With news of their upcoming UK tour just being announced, I realised I’d not scrawled a few words about In This Moment’s latest release, Black Widow. Released in September, it’s the band’s fifth album but – I confess – the first time I’ve heard of them.
I’ll tell you what, though. They know how to get your attention and keep it when you do hear them.
In This Moment is fronted by singer Maria Brink, one half of the founding partnership which is made up by guitarist Chris Howorth. Watching their videos and live footage, Brink comes across as a hybrid of Marilyn Manson and Dita von Teese; the hotness of the latter with the slightly barking horror bent of the former. Actually, chuck in a dash of Alice Cooper or Wednesday 13 for the schlock horror themes and we’re about getting there.
Soundwise, though, they’re pretty original. I can’t see a keyboard player listed in the credits, but there’s definitely an electronic / drum machine feel to a few tracks. The band have gone for atmosphere and production as well as rhythm and intense lyrics. While the music is great, there’s no denying that Brink is the centrepiece but thankfully not simply due to her collection of stage costumes that would make Ann Summers blush.
Her voice ranges from piercing and melodic to throaty and seductive. Throughout the album she tackles a variety of styles including a couple of spoken/acted scene-setters. As an aside, check out Youtube for a live acoustic session with the band. It shows another side to her vocal skills which impresses even further. The closest on the album is the final track “Out of Hell”.
The album, though… wow. Varied, creepy, exciting, chilling… it plays like a musical, especially with those aforementioned acted segments. I’m not quite sure if it’s a concept album per se, but there’s a definite theme. What I like about it most, though, is the variety in the songs.
From the first single “Sick Like Me” which pounds like a jackhammer through the more industrial/crossover tones of the title track to the haunting piano-led final song, there’s no chance of getting bored. For an added kick there’s a very hot piece called “Sexual Hallucination” which features Shinedown’s own Brent Smith on guest vocals. This is no “two words in the chorus” job – it’s a proper duet.
A very, very good album and one that’s definitely got me excited for the upcoming tour. I will, of course, be begging for an interview slot! Cross your fingers for me, but only after you’ve used them to order a copy of the album.