Album Review: “Ritual” by In This Moment

19366082_10158910196285054_3916349050705466920_nIn 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?

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Music Haul | Rock & EDM

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Hey guys!

Earlier this month, I had a dentist appointment. It was only a cleaning and I have to say, things went better than expected, like seriously! I was still pretty nervous about the whole thing, but since I knew what to expect (meaning the shots) I was actually a lot calmer. I didn’t react like I had when it was over, I even left my dad in the room! So far, nobody has told me that they like the shots! Even the woman who cleaned my own teeth said she didn’t like them either!

This time everything was fast paced, for one thing the medicine they had given me like the last time, worked a little better! I was way more relaxed than before, but I had also spent three hours awake I was already feeling sleepy on my own. This is was just making things that much better! Anyways, like I said things went by faster. We didn’t have to deal with the X-Rays and checking out each tooth on both sides. She still did that, but it wasn’t as intensive as before. I still had my iPod and headphones on, even though I could barely hear it. I did get through like five Evanescence songs, so I was good! I figured if I listened to any of my symphonic metal bands then they would basically relax me. In the last two times, I’ve almost fallen asleep on her because I wasn’t feeling anything and my medicine kicked in!

When my sister and I were kids, everytime we had doctor’s appointment, more importantly about our eyes or teeth. If we did very well then we were rewarded. Bribing 101 folks! Well apparently, this still works! I was already in talks with my dad about him taking me to the Record Cellar there in town afterwards, but we weren’t going to decide anything until they figured out how I could deal with the numbness of my mouth and if I was exhausted or not.

I honestly don’t remember much of the appointment. When it was done I was still in good spirits. I had something to look forward to, I wasn’t going to let my emotions or tiredness stop me! So we left to go to this record cellar and I was very happy, because we were in a part of town that we rarely visit. It’s has the vibe of the old neighborhood before it expanded. There was a building that had old paint faded on the side, it was still readable. The shops were modern, but this was classic. The one bad thing about this place is that it’s not handicap accessible. However, we usually bring the push wheelchair with us and since it’s lightweight (even with my butt in it!) my parents could lift it up the two steps. I wasn’t necessarily prepared going into this place. My dreams didn’t even come close to the inside of this sucker!

When you first walk inside, it was like walking into Hot Topic at the mall every time we go; it felt like home to me. I was expecting to see more vinyls than CDs but in a way, I liked it better that way! My dad was busy most of the time talking to the owner while my poor mom pushed me through every corner of the store. The best way to describe the walls are what I hope I can do with my bedroom one day. Every open area of the place was covered with different posters of both classic rock bands like Nirvana, Motorhead, Motley Crue, I even saw a Purple Rain era poster on the ceiling! Of course you had the modern, popular bands and artists of today like Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Halestorm, and Linkin Park.

I wasn’t even looking at the CDs yet, I was too busy distracted at all these posters and seeing who all I recognized and then we found these wooden boxes full of CDs that I have to say were better categorized than Wal-Mart where they’re all over the place! They had them alphabetical and only in two groups “pop/rock” but they also had different areas for Jazz, Rap/Hip Hop, and the new releases. My mom and I were too busy in the back that I actually missed the new releases section!

The first CD I found was Eyes Set To Kill’s album “Masks” it came out in 2014 and I have to say, this album was so good! It was also $5.55 which was the cheapest one I bought! Second was In This Moment’s “Black Widow” and I think this was a “try again” deal. I did a review for this album when it came out in late 2014 and honestly didn’t love it as much as “Blood” but my cousin and I had talked about it while she was down for Christmas so I decided to buy it. I kind of regret that decision now. Last one was “Going To Hell” by The Pretty Reckless, this one and ESTK’s album I can listen from first to last without skipping. I also bought two other albums, but they had to be ordered. They were “Skrillex and Diplo Presents Jack Ü” by Jack Ü and then “Peace Is The Mission” by Major Lazer.

