Wednesday, July 26, 2017
In This Moment - Ritual (2017)
So going into "Ritual", the band's 6th studio effort, I expected more of the same, experimental music that is sticky, while also having something to say. And while I got some of it, I do not think that I got enough of it. This is definitely an In This Moment album, maybe a little less in your face as the last couple of albums though (which in itself is a good thing), but the music is unmistakeably them. Heavy rhythms, gothic vibes, and Maria Brink leading the charge of this army from hell with her magnificent voice, it has all you can demand from them, so how does it come that I feel this album is not complete?
Well for starters, "Ritual" is an album that simply does not hold up throughout its run time. The second half in particular feels very bland and forgettable, blending into each other really easily. And while the first half is miles better, it still has some duds too, like the lead single "Oh Lord", a very slow and sluggish song that is the very definition of boring. It tries to do some Iron Maiden styled "whoaing" as well, but it just does not work in this slow tempo.
The band has not lost its element of surprise still, but they are surprising me in other ways this time. In "Black Wedding", we suddenly get an appearance from the Metal God himself, Rob Halford. The song itself is fun and groovy, a really interesting duet that works way better than expected. However, I cannot look past the obvious theft in the chorus from the Billy Idol classic "White Wedding Pt. 1", that is just tacky bro. The band do however present a real cover right after with the Phil Collins classic "In The Air Tonight", and that one is surprisingly really freaking good. The band puts in a haunting element to this song that really makes it their own, and Maria does another emotional performance here to sell it all. However, this one is also kinda ruined , because they completely destroyed the best part of the original, the sudden drum solo. It is so awesome in the original because it is so unexpected and loud, which it is not in the cover. Then again, no one can truly copy Phil Collins and his drum style.
It ultimately comes down to the same thing though, that this album has very little memorable stuff in it. I would not say it is safe, because the band is not safe. Who else would throw in a dub step beat to create a heavy groove (well, besides Korn) and tries to stand up for women in metal as much as this band? The conclusion is that In This Moment have not lost their touch, it is still the same band with the same vision and passion, and I highly respect them for that. When it comes to "Ritual" though, it is a forgettable album. An In This Moment album should bring out emotions in both music and listener, but this one just does not do it. For fans of the band, this will most likely be very enjoyable to you, but for the neutral guy, it might be something to look into, but you could just as well skip it too.
Songs worthy of recognition: Black Wedding, In The Air Tonight, Roots
Rating: 6/10 Witching Hours
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