First Guess

Brutally honest reviews and commentary on the latest music

‘Black Widow’ Is The Most Gripping ITM Album Yet

in-this-moment-tickets_12-31-14_17_540e4a4a6e9aeAlbum: Black Widow
Artist: In This Moment
Genre: Industrial Metal
Release Date: 16 November 2014
Official Website: InThisMomentOfficial.com

Diagnosis: There had always been a brutal honesty to the lyrics on songs like “Prayers” and “Daddy’s Fallen Angel” that initially drawn me to them back when they were just a really popular Myspace band. They never lost it, but they never fully embraced it either. Something always felt held back, which isn’t to say that a band is required to open up themselves to their listeners or that bands that do are inherently superior, but it was always right beneath the surface with In This Moment. Black Widow continues what Blood started stylistically, with it’s Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson-esque sound and totally improves on it. Songs like “Sex Metal Barbie” aren’t completely unlike Linkin Park either. But they do more than just improve their sound. The album is a vivid journey through the psyche of a woman that had to overcome against the odds. It doesn’t ask the listener to do anything more than listen because the emotional tour is masterfully handled and literally every single song reinforces the theme of the album without being repetitive. It’s dark and it’s always good to see a band trying new things, especially when they could have easily gotten comfortable with what they delivered on The Dream. If you’re like me and haven’t seriously listened to them in a very long time, now would be the perfect time to jump back in. This is In This Moment at their most bold.

The Highlights: The “Big Bad Wolf” is brought out early to do some damage. Following the song that was meant to be a response to band’s haters, “Big Bad Wolf” is the baton to the confrontation. The band’s industrial side is in full throttle here and it’s really heavy. Maria Brink sounds her most vicious and the energy gives the line “Even in these chains you can’t stop me” enormous credibility. The title track almost sounds like something you could rave to. There’s a dance vibe to it that impressively manages to maintain its aggression. “Sexual Hallucination” allows us a break from the relentless first half of the album with a ballad. Brent Smith of Shinedown shares the vocals with Brink and I hope they do something like this again. They sound totally natural singing together. “Into The Darkness” gets incredibly emotional in way they have never done before, with the sound of Brink crying for nearly 2 minutes. It’s an open wound that forces you to look right at it, which transitions into the album’s closing, atmospheric ballad “Out Of Hell,” detailing the struggle of the album’s protagonist.

Final Thoughts: Black Widow is so complete an experience and focused that it reads like a concept album. Although Brink has said that her own experiences often inspire the subject matter of their music, I wouldn’t say having any background on what she’d been through personally is necessary to absorb the album. It’s very accessible and gripping. I’d love to see them top this one.

Score: 9 out of 10

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