All in all, I spent $80 of my Christmas money at this place! My parents weren’t too surprised on that price considering they know my history! However, since I didn’t bring up this whole “go to record place after the dentist” until we were actually in the waiting room, so I didn’t bring my purse! Hence why I didn’t get a picture of that building when we were first there! So my dad had to pay for me, but I paid him back and I just gave him the whole $100 and he gave me $10 back. Now they’re saying “start saving up so you can go back.” It’s a good thing I agreed to teach my nana how to do her camera because I’ll be able to go back sooner than later! I’m already getting started on my next batch that I want. I’m thinking some more pop this time around; I will buy Adele’s album and do an album review!

Before we left, the owner gave us a Winter Sampler from RoadRunner Records. It’s got new tracks from Killswitch Engage, The Amity Affliction, and Wild Throne. We listened to it on the way home that day. My dad said he’s a little addicted to it, so if I find it missing in a couple of days I’ll know which parent has it. My mom’s supposed to get her subs and new radio put into her car soon. The new radio that my dad got her for Christmas, it doesn’t allow CDs so at least I won’t have to worry about her stealing my music anytime soon! When we went back to the dentist two days after the girl who cleaned my teeth asked if we went and when my mom said “yes and she spent $80” we all kind of laughed. I had a smirk on my face! I couldn’t help it. Well, I could but that wouldn’t be as fun!

Am I a crazy music fan or what? You can be honest! Is there any music you think I should get as a “curious” buy the next time I go? 

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Album Review: In This Moment’s “Black Widow”

I am one of those fans, especially in the music world that is less surprised of what happens next. I’ve seen so many changes of different artists/bands that I think I’ve been able to accept change within myself because if things happen that you can’t control, you can either learn how to adapt to it or run away from it. Let’s be honest about that second one, you can’t runaway from everything. In the music industry, everybody is always trying to do something different. From the first album, everything is usually pretty mild; something to get their feet wet and gain a bigger fan base on what they have to offer to their listeners. By the third or fourth album though, all rules are gone and they are ready to unleash themselves from what everybody thinks of them. I think the female fronted metal band In This Moment is one of these bands. I became a fan of ITM kind of late in their reign. They were the reason why I have a larger than life love for any female fronted heavy metal or rock band out there.

When their last album, “Blood” came out last year. I didn’t even listen to it on Spotify, when I had the money to get it, I got it. At that time, I had only heard their title track and “You’re Gonna Listen” on YouTube. I was instantly hooked. I was actually shocked of how fast they announced that they were going to release a new album in 2014. The shock only lasted but a day until I heard “Sick Like Me” and I was like, “Blood” was just the start. We had some warning of what kind of direction they may go with this album as they have said they liked the theatrical side they got to go as far as bringing it to a live show. Now that it’s out, I’m happy that Maria is letting herself out more and more. She’s becoming of a teacher in a way, I always liked the singers who didn’t care about what anybody says and nobody really tells them what to do. The fact that she’s in a band full of four other guys, they help create the sound behind their vixen. Without Chris, Travis, Randy, and Tom the songs would not have body and be so damn powerful. Not saying Maria isn’t powerful but I mean I look beyond vocals and lyrics first, so they build me up and grab my attention first.

So to really start this album review off, this get into the songs. The introduction is my kind of intro, it’s called “The Infection” and it has the pull you in closer to death kind of intros. Once it is finished, then “Sex Metal Barbie” begins and oh my god, do I love this song! Of course, when they released it on Spotify it took me three days to be able to listen to it out loud. When I first heard their cover of Nine Inch Nails’ song “Closer” and realized that I was trying to learn the words to this very dirty song and my parents were just inches away from my room. Everything that has the word, “sex” I tend to be a little careful. However, I think this is an amazing song. It sounds like ITM song but I really like that little drop of the chorus. Makes you want to dance, but not in a sexy way. This is the ideal song for every hater of their music. The next song is “Big Bad Wolf” and I love this song too! That intro affects me in the same way of “Sick Like Me” it just builds me up and turns me into something else. I have yet to figure out what the metaphor is for this song. The lyrics alone confuse me, but I like everything else about it so I’ll deal with it.

