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Artist: In This Moment
Title: A Star-Crossed Wasteland
Genre: Metalcore
Release Date: 9th July 2010
Label: Century Media Records

Album Review

IN THIS MOMENT has been one of those self starting bands who worked their ass off to get where they are today. After tons of self managed tours and promoting of their demos, Century Media picked them up to release ‘Beautiful Tragedy’. It was hard, heavy, and featured more than enough screaming from vocalist Maria Brink. It must have been too intense for fans to handle because on their follow up album in 2007, they drastically made the album more accessible allowing Maria to sing a lot more and creating more infectious melodies instead of straight up pile driving riffs. Now with two influences to draw on, it seems that the band’s third album, ‘A Star-Crossed Wasteland’, blends the aggressive feeling of the first album and the more melodic, accessible second album together. Ultimately, though, fans will certainly notice the band has gone to the extreme heavy side of things.

The opening track ‘The Gun Show’ is the ultimate sledgehammer to anyone who expected melody and softness from IN THIS MOMENT. The guitars sound like bulldozers coming in with the drums the jackhammers and top it all off Maria Brink can still sound like she’s the most pissed off woman in the world. Her vocals are ear splitting. There is absolutely no breathing room in this track as it just steamrolls over and over the listener again, but fortunately there is respite… sort of. ‘Just Drive’ is still an intense song, but Maria offers up a good mix of clean singing that is either layered or separate from her screaming. There are also a few acoustic guitar sections to add melody, and it’s also the only time the drums can be heard over the distorted chugs. ‘The Promise’ is probably the most accessible track on the album in the sense that it is hard rock, but also more radio friendly due to less screaming. There’s some guest vocals featured from Adrian Patrick of the band OTHERWISE and his rough, yet clean vocals are a great mix with Maria’s. Other tracks like ‘Standing Alone’ and ‘The Last Cowboy’ are a good balance of aggressive melodies along with more backing vocals from guitarist Christ Howorth, who also does a good job at delivering a balanced vocal assault with Maria. Fans though should be aware that it is very unlikely that anything from Wasteland will get average radio play due to the intensity of the music, save for the later shows during an hour for metal or more “sub average favourable” music.

The album does have a new feature though: piano. As much as the music has grown in brutality and aggression, there are two tracks that are completely void of it. The title track is the first to feature Maria’s hands on the keys and her whispery, almost worn out soft voice suit the atmosphere of the track altogether. Eventually the track gets heavier with the guitars and drums added in the chorus and the second verse, but this one single instrument addition makes a huge difference in the entire musical world for the band as far as growth. It’s a great way to convey the emotional aspects of the band and really fill the void of whatever melody they may be missing. And of course, when it performs alone it is just a downright shot to the heart. On the final track, ‘World in Flames’, Maria gives fans a moment to demonstrate just what the can do with the piano alone along with her vocals. It’s great to hear everything working together near the end and not just in a raging sense as the guitars and drums really try to take things slow to keep up the tempo and mood of the track. And of course, it wouldn’t be IN THIS MOMENT if things didn’t get really intense near the end, either from the guitar solo and the emotional burst from the vocals that really carry the weight of the music. It leaves a lasting mark in the ear for a long time.

‘A Star-Crossed Wasteland’ may take some getting used to. Fans who are still high on ‘The Dream’ (2nd album) may get shaken a little bit from the intensity of the music. However, after the first few tracks the music settles into a more melodic groove that the 2nd album had, and then the subtle changes such as backing vocals and the piano additions can be enjoyed. Wasteland is a great place for the band to go because they were getting split by two different sounds from the first two albums and now they’ve found a middle ground. While it still isn’t exactly “sell out” quality considering the band has continued to try something new overall instead of cashing in on the success of the melodic and friendly feeling of ‘The Dream’, IN THIS MOMENT will have to tread carefully in where they go next in the wake of trying to keep the delicate balance of beauty and bestiality in check.


01. The Gun Show (4:47)
02. Just Drive (3:27)
03. The Promise (4:28)
04. Standing Alone (3:51)
05. A Star-Crossed Wasteland (4:31)
06. Blazin (4:21)
07. The Road (4:04)
08. Iron Army (3:27)
09. The Last Cowboy (3:54)
10. World In Flames (5:21)


Maria Brink - Vocals, piano
Chris Howorth - Guitar, backing vocals
Blake Bunzel - Guitar
Kyle Konkiel - Bass
Jeff Fabb - Drums


Cover Picture


Music: 9
Sound: 9
Total: 9 / 10


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