In This Moment are a heavy metal outfit hailing from Los Angeles, California, and they’ve recently dropped their sixth studio album, “Ritual”. Lead vocalist, Maria Brink says the album is less sexualised than their previous releases saying, “I wanted to show people and definitely women a different side of strength in me, a really powerful force in me that didn’t need the sexual part, so there’s definitely a more serious overtone … a more serious, deeper side of us.”
In This Moment is comprised of members Brink (lead vocals), Chris Howorth (lead guitar), Travis Johnson (bass), Randy Weitzel (guitar), and Kent Diimmel (drums).
Kick-starting the album with a combination of haunting ambiance, and instrumental, ‘Salvation’ sets the tone of the album right from the get-go. We are definitely in for one twisted ride, so strap yourselves in!
Segueing from the instrumental album opener, we are presented with ‘Oh Lord’, which has already cracked into the Top 10 on the Mainstream Rock Chart. It’s a song that takes a while to set alight, but once it begins to burn it really draws you in. Brink’s earthy tones come through superbly. She’s complimented well by the instrumentals behind her, which although simplistic in delivery, hold honest with the band’s sound, and continue to push that haunting, eerie vibe that the opening track started to create.
‘Black Wedding’ features a guest appearance from Rob Halford (Judas Priest), the Metal God himself, which is somewhat appropriate given an album that covers topics tiptoeing through the spiritual realm. His performance is underplayed by the catchy riffs, however is vocally solid, and the combination of the duets and harmonies with Brink lift this track to new heights. Although original, it adapts the chorus of Billy Idol’s “White Wedding”. ‘Black Wedding’ is definitely going to bring “Ritual” a lot of commercial success.
“Ritual” features a cover of epic proportions; Phil Collins’ ‘In The Air Tonight’. The performance is faithful to the classic, however maintains the brooding, eerie undertones that In This Moment have set up. The track continues to swell until around the last minute or so, when the instrumentals explode into a massive finale, provoked by the iconic drumbeat.
‘Joan of Arc’ possesses the more mechanical sound of In This Moment, and weirdly enough, has the potential to dominate amongst the night club scene with its delivery. The instrumentals are as solid as ever, and the accompanying catchy dance-beat tones makes this track an instant hit. Vocally, Brink is solid, yet again, supported perfectly by the backing vocals and instrumentals behind her. One of the more prevalent tracks of the album.
Opening with Diimmel thumping on the drums, eerie guitar strings, and Brink’s vocals, ‘River of Fire’ is another track that has the potential to bring this album a lot of success, commercially. Brink, yet again, demonstrating her vocals talents at their fullest. There’s a vocal break that allows the instrumentals to hit the forefront and shine, with Diimmel’s drum work being the hero. Superb.
Reminiscent of Rob Zombie, ‘Witching Hour’ opens with what sounds like radio talk, before seguing into a smooth, mechanical beat, shifting the tempo direction of the album. It’s when the chorus kicks in that we can appreciate the track for what it’s worth. Instrumentally and vocally sound, the track is a welcomed sound.
‘Twin Flames’ opens with brilliant guitar work, with Brink’s vocals coming through like whispers in the wind. Chimes break through, before a slight tempo change. Vocally, Brink is at her best, her range demonstrated perfectly. Instrumentally solid, it maintains the somewhat calmer tones that ‘Witching Hour’ created.
The opening of ‘Half God Half Devil’ sees the haunting tones return, with the band returning to their heavier sound. Brink’s gritty, earthy tones showcased once again, combined with solid instrumental performances, this track brings you back into the fold seamlessly.
Opening with keys, ‘Me No Importa’ is Brink’s shining moment. The instrumentals are stripped right back, allowing her vocal talents to reign supreme. It does pick up tempo slightly in the chorus, and maintains the brooding tones the album has created.
‘Roots’ ticks all the boxes. It maintains the eeriness that has been set up, is both vocally and instrumentally sound, and sees a shift to the mechanical side of the band, yet again. The combination of catchy riffs and synth ambiance will have you hooked. We see supporting male vocals shine through this track, also. They’re finishing with a bang.
The album closer, ‘Lay Your Gun Down’ shifts the tempo right back to a calmer state. Choosing to finish the album with a softer track helps ground the listener back into reality. Brink’s vocal work is on point, yet again, and she needs to be commended on how solid her talents have been in “Ritual”.