I have been waiting for this for a long, long time. This album was supposed to be released last summer. And then again around Halloween. I’ve heard a million dates and rumors, but it never came. I don’t know the story behind why, and now that it’s here I don’t care. In This Moment have been one of my favorite bands since the first time I heard “Blood” on the radio. I purchased that album within an hour of the track finishing on my radio and have not looked back.
Mother, out as of March 27, 2020 via Atlantic Records, is an amazing piece of work from a band that grows and evolves with every album. Blood made the band heavy and dark and Maria Brink found her signature, almost manic transitions from clean vocals to screams. Black Widow added theatrics, perfecting the interludes and song intros to give the band their signature sound. Ritual saw Brink adopt a jazzy vocal style, almost like a 3rd persona. Mother is the next step in the evolution of In This Moment bringing it all together with amazing callbacks and a strong step forward.
‘Mother’ is the next step in the evolution of In This Moment, tying it all together with amazing callbacks and a strong step forward.
I’m not typically a huge proponent of interludes, but the opening track here makes sense. “The Beginning (Interlude)” is creepy and sets the haunting tone for what is to follow. “I am the God and the Devil around you…” is the first line of the album and echoes the sense of mania and polar positions that were evident in the pre-release single “The In-Between.” The interlude transitions directly to the album’s first cover, Steve Miller Band’s “Fly Like an Eagle.” This is an awesome cover for ITM and Brink’s voice is on full display. It’s haunting, distant and has an eerie vibe. Unlike most covers, we aren’t listening to bad karaoke. This is unique and puts a whole new heavy, dark spin on the classic.
“The Red Crusade (Interlude)” is well-placed with Gothic choral chants that transition right into the album’s first single, “The In-Between.” This song is In This Moment at their best. I love the lyrics here- the good and evil, heaven and hell contrast is on full display. The chorus name-drops some of the band’s biggest hits en route to their success today: “Blood,” “Whore,” “Sick Like Me” and “Beautiful Tragedy.” Brink is on her game with the manic vocals that go from singing to screaming on a dime.
“Legacy” is a powerful track. The beginning third of the song is nearly a capella and shows off Brink’s vocal prowess. She has such a unique voice and can scream with the best of them, her pedigree being the ease in which she can switch styles so quickly. It’s also extremely powerful to hear her clean vocals circling throughout. “Legacy” features some of the best clean vocals I’ve heard from Brink with a powerful, catchy chorus line and a strong, melodic guitar solo.
“Legacy” features some of the best clean vocals I’ve heard from Brink with a powerful, catchy chorus line and a strong, melodic guitar solo.
Following the ballad is another cover, this time “We Will Rock You” by Queen, and to pull out all the stops it features Lzzy Hale of Halestorm (who steals the show in her verse) and Taylor Momsen of The Pretty Reckless. Chris Howorth absolutely shreds the lead riff and the drums are as intense as you would expect for this classic track. But as great as the band sounds, this trio of the best female vocalists in the industry is mesmerizing. This is one of the most well-done covers I’ve ever experienced.
The title track, “Mother,” is unique, starting out slower while balancing a strange intensity to it. Brink’s vocals stay in the line of breaking into a scream throughout but she never quite takes it there. Every segment of the track adds another layer instrumentally and builds up to the end, almost sounding like a different song than the one we started with.
“As Above, So Below” caught my attention from the intro and I could tell it was going to be insane. The guitar and bass riff throughout the verse is intense. I completely lost track of the vocals because of how drawn in I was. The song features one of my favorite choruses on the album, is catchy and over the top. I can see it fitting right in with their massive stage show. “Born in Flames” is another change of pace, standing out musically for its slow build. It has passion and pain. I can feel this song. That’s a big part of what draws me to In This Moment.
The opening riff in “God Is She” is one of the most intense on the record. The song is slow, but heavy, until it hits the breakdown and just explodes. After the feverish breakdown we are left with an a capella segment of the chorus that absolutely gave me chills. This song is eerie and haunting. “Holy Man” has a nice callback to Ritual and the jazzy vocals in the beginning paint a picture for the song that fits the theme well. The chorus is catchy and over-the-top and the heavy feel on a jazzy track is a unique experience.
After the feverish breakdown we are left with an a capella segment of the chorus that absolutely gave me chills.
“Hunting Grounds” is one of my favorite songs on the record. It features Joe Cotela from Ded. The song starts off with a clean vocal duet that is soft but with a menacing explosion of a riff behind it that never quite breaks through. It opens up into a powerful chorus that features a strong harmonic duet. The bass line is driving and pushes forward as the song builds. The end has a welcoming melody and a heavy riff before pushing into the final chorus and fading out to a capella.
As the album trails into the final two tracks, “Lay Me Down” starts off as a cool chanty song and evolves into a strong riff that pushes forward perfectly. The chorus is powerful and catchy and I anticipate the track being marketed as a single. “Into Dust” is another strong ballad that highlights Brink’s vocal ability and gives her the opportunity to step back behind the keys. This is another track I fully expect to be a huge draw in the band’s live show, giving Brink the opportunity to take a break from the intensity and sing from the soul. It’s a fitting end to the record; a final showcase to highlight Brink’s talent and powerful songwriting ability.
It’s a fitting end to the record; a final showcase to highlight Brink’s talent and powerful songwriting ability.
Mother is such a diverse and powerful album. It’s heavy, often without being aggressive, and musically sound. Make sure you don’t miss this one- it’s available on all platforms now!