In a moment of madness I thought I’d pick a few albums that I wouldn’t usually select to review this time around. Instead of just automatically picking whatever Death or Thrash was available on the CB review list, I picked something different for a change.
In This Moment are not my usual cup of tea, but I thought I’d give them a go on the strength of the title track: ‘Blood’. It was the first track to be recorded after two founding members left to work with an American Idol contestant and the band also lost their long serving manager. So it’s an interesting time to be introduced to the band.
The band’s sound is dominated by the powerful vocals of front woman Maria Brink. The opening track is simply a clean vocal intro where she sounds more like Christina Aguilera than a rock singer. This soon transforms as you move through the album. ‘Blood’ is the first track on the album to hear the tortured desperate vocals where her voice is most effective. Anyone who remembers Otep from those Nu Metal days will have an idea where the inspiration for the abused vocal tones come from. Then there’s plenty of bile-ridden shouting, pop and general hard rock singing. She has a good range!
As a consequence of Brink’s vocals taking most of the limelight; the rest of the band predictably take something of a backseat. The guitar work generally blends into the rhythm section, with the simple Nu Metal/Industrial riffs often aped by the Brink which reduces the power of the riff whilst beefing up the impact of vocals. There are moments where the guitars break free, but you do have to wait until track number five for a proper solo.
There are plenty of standout tracks on the album, and refreshingly they are all completely different from each other. The title track is a dark Otep style journey back to the Nu Metal sound. It’s an angular bouncy track which alternates between cleanly sung soft sections and outright shoutfests. It’s probably the most catchy song if not the most technical; an obvious single.
The best song on the album is completely different though. Taking a more gothic approach, ’Scarlet’ is slower and sounds much more epic than the industrial chug of a lot of the other tracks. It almost has a Paradise Lost feel to it, especially when the lumbering guitar solo starts to build momentum. ‘You’re Gonna Listen’ is a great song. It’s basically a reworking of the Deftones track ‘My Own Summer’ complete with watery melodic intro and if you substitute the ‘Shove It’ chorus for ‘Shut Up’, then you’re just about there. Not too subtle, but it’s still a good one.
The album blends lots of different elements from pop to industrial, and just about pulls it off each time. ‘Blood’ loses a bit of it’s impact as it’s a couple of tracks too long but the good sections more than make sure it’s a worthwhile listen.