The next round of songs are ones that I haven’t heard yet, well except for one but I only listened to it twice and both times it gave me a weird vibe. It doesn’t matter though, because I listen to the album more and more I’ll grow to like it too! The first song of this round is called “Dirty Pretty” and it’s got this dark, slow, but sultry sound to it. In ways, it sounds like a true ITM song but it’s also different too. It’s got a good balance of something familiar and new. I like it. The next song is the title track, “Black Widow” and I have always loved those songs that bring in this old radio/TV sound and the intro is of this old reporter telling its listeners of the dangerous effects of a female black widow spider. This is a brilliant metaphor of Maria as even me, as a woman too, just one look at this woman and she pulls everybody down to their knees and commands your full attention but with her fierce screams she does she can very well kill you by bursting your ear drums. The song “Sexual Hallucination” with featuring vocals of the band Shinedown Brent Smith is a very deep, slow, and sexy duet between these two singers. The first single off the album is next, “Sick Like Me” and since I actually did a music video review of it, I don’t think I really need to talk about it, but I will leave a link for you to check out what I really think of the video and I do review the song a bit too! Click here.

The next song is the one song that makes me feel funny, “Bloody Creature Poster Girl” it definitely doesn’t sound like a ITM track but I’m not quite sure if I’m meaning that in a bad way though. You do hear Maria’s infamous screams but it’s got this bluesy/jazzy vibe throughout the song even with the guitars, it’s a jazzy/metal sound. Next up is called, “The Fighter” and I already like this title. The beginning of just the calming piano and Maria’s clean vocals are just beautiful. This song is another finding strength and fight song for anybody who needs it. This might one were I’ll know every word to it and be able to sing it out loud. The next song is called, “Bones” and it’s that familiar sound of a dark and full metal feel. I’m pretty sure those drum sounds would be amazing on my stereo on the chorus part. The next is very interesting, it’s called “Natural Born Sinner” and if I didn’t know any better, I think Maria says a part of a verse in the Bible, I could be wrong. The song is another metal sounding kind of song, some synths throughout it but it screams (well, technically Maria screams it) metal. The next one leads into the last one of the album, “Into The Darkness” and it’s very, very dark. It’s got a very demonic and good battle at the beginning, Maria is whispering to a strange dark voice and then she starts to break down and cries, then the actual song starts to take form and its called, “Out Of Hell” and it’s a piano and story telling type of song. Maria has an amazing way of bringing out the darkest side of herself and showing her vulnerability to the world.

I think this album is amazing! It’s very different from what as their big fans thought it would sound like, but that doesn’t always mean that those bigger fans will like it either. If you buy the album as a deluxe there are two extra songs, I’ve decided not to include them inside this review. They are called though, “Turn You” and “Ribcage.” If you’ve listened to the album already, I would like to hear what you think of it. What are your favorite tracks?

Immortalized After Death

“So here we are.
This is the end.
But all the dies.
Is born again.
The scars will still remain.
From the ashes, I will rise again.
Goodbye, hello.”
– In This Moment

When death happens we are immediately broken-hearted to the point that we think our day is ruined. There is no light to the end of the tunnel. We mourn months upon months. We go through grief in different times. Sometimes it hits us instantly and then there are some people who it takes a little bit longer for everything to hit. We don’t understand how or when our time is up. We wish we still had time with that person and probably wish we didn’t do half of the things we did before. Death makes us do crazy things too. We instantly think we can’t go on without that person, because you are constantly think about them, which is normal. Death of a person can make us think that death of themselves doesn’t seem like a bad idea. We think that God is watching over their families and they are guided above us and watching us as well. They watch us bury their bodies in the ground, feel our pain, but know they’re not in any physical or emotion pain anymore. They are perfect. They are angels. Death to me is just something that happens. It’s going to happen whether or not we want it to. We are going to die one day. Somebody will mourn for us. Heart broken to the point to where their day is ruined too. We’ll all be in heaven. At least our souls will be.

