In This Moment Black Widow
Release Date: November 17,, 2014
Label: Atlantic Records
[xrr rating= 8/10]
My first impression after listening to Black Widow all the way through was that this album could be made into a movie or at least the sound track to one creepy ass film. Overall the latest offering from In this Moment has a very industrial feel to it. With spoken intros, dubs, and breakdowns, this album has many elements and many songs that took me back to the late 90’s sounds of Marilyn Manson and White Zombie.
Vocalist Maria Brink says Black Widow is definitely the darker part of me. This album is about finding the weakness inside and turning it into strength. It’s about being reborn, setting yourself free and realizing the balance in everything – the dark and the light.” As I made my way through the album, the meaning of the dark and the light became very apparent.
Guitarist Chris Howorth says “This was by far the most challenging, exciting and rewarding experience we’ve ever had making a record. We threw out the rulebook and tried to create something fearless, constantly pushing ourselves to make an album unlike anyone has heard before. Fans, get ready for this ride – everything is going to the next level.”
The Infection is purely an intro piece, but if the intention was to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, you got this one right. Creepy and dark, with lots of metal grinding, chains, and nails on chalkboard type sounds. Very much a clue to how this album was going to come at the listener.
Sex Metal Barbie is a very “Mansonesque” track that gets the ball rolling on Black Widow. Everything about this one takes me back to Marilyn Manson’s album “Antichrist Superstar”.
Continuing with the creepy vibe Big Bad Wolf comes knocking at the door. Maria’s spoken “Even in these chains you can’t stop me” gives way to a thundering beat. The vocal range of Maria Brink is out there for all to see and hear in Big Bad Wolf. Lows, mid-range, and highs, she does it all in Big Bad Wolf.
Dirty Pretty rolls in with a heavy drum and a catchy riff. The lyrics follow with a “Mirror,Mirror on the wall” fairy tale nightmare. The song briefly shifts into a more upbeat tempo then rolls back into the heavy drum beat for the chorus. This one is addictive.
Black Widow starts off with an old style documentary movie intro. I almost checked to make sure I wasn’t listening to White Zombie as the intro played. As the title track kicks in, you are faced with a totally different In this Moment experience. A synthetic vocal leads the way into a very “processed” sounding, fast paced track.
Sexual Hallucination starts slowly and features an unexpected duet. Vocally, I think this is one of the best songs on the new album. I love the delivery and the complimentary vocal style of both singers throughout this track. I would love to hear Maria sing like this more often. Absolutely rates as one of my favorites. I’d expect to see this one released as a single in the future.
Sick Like Me – I love this song! The first single from Black Widow, this song is addictive. It is heavy and has a driving beat. As Maria asks “Am I beautiful as I tear you to pieces?” I have listened to this song repeatedly. I definitely look forward to hearing this one live.
Bloody Creature Poster Girl lulls you in with a “Poppy”, rhythmic, opening verse but then transforms to hurl you into a much darker place. For whatever reason the image of a sultry 1930’s songbird singing on top of the piano in a smoke filled nightclub comes to me, right up to the point that Brink declares “I’m not like those other dames”, then all hell breaks loose and she runs riot through the crowd accosting the audience and growling “I’m your Bloody Creature Poster Girl”.
The Fighter is easily my favorite song on this album and probably one of my top three In this Moment songs, period. With the piano lead in, this one feels like a bit of a departure from the darkness cast by the other songs. It is almost as if, as a listener, you have fought through the darkness and are coming back into the light and The Fighter is leading the way. Very well done indeed.
Bones feels a bit mysterious as it begins. I wasn’t sure if it was going down the slow road or going to jump up to the high road. Honestly, it is a little bit of both. Slow and sensual at times only to shift into a something with a bit more grit. Not the heaviest song on the album, but a good blend of slow and measured versus properly contained aggression. For me, this was the grower of the bunch. The more I listen, the more I like it.
Natural Born Sinner starts with a spoken intro. I was a bit worried about Brink’s voice during the intro piece. I’m assuming that was the intended effect. Once the song began, my worries were wiped away. A very resounding, determined, yet somewhat pissed off vocal delivery is the only way I can think to describe this song. S.i.n….n.e.r. leaves you wanting more.
The next two tracks, Into the Darkness and Out of Hell, round out the album. Into the Darkness is basically a creepy outro, followed by the opposite of what you’d expect from a track called Out of Hell. It is a piano track with Brink singing along softly. I wasn’t particularly fond of this closer, but it had its moments.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner. Overall, Black Widow is 10 very solid tracks, two intro/outro pieces and a bonus track that all in all, I have to admit won me over. I wasn’t completely sure what I would think of this album, but as I have listened to the album, I’ve found myself going back revisiting songs and parts of songs because they are stuck in my head. That is a good sign.
Black Widow, the fifth album from In this Moment is set for release on November 18th. The band is currently on tour with Twelve Foot Ninja and Starset with tour dates through mid-December and additional dates to be announced.
- photos/review: In This Moment live at The NorVa credit Gary Horton
- photos: In This Moment live at Center Stage in Atlanta credit Gary Flinn
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