Starting 2006 as they mean to go on!

Maybe it was the chance to hear tracks from their eagerly awaited new album, or perhaps it was the fact that Lacuna Coil don't visit the UK that often. Either way the queue outside this one-off London date at the Forum was as long as I can remember for any band I've seen there. Once inside and away from the cold London evening, this sold out venue was buzzing with excitement: the punters weren't disappointed!

The fans wouldn't have been the only ones feeling a sense of anticipation. This was one of the first times Lacuna Coil have played so many of the tracks from the new album: it's still a few weeks away from it's release. They were also trying out the odd new instrument and it was the start of a long process of touring the new material across the world. Undoubtedly this was an important night of their year.

The set was a mixture of the new and the old, and was well balanced with a familiar tune never too far away. The older tracks which stood out included 'Swamped', 'Daylight dancer', 'Tight rope' and the night ending 'Heaven's a lie'. From the new record 'Closer' and 'The game' both shone as potential future singles.

The band will have been extremely satisfied with the reaction to the new songs. Unsurprisingly as there was something that could be instantly grabbed hold of, the two best responses for 'Karmacode' songs were for the new single 'Our Truth' and the album closer, which is a cover of the Depeche Mode classic 'Enjoy the Silence'. At a press launch for the new record the day after this show, the subject of covers was raised and the band say they did experiment with a number of classics with a view to adding them to the setlist, Soundgarden's 'Black Hole Sun' was one such track and I for one am not convinced that would have worked. In 'Enjoy The Silence' they have a classic crowd pleaser in the making.

You would never have spotted that this was the start of their 2006 tour schedule, as Lacuna Coil are without question a very slick, well oiled live machine. Although they're a heavy band, theirs is a sound which is made more interesting as it has a well rounded feel, the keyboard parts at times gives that epic atmosphere. The powerful vocals from both Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro, one an operatic influenced female and the other a more traditional hard rock male, compliment one another perfectly. They're a band who are still playing relatively small venues, however were they to progress through the ranks of rock's big guns to become an arena artist, then their music would be very well suited to a much larger setting.

In the early stages of what could be a very exciting year for Lacuna Coil, their fans went home wishing away the days for the new record to arrive. The band plan to return for a UK tour in the autumn, by which point 'Karmacode' will be engraved on the brains of much of this audience, meaning an ever greater appreciation of what this excellent Italian outfit have to offer.