Starting with a slow burning musical introduction can be a double edged sword.
Done correctly it sets a great scene for what it coming on the album, but if allowed to meander on too long, as is the case with album opener ‘Salvation’, it tends to have the listener already wanting to move on the next album in the pile.
Thankfully when the album proper starts with ‘Oh Lord’ and vocalist Maria Brink sounding her seductive best, it is immediately apparent that the band’s continued drive into a heavy industrial sound that they set up on their fourth album Blood is continued here.
The Metal God himself pops up on the next track ‘Black Wedding,’ a stomping number held together with a great beat, piano driven undercurrent and a chorus that gives a not too sly nod too Billy Idol’s original ‘White Wedding,’ keeping the original tune but changing the lyrics to stick in your head.
From this almost cover, the band dive head long into ‘In The Air Tonight’ and it must said that Brink brings an entirely different and far more emotional approach to her band’s version of this AM radio classic. Sadly the famous drum explosion at the end sounds a little to mechanical to lift the song to the heights her voice aims for.
After this, In This Moment kicks it back into a higher gear for the rest of the album. Particularly of note are ‘Joan Of Arc’ and the stomper ‘Half God Half Devil’, But most of Ritual is interesting with its pop/industrial/metal approach. My only real complaint it that sometimes the electronic effects used on both the vocals and instruments feel like an overused crutch.
This band is one that I have always listened in with interest but never came away with anything of note that stuck. Whether that was due to the combination of uninteresting music and over the top visual look, particularly the over use of Maria Brink’s beauty, I am not sure. The music should always come first, and here In This Moment has made a far more conscious decision to finally make the music outshine image, and have hit on a winning formula. I look forward to what the future output may be if they continue on this trajectory.
2. Oh Lord
3. Black Wedding
4. In the Air Tonight
5. Joan of Arc
6. River of Fire
7. Witching Hour
8. Twin Flames
9. Half God Half Devil
10. No Me Importa
12. Lay Your Guns Down