One Cold Day" - this last one really features Cristina's captivating tribute to Claudio Leo, their former guitarist from the early days of their career who died last year. I've waited a long time to review this one, but honestly I am still finding these songs wonderful companions this many months later. Additionally, I had the privilege to see these guys over the summer and the songs sound even better in the live setting. Just a great band with a great heart.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars (4.5 stars) Very good "gothic metal", April 18, 2014
This review is from: Broken Crown Halo (Audio CD)
Following up a pop-metal misfire is actually quite an easy task, because all the band (who was responsible for said misstep) has to do is go back to their heavy roots. And that is precisely what Italy's Lacuna Coil did following 2009's critically-panned "Shallow Life" by releasing "Dark Adrenaline" three years later. And now, on their seventh full-length, the alternative metal/gothic hard rockers continue down that same path with 2014's "Broken Crown Halo."

Despite tapping a new producer, one who has worked with nu-metallists like Linkin Park (Jay Baumgardner), this release is arguably the heaviest of L.C.'s career. It is rooted in crunchy guitars and arena-ready choruses, but is, as always, augmented by a thick layer of keyboards and frontwoman Cristina Scabbia's accomplished clean singing. The end result are musical arrangements that possess a very full, surprisingly dense, and rich-sounding feel.

The album covers all of the usual alternative metal bases, while at the same time managing to sound, if not exactly refreshing, then at least quite fresh and novel. And these eleven tunes can mostly be broken down into three categories: The ballads, the angsty, crunchy metal songs, and the songs that fall somewhere in between. First I will describe the former of the three subsets. "Cybersleep" is a piano-based power ballad with atmospherically grumbling bass and nicely melodic (and even mildly jazzy-sounding) guitar soloing to go along with its soulful clean singing; while the closer, "One Cold Day," is another very somber, dark, and piano-laden piece of balladry with sweet and emphatic vocals that produce some grim, yet oddly beautiful melodies all throughout the track's borderline epic, six-plus-minute long playing time.

Next up, are the near-ballads. "I Forgive (But I Won't Forget Your Name) is the first of these, as it is an atmospheric and very emotional gothic-rock-influenced piece. It starts out on an ambient note, but gradually gains momentum and heaviness, with a powerhouse vocal performance from both Scabbia and co-lead vocalist Andrea Ferro. And it is all topped off by an epically soaring, and eminently memorable and infectious chorus that is big enough that it should probably require its own area code. And the record's other semi-ballad goes by the name of "I Burn In You." It also features some more sweet, lung-stretching, ultra infectious and uber-memorable vocals from Scabbia as it, too, steadily gains speed and steam before being topped off by one more powerful build-up and thrilling vocal climax in its choruses.

And finally, we have the last of the remaining three song types: The heavy stuff. First comes the aptly-entitled opener (and lead single) "Nothing Stands In Our Way," which is strongly riffed, chugging, and mosh pit-ready opener, and a fairly good representation of the album as a whole, as it offsets Scabbia's terrific, soaring clean vocals with Ferro's growly, mean, dissonant snarls. And this is then followed-up by "Zombies," another surprisingly heavy, big-riff rocker with a fiery guitar solo that comes blazing through, thus momentarily interrupting the song's stellar clean vocals. Yes, "Zombies" does have a soaring melodic vocal refrain that evokes the Nineties alternative rock/grunge scene, but for the most part, it is a very muscle-bound, heavy, and even sometimes borderline thunderous metal song.

And then, following "Hostage To The Light" (which has strong, grumbling bass lines and solid guitar work held in check by Scabbia's tuneful vocal harmonies), comes "Victims," which is centered around a gripping, satisfyingly heavy main riff and memorable vocal patterns. (This, unfortunately, includes a blessedly tiny, but still pretty grating bit of ill-advised quasi-rapping.) But what comes next is an even bigger standout: "Die & Rise," another one of the album's singles, finds a heavy, cork-screwing, churning guitar riff doing battle against a stirring and very memorable vocal performance from both vocalists. It is also a noteworthy inclusion for featuring some Italian-sung lyrics, the first song to do so since the release of Lacuna Coil's 2003 effort "Comalies."

Next up, "Infection" is a crunchy, aggressive chugger backed by crashing drum beats, steady, huming bass, and soaring, alt-rock-inspired vocals. It also has an ambient, dark, and cool-sounding piano line in its outro. And finally, the set is rounded out by "In The End I Feel Alive," a track that, with its staccato, bobbing, lurching and grooving guitar hook and wah-heavy backing guitar leads, is a very, very catchy one, and one that rocks sufficiently hard, even though it does sprinkle in some tasteful synth work and symphonic-esque tinges just for good measure (and added ear candy and atmosphere).

In conclusion, that aforementioned 2003 effort might have marked the apex of Lacuna Coil's career from a commercial perspective (and if it didn't, then 2006's "Karmacode" sure did). But this is really quite unfortunate, because "Broken Crown Halo" is actually the band's finest hour. Its sound is gothic and melodic enough to please all of their fans while simultaneously being heavy enough to possibly attract a surprisingly large horde of new ones. I dig it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars really was hoping to give this 5 stars!, June 5, 2014
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Ryan (Trumbull, CT) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Broken Crown Halo (Audio CD)
as a longtime fan of LC i really wanted to give this 5 stars but could only bring myself to give 2. i was really hoping for something...'more' from this album. it just seems to lack melody, the only song that sticks with me is die&rise. my two favorite albums are Karmacaode and Shallow Life, Dark Adrenaline was ok, so i really had high expectations for this one. i'm still giving it some listens but it just doesnt 'pull me in' like Karma and Shallow do, theres really no hooks, kinda forgetful...bummed!
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Broken Crown Halo
Broken Crown Halo by Lacuna Coil (Audio CD - 2014)
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