Somehow Italy's Lacuna Coil snatched awesomeness from the jaws of mediocrity by releasing 2006's most compelling melody album, Karmacode. Prior to that, LC boasted one great single (over like 17 albums) and Cristina Scabbia (above), loud rock's best singer -- and whoa quite a fetching one at that. Some Iowan guitarists have all the luck. I haven't called off my campaign to get Scabbia a solo record, though Karmacode did a lot to mute my demands; we'll see if the goofy outfit-prone (read: European) sextet turns out a second near-masterpiece. For now, LC's double DVD Visual Karma (Body, Mind, and Soul) comes out in November. Check out Karmacode's sledgehammer tune "Closer" live (and acoustic ugh) on Dave Navarro's uh Spread TV. Let's get a pool going for time elapsed between the band arriving on set and Navarro's first proposition to 'spread' Scabbia. It was probably in the rider.

*produced by former ex-Soilwork guitarist Peter Wichers?

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