Artist: In This Moment
Release Date: 27th March 2020
Label: Atlantic Records / Roadrunner Records
Since 2005, IN THIS MOMENT has built up an extremely loyal audience that is captivated and thrilled by the charisma and performances of front woman Maria Brink. Indeed, IN THIS MOMENT relies on their way of forging an atypical identity that has been recognized and cultivated visually and acoustically since the success of the album ‘Blood’ (2012). The last album ‘Ritual’, which was released in 2017, attracted so much attention that some media even wanted to compare Maria as the Lady Gaga of Metal. ‘Mother’, their seventh release, was produced by Kevin Churkos. The latter has also collaborated with OZZY OSBOURNE or FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH. ‘Mother’ seems to be an extension of ‘Rituals’, with more emotional moments of the Los Angeles band.
Already in the first seconds of the album the focus is on Maria. The distant deep sounds of the wind instruments in ‘The Beginning (Interlude)’ creates a ritual atmosphere, which is further enhanced by Maria’s whispering. ‘Fly Like an Eagle’ is the direct continuation, derived with an almost terrifying arrangement of the drums. Chris Howorth’s riffs illustrate the role of the guitarist in the band, who consciously withdraws from Maria’s vocal lead. ‘Fly Like an Eagle’ offers a synthesis of what IN THIS MOMENT creates: a homogeneous, expansive and deliberately theatrical whole, which will certainly develop into a more elaborate live performance.
IN THIS MOMENT sometimes clearly encompasses the territories of industrial music, as in ‘The In-Between’, which combines the aggressiveness of its chorus, clear vocals and screams of the singer. They also allow themselves to make some references to the electro music of the 1980s, which can be heard in the samples of ‘Legacy’. These are inspired by synth waves and contribute to a sweet atmosphere within the track. The untypical, modern and relevant cover of QUEEN’s ‘We Will Rock You’, made with Lzzy Hale from HALESTORM and Taylor Momsen from THE PRETTY RECKLESS, proves exactly the ease IN THIS MOMENT have in interpreting a legendary song in their own way.
‘Mother’ is also surprisingly diverse, with the band alternating between the 1980s and 1990s with neo-metal elements, as in ‘Hunting Grounds’, which welcomes the participation of Joe Cotela from the band DED. But ‘Hunting Grounds’ also slightly reminds of PAPA ROACH and SKILLET. ‘As Above, So Below’ goes more in this direction, as more electronic elements and punch are integrated into the rhythm, as well as these jerky effects in the vocals. The grandiose electro arrangements in ‘Born In Flames’ show that IN THIS MOMENT tries to create more nuanced atmospheres and even a mixture of trip-hop and metal.
You can see that IN THIS MOMENT rely heavily on the talent of their singer, but quite rightly. It would be a shame, however, to overlook the hard work of the instrumentalists and the arrangement, which makes it possible to highlight the vocals. Even though Maria’s timbre may seem too conventional to some, ‘Mother’ will still not change this opinion. Those who have joined the band for the musical aspects will certainly enjoy ‘Mother’ to the fullest. Everything has been done here to sink into the world of IN THIS MOMENT and to promise a good live show as well. But until then, because of the current situation, it might take a while...
01. The Beginning (Interlude)
02. Fly Like an Eagle
03. The Red Crusade (Interlude)
04. The In-Between
06. We Will Rock You (Queen cover feat. Lzzy Hale and Taylor Momsen)
08. As Above, So Below
09. Born in Flames
10. God is She
11. Holy Man
12. Hunting Grounds (feat. Joe Cotela)
13. Lay Me Down
14. Into Dust (Mazzy Star cover)
Maria Brink – Lead vocals, piano
Chris Howorth – Lead guitar, backing vocals
Randy Weitzel – Rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Travis Johnson – Bass, backing vocals
Kent Diimmel – Drums
Total: 8 / 10