In 2014, the band In This Moment released their album “Black Widow” and I was really pumped for it because I enjoyed their 2012’s record “Blood” hell I even got my mom into the title track, I was so proud of myself! However when I reviewed “Black Widow” I wasn’t really into it as I figured I thought I would be. So when I found out they were releasing a new album this year I was hoping for another bad ass album but figured it would be smart to be prepared for another flop.
If you don’t know anything about In This Moment, they are a female fronted band from California and the members consist of Chris Howorth on lead guitars, Randy Weitzel on rhythm guitar, Travis Johnson plays bass, and Maria Brink is the lead vocalist. They recently replaced their drummer after he left the band early this year, but I don’t think they ever released the new guy’s name because I have yet to found who it is! So I apologize for not having that piece of information.
The album starts out with an introduction. Since “Blood” they’ve had some sort of interesting intro to the whole thing. It makes you want to sit on the edge of your seat after each one. For Ritual, the introduction is called “Salvation” and it’s like two minutes long, but it’s mostly of creepy sounds. I don’t suggest listening to it in the dark! Don’t judge me either. It has these thunder like clashes and sirens and you hear a deep male saying different chants in the background. At the end, you have Maria quote something, my guess is something from the bible but I’m not sure on that. The actual first song of the album is their first single “Oh Lord” and I will say, I didn’t like it the first time I heard it. However, later on that day my outlook of it did a 180 and I’ve loved it ever since. It has this sultry vibe and I tend to think that with previous ITM songs. Anyways, the lyrics definitely have a gospel kind of feel and surprisingly so does the music even if it’s like really dark and heavy rock.
Second track is “Black Wedding” and when I saw this, my mind went directly to Game Of Thrones and the whole “red wedding” episode. They just ended the new season and I’m still pissed at that scene because I usually see those types of things coming and I didn’t, so I’m kicking myself even today! Anyways, this has a very creepy piano beginning, almost has a feel of carnival vibe. Thankfully when the choruses start, it subsides. It features a legendary rocker by the name of Rob Helford of Judas Priest, which explains a lot because as I was listening to it at first, I didn’t think that sounded like Maria! At the end has Maria saying another quote and it is the intro to the next song “In The Air Tonight” which is a cover of Phil Collins’ song. Now I will say I have never heard the original and I’m betting my dad would make me listen to it sooner than I think. It is mellow, slow and ominous. Maria does a good job of making this song come to life.
The next one is “Joan Of Arc” and again, it has a seductive sound. At first, I was a bit worried about how this was going to go, but I actually like it. The lyrics talk about the same things that the legendary Joan of Arc was accused of in mid-1400’s. We have “River Of Fire” next and I really like this one as a whole. It has a fierce, dominating sound to it and you get a small sections with Maria’s powerful roar. I feel like she doesn’t do those as often as she used to, or is that just me? It’s also pretty catchy, so it wouldn’t take me long to learn the words to this bad boy. The seventh track is “Witching Hour” and I’ve been wanting to know how this goes, because I had fallen in love with the title without even hearing it! It has a clear witch-y vibe to it and I liked that, it was just the music that I had a hard time getting into it. It’s very tame and there’s nothing really special about it. So I was bummed about that!
After, you have “Twin Flames” which sounds like it could be like a ballad in a way, Maria’s voice is very sultry and soft, music’s about the same but the volume does increase and you hear the heavier guitars more towards the choruses. It’s not bad! This was the other one when I saw the title I was like, “please be good” and thankfully I got this one right! It’s loud and theatrical, which is something that they’re becoming more known for both on stage and in their songs! The track is called “Half God, Half Devil” now you know why I wanted it to be good! “No Me Importa” is much more softer, you have the background sound of a piano against these harsh guitars. It has a good balance of sounds with the instruments used. I like it.
These last two songs start with “Roots” and this is another badass track! Very mysterious and I love the meaning of it. The strong lyrics is what gives it life. It’ll be another I will learn, however I hear quite a few “fuck”s in this too so I won’t be singing it out loud unless a couple of people leave me alone for a bit, which won’t happen! Anyways, finally we have “Lay Your Gun Down” and this is definitely a ballad, they usually have their slower stuff at the end of their albums and it works very well because after building up the listener, you need a good ballad to kind of get them ready for the end of the cycle. It is hauntingly beautiful, that’s about all I can say! I have a few songs to check the lyrics and this will be included in the list.
I have to say, I was worried about this album, but I am glad how good it sounds! I know whenever I listen to albums I tend to compare the next record against their last and I’ve noticed I do that more whenever I’ve reviewed it on here. I don’t mean to do it, it just sort of happens. If this came out after Blood, I would have been a happy camper because I think it’s in the same category of that album than Black Widow, but like always that’s my opinion.
What do you think of In This Moment’s “Ritual” album? How are you whenever you’ve chosen a favorite album, are you very judgemental to the next or do you try to keep an open mind about it?