If their intention was to turn the metal world on its ear with their new album “Blood”, then In This Moment is on the right path. They have taken everything they have done on the past three albums and thrown it completely out the fucking window. In This Moment is still metal but they have gone a completely different direction with more of an experimental, electronica sound.
By all rights adding electronica should have softened their sound on the new album “Blood” but somehow it ended up even more ferocious and unforgiving than “A Star Crossed Wasteland”. Where “A Star Crossed Wasteland” never strayed from the metal and hard rock roots “Blood” has taken those hard rock and metal roots and severely twisted them into a quagmire of merciless pounding rhythms, jarring samples, and ruthless, unrelenting guitar, topped by Maria Brink’s furious vocals.
The beginning of the album starts out innocently enough and a little misleading with a little intro called “Rise With me” before the fierceness off the rest of the album is released.
By now “Blood” is a very well-known song and I’m sure most people will attest to the fact that it is a great tune. The music is mud thick with layer over layer of slamming bass, wicked, thick and crunchy guitars, and relentless drums mixed with sampling and keys. Maria’s voice matches the tone of the song precisely, achieving an almost contemptuous quality that really makes you believe she hates the nice guy for everything he’s done for her and adores the bad guy for treating her like complete shit. This is one rough, gritty metal tune….that is also seriously infectious and danceable? There is no doubt in my mind that if it’s not already being played in strip clubs it soon will be.
The crashing waves of pounding rhythms don’t stop with “Blood” but increases on the very next tune “Adrenalize”, where the rhythm to the song is slower but no less intense as the guitars ram their way into your skull with an almost “dub-step” feel. If it were possible to slow-motion jump this would be the song to do it to. Where “Adrenalize” started with jackhammer drums and hard ass guitar “Whore” starts with muffled, choppy guitars reminiscent of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” and that rhythm guitar becomes the backbone of the music through the entire song. “I’m the girl you’ve been thinking about, the one thing you can’t live without”, sings Maria semi sweetly, but as the song continues her voice becomes more forceful, louder, dripping with scorn and rage, explaining how hard she fought to survive when others dismissed or abandoned her. Above every other song on this album, this one shows some serious emotion with just a hint of hatred, disdain and even a little satisfaction.
After getting chest punched by a metal fist for almost twenty minutes you get a short reprieve with “It Is Written” which can almost be chalked up to an intermission of sorts, and from the moment “Burn” starts with the low grumbling keys you can almost feel the album shifting gears.
The second half of the album showcases more clean vocals from Maria and this is especially prevalent on “Scarlet” where the song is more fully removed from metal than any other song on the album.
Just as Maria can scream with the best of them so does she have a great clean voice and it’s a pleasure listening to it in this newer style of music from In This Moment. Through “Burn”, “Scarlet”, “From The Ashes”, and “Beast Within” Maria shows us she can sing with conviction and confidence, for the most part keeping her voice crystal clear, hitting highs and lows not heard from her on the first three albums.
Just when you start relaxing and enjoying the sweetness of Maria’s voice and the more electronic sound you get the full force of Maria’s spitting growl on “Comanche”, the driving, relentless low end of a pounding bass, rumbling drums and the hard distorted guitars assaulting your ears again.
The whole album is like this. It’s full of surprises, twists and turns, melt your face metal, and electronica. It’s not like anything they have done before, and may never do again. But in my honest opinion it’s the best album they have released to date and probably one of the best and most artistic metal albums of the year.
If Trent Reznor and Kerry King had a filthy, filthy affair “Blood” would be their pissed off, raised in the gutter spawn. This is well written, technical, gut punching metal peeled back to show the edgy, industrial, electronic discord at the center……and I love it!
Kudos to In This Moment to try something this ballsy and making it work as well as it does!
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