It’s weird for me to be talking about death because some people think it’s bad luck, but yet a lot of people joke about it throughout their day, saying phrases like, “just kill me now” and there’s a pretty big possibly that those people have said that as well, they just don’t notice what they’ve said it until much later. I do believe that we go to heaven and God greets us when we get to the big pearly gates, but I also believe that we live on. I’ve heard many myths about people who have birthmarks, if they have them that means that’s how that person died in their past life. Well, I don’t have one, but my nana does and I’m not going to lie, but I always thought it was cool. Ever since I heard about that I’ve been believing more about how when a person dies they basically come back as somebody or something else. I mean, think about it. When a person dies, there is always a baby being born at possibly that exact time. Their spirit is being resurrected into this little child and being born again. I think (if it’s true of course) that’s pretty amazing! I think if we leave behind something good then a legacy will live on for us. We will never truly die, because we still live on inside people’s hearts. The memories both good and bad will still be there in our minds for us to remember. People that die are immortalized by the memories we made with them. And another thing, do you think they’d want us to grieve about them when we can still breathe? I’m sure they’d want us to live our lives like they were right there with us. They are always with us inside our hearts.

Music To Die By

There is a YouTube clip of the guys of Sixx:A.M. being asked this question, and it literally took them about 20 minutes to answer it. Three dudes with different tastes. Nikki asked if James would live or die on this desert island? James said it would be music to die by. At the end of them making jokes, and literally thinking about it. Which I am trying to rack my brain to figure out what I’d choose. If anybody has looked at “Music” tab at the top of my site. The first one underneath it is a tab called, “Favorite Albums” so I can chosing three albums from that list as my three albums to die by.

Oh, this is difficult. Now I understand why they having such a rough time with picking out just one album. No wonder they ended up with four. Anyways, I think my first would have to be Blood by In This Moment. I’ve listened to it from start to finish and it’s got this haunting sound to it. It would be a perfect album to have if you’re going to die on a desert island. Maybe you’ll get lucky and your spirit will stay around the island and everybody who goes on the island will be your victims? Second album will be a bit more mellow, and A Thousand Suns by Linkin Park is calling my name. Especially the songs “Iridescent” and “The Messager” so slow and sweet. But I like those two songs, so maybe that’s not a good choice. Okay, that’s unofficial if I’d use that album or not.

The other album that is fighting for second place comes from my morning so forgive me. I can’t give up on my Backstreet Boys. So I’m thinking their album that came out in 2001 called The Hits would actually be a perfect second album to die by. Knowing me, I’d die alone so I’d might as well depress myself to the death with some BSB love songs. I’ve not only given hope for my love life but my life in general. How weird is this, guess what just came on my iPod? Yeah, Backstreet Boys. They were my first music loves so they might as well be one of the last things I’ll ever listen to. Okay, last but not least. I think Halestorm deserves this spot. Their album The Strange Cases Of… is such an amazing album. I cannot get enough of it. I love it to be pieces. I love Lzzy’s voice. So I think that would be my last album. These are the albums I’d die by.

Song From Five Bands

Song challenge for the day was supposed to be pick a song from your favorite band. Since I couldn’t make up my mind. I’m just going to list five songs by five different bands. I am not responsible if the songs make you cry, I am just saying. (:

I love Halestorm. I can listen to their album about a hundred times and not get tired of it. I am so obsessed with it! This was my first song that I listened to, besides the ones that came on the EP. I heard this song on Octane and could have cried through it. I am completely in love with this song. I love how it sounds, the lyrics, and gah! The whole song just melts my heart into a big puddle. I did not think I’d ever like a song this, but Lzzy switched it all up for me.

