Type: CD Company: Atlantic Release: 2017 Genre: Hard Rock Reviewer: Eric Compton Published: 8/10/2017
Daring and provocative while lyrically bridging modern rock and pop
In This Moment have seemingly hit the pinnacle of success, evident with the nearly sold-out headlining "Black Widow" tour as well as last year's "Return of the Dreads" circuit with Korn and Rob Zombie. Earlier this year the band supported Avenged Sevenfold and Papa Roach on two separate supporting dates in Texas and Michigan as well as their own headline tour, "Half God, Half Devil". Riding that road to victory, 'Ritual' arrives by way of heavyweight label Atlantic Records, and reunites the act with longtime collaborating producer Kevin Churko (Hellyeah, Ozzy, Rob Zombie). It's also the first album with new drummer Kent Diimmel (3 by Design), the replacement for Tom Hane who split from the band in 2016 citing musical differences.
This band has progressed and matured significantly since 2007's 'Beautiful Tragedy'. Metalcore and Screamo tendencies blended into industrial landscapes only to be rebranded with a modern rock approach. That maturity and evolution is abundantly clear with 'Ritual', a macabre cabaret of modern rock and darkwave pop sensibility. Opener "Oh Lord" uses a steady march of drums behind downtuned riffs and Brink's alternative rock vocals. It's reminiscent of The Pretty Reckless but outlined with a bit of an industrial buzz. "River of Fire" works in much the same fashion with some electronic feeds over doomy riffs and harmonized vocals. It contrasts extremely well with the slower percussion and deep bass. The album is steeped with historic references to the Salem Witch Trials and that is evident with the calculated and smooth "Witching Hour", a gothic industrial cut that is flat-out addictive with Brink's charismatic vocal treatment. The band's tour is named after solid cut "Half God Half Devil", a track co-written by multi-platinum songwriter and producer Dave Bassett (Josh Groban, Rachel Platten). Two covers are included--a reimagining of Billy Idol's "White Wedding" aptly titled "Black Wedding", featuring guest Rob Halford (Judas Priest), and a subdued treatment of Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight".
In This Moment have already reached superstardom levels and that status is only reinforced by 'Ritual'. It's daring and provocative while lyrically supporting the bridge between modern rock and pop. Few acts can excel on both the stage and in the studio but this band has mastered it. With a debut at 23rd on Billboard and plenty of packed houses...this band is a substantial representation of our beloved genre.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
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