In This Moment has been one of my favorite bands for years. I have always been drawn to goth metal. I am a sucker for a female fronted metal band, and NO ONE does it better than Maria Brink. Throw in a stage show with theatrics that give Lady Gaga a run for her money and you have a band worth paying attention to. This band rocks, and Ritual is the next step in the progression of this band that I was hoping for. 2012’s Blood was a breakout for the band that showcased heavy riffs and in my opinion one of the best vocal performances of all time. The band took a more theatrical route for 2015’s Black Widow. The album showcased a lot of spoken vignettes that were very obviously inserted with the intention of being used for the stage show, allowing the show to move along through outfit changes and have recognizable segues between songs. Ritual is the perfect combination of the two- it still contains the spoken vignettes, but it is a return to form with the heavy riffs, strong vocal performance, and h
I must admit, I was nervous when I first heard about Ritual. The album is described as a collection of taking a different direction for this album, mirroring the success of heavy blues rock, female fronted bands like Dorothy. Oh Lord puts out a lot of those same vibes. And while that influence is undeniable on tracks like River of Fire, I am very excited to say that this album comes from a much heavier, darker place than we have heard since Blood.
This album is heavy. It is dark. And it is glorious. Songs like the second single, Roots, or Half God Half Devil, give a heavy vibe that would fit right in with the flow of Blood. There are songs with the spoken vignettes that have become synonymous with the band on tracks like Joan of Arc and Witching Hour. Both of these tracks seem to lead to a strong stage show that continues to feed the mysterious character that Brink has created for herself. The lyrics continue the strong, independent woman narrative of classic songs such as Whore. My personal favorite song on the album is Black Wedding, which is a play on the Billy Idol classic White Wedding, and even includes a small and updated sample of the song in the hook. Ritual also returns to classic In This Moment style, including a cover. For this record, the band reimagined the Phil Collins classic, In the Air, which predictably (and amazingly) gets incredibly heavy and shows off Brink’s range and vocal ability after the iconic drum solo. You know, the one that Mike Tyson air drums before he knocks out Zach Galifanakis in The Hangover?
As a long-time fan of the band, Ritual is everything I hoped for. The band returned to its heavy roots, while finding a way to continue to allow the spoken narrative and lyrics to tell a story and connect Maria’s strong female characters, setting up for what I am sure is going to be an epic stage performance. As always, Maria Brink delivers with a tremendous vocal performance that showcases her tremendous range and songwriting talent. I didn’t think In This Moment was ever going to give us another album the quality of Blood, but Ritual is certainly destined to be a defining release for In This Moment.
JBone — Hard Rock/Metal Contributor. Follow Jay on Twitter: @JBoneBass