Another song I heard for the first time on Octane. I had always loved Symphonic Metal but I had a small break because I didn’t want to get my heart set on a genre where not a lot of bands were in, like in that category. After I got into Within Temptation, hearing this song and a few others. I was happy to know there were more bands that were like them. The fact that there isn’t any here in the States, really sucks. Originally this song wasn’t my first choice. I want to use lyric videos, but the song I wanted to use has already been posted in a past post.

I think all three of these songs I first heard them on Octane. It’s a good radio station. Since I didn’t have a FFDP song on my last post. This one had to go here. I love this song, the band is completely insane, but in a good way. Everybody thinks I’m a bit weird considering I listen to them like everyday. I’m not that stuck into them. If I was really stuck to them, this would be the original challenge of one song by one band. I couldn’t choose from all of the bands I listen to, so there.

I love In This Moment. They are freaking amazing! I actually had to go looking for this song. I heard Kayla Riley on Octane talking about being released online and I went looking about an hour later and actually found it. I am seriously obsessed with this song. I cannot wait to get my toes on this new album of their’s hopefully next week. I’m going to have to do some seriously begging, but it will be so worth it. After I heard this song I literally thought to myself, Maria and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park should do a “Shut up” scream challenge to see which one is the loudest.

Speaking of Linkin Park, I love them too! They were my first rock band to get into and have almost every album by them. I have more LP albums than Backstreet Boys. I’m only missing the Live In Texas and LPU CD’s. Since I’m not a LPU I’m not too worried about those. Even though I’m not as into LP like I use to be, they never really go away. I still get excited everytime they release a LPTV episode on YouTube, like yesterday I got so excited I could have made somebody giggle because of how goofy I was acting. That’s what they do to me.

Three Days Until August.

It’s almost August, the eighth month out of the year. Jeez! What happened to July? I find it interesting that both April and May can be the slowest months to get through and then once as June comes around it’s like you’re driving a car in a narrow corner and you have to turn very carefully and slowly to get to the other side. That’s how I think of getting past May into June. After you’ve turned around, those next two months are straight through. No turns or stop signs in sight. You just drive forever and by the end you’re like, “that was quick!” That’s summer for you!

I’ve got a bunch of thing lined up for me next month. I’m thinking about just skipping these next three days and just going ahead and starting a new month, what do you think? June was the month of Linkin Park, July was my depressing month, and August is happily titled my “full” album. I start out the month on an interesting note. I go to the doctors within the first week of August. I’m fine with going to the regular doctor than eye doctor or dentist. As long as they don’t have to take my blood I’ll be fine. Since I’ve had this check-up before two years ago, I already know there will be no blood taken. I hope not at least. I’m praying I don’t have to.

That next week is made up of little things. August 10th, my sister has her first-last Football game that she has to cheer at that Friday night. My mom already has that day off so that means I get to go. It’s going to be hot as hell, but I love going to Football games. On August 13th they are announcing the Dancing With The Stars pros on Good Morning America, so that means I have to wake up bright and early to watch that and wait til the end of the show to even see who will be on it. That’s what they did in the spring. The next day, which is the 14th is when one of my favorite bands In This Moment release their next album, Blood and hopefully by then I’d have an iTunes card and buy it off of there because I am not buying it at Wal-Mart. I don’t want to get a rock album that has half of the words bleeped out of it. It’s stupid.

I don’t know which week everything is, but I do know the dates to everything, so I’m surprised I can even think straight at the moment. August 27th is the date that we find out who will be the last contestant on Dancing With The Stars. (If you want to vote for either Sabrina Bryan, Carson Kressley, or Kyle Massey read DWTS All-Star (Celeb Cast) post.) Another morning I have to get up early in the morning, and since I missed the other morning that had this announcement I have to watch this one. Good Morning America is having the Backstreet Boys come perform on August 31st. It will be the first time that all five members will get on stage together and perform live. I am so freaking excited! That’s the only 31st that I am excited about. That’s what I got coming for me next month. I’m not for sure how much more I got coming, but I hope nothing overlaps or I’ll be really mad if that happens.