Sunday, October 22, 2023

CD Odyssey Disc 1684: In This Moment

Apologies for my lengthy absence, gentle readers. Much of last week I was travelling for work, and this slowed down my creative output considerably.

I’m back now and here’s the record that’s been kicking around in my head since last we connected.

Disc 1684 is…Blood

Artist: In This Moment

Year of Release: 2012

What’s up with the Cover?  The picture above is not the picture on my album. While mine is also a special edition (re-issue and bonus tracks included) it has the original album cover, which is far racier. That cover features lead singer Maria Brink, crowned and sitting on a throne surrounded by eight naked women wearing expressionless white porcelain masks. A murder of crows flies in the background.

If you are thinking “whoa – that sounds incredible” you’d be right, but it is also a bit racy, so for those of you who aren’t comfortable with a whole lot of nudity in your art, I’ve instead posted this alternative cover.

This alternative cover is also pretty dope, featuring just a single crow perched on the same crown, minus Queen Maria and all the nude women. If you decide you want to see the original (having been forewarned), here’s the Wiki page.

How I Came To Know It: My coworker was asking me for music recommendations for his niece. I said I’d be glad to help but to make sure I was in the ballpark, could he tell me what she currently listens to. The answer was “In this Moment”.  In checking them out I realized, “hey, this niece is on to something!

I can’t remember what I recommended in return. I think probably Creepshow and Poppy’s 2020 album, “I Disagree”.

How It Stacks Up: I have my eye out for one or two more In This Moment albums, but as of now “Blood” lives alone in my collection, and thus cannot stack up.

Rating: 3 stars

“In This Moment” is not for everyone. There is a visceral quality to their industrial metal sound that is invigorating, but they also sing about edgy topics, and that “industrial” moniker routinely steps over the line into “nu metal” territory. So, as with the cover, consider yourself warned before you investigate further.

The first thing you’ll note about “Blood” is that lead singer Maria Brink feels her feelings very deeply. When you are singing about this “tear your insides out” kind of stuff, it is important to be believable and Brink sounds every bit emotionally disturbed as the subject matter requires. She is equal parts vulnerable and dangerous best summed up with a warning of “careful, she bites”. If that sounds a bit animalistic well, so do a lot of the songs.

The album had three singles released, which also happen to be the best the record has to offer. The title track features a chorus that will want you to mosh until you throw your neck out. As my neck was already out this week, I refrained but it wasn’t easy. “Blood” is like a lot of In This Moment songs, feels triumphant and energetic, but a deeper dive into the lyrics reveals a dysfunctional relationship. Maybe a father, maybe a boyfriend, but definitely a jerk.

Whore” is the album’s best song, challenging society’s judgment on dangerous girls with hearty sexual appetites. How the narrator conducts herself is her own business, and is under no obligation to explain herself, although the song’s refrain does a fine job of twisting the knife, with:

“But let me tell you something baby
You love me for everything you hate me for”

Musically this song has a great structure as well, slowly building behind the dull but insistent drum thud, the song crunch’s out loud and proud, raw with feeling. Some will find the tune a bit overblown, but I would counter that this is entirely the point. Like I noted in the lede, it’s not for everyone.

That is not to say there are not moments where In This Moment crosses the line into annoying screaming. It does. “You’re Gonna Listen To Me” doubles down on the overwrought singing and crunchy “loud” production in the hopes it can hide the boring melody and grating arrangement. It does not succeed.

Adrenalize” is cool, but mostly because I think equating desire with someone getting chest-stabbed with an adrenaline needle is, er…novel? The production here is a bit busy, but the metaphor is edgy.

Near the end of the record we are treated to the album’s third standout. “Comanche” is an anthem that will have you fist pumping in the air. If you are a fan of In This Moment, “Comanche” is your call to arms, half affirmation of the music, and half rejection of the haters. I imagine this is a favourite at live shows.

Unfortunately, there are also a lot of forgettable tunes on “Blood”. I’d talk about them but I’m having a hard time remembering them. The high points are easily worth the journey, but an honest assessment of the overall record is it is good, but not great.

Best tracks: Blood, Whore, Comanche

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