U.S. metal band In This Moment have just released their new album, “Black Widow”. The band, led by singer Maria Brink and lead guitarist Chris Howorth were formed in 2005, and this is their 5th studio release.
Kicking off with an atmospheric intro track, “The Infection”, the album’s first proper song, “Sex Metal Barbie”, is a mid-paced number, which sets the scene with a modern production sheen and electronic treatments enhancing the pop-metal sound.
“Big Bad Wolf”, one of the album’s highlights, a swaggering Marilyn Manson style track, showcases the full range of Brink’s vocals from sweet sounding singing through to full throated screams. Elsewhere, a vintage radio sounding sample ushers in the heavy groove of “Dirty Pretty”, before a voiceover warning “…Yes the dangerous black widow is to be approached with caution, as the black widow’s bite can cause death. The black widow is easily recognized buy her coal black body and red hourglass marking. She encases her victims with silk, and then kills with poison from her fangs. The male spider is not considered to be dangerous…” introduces the brilliant catchy title track.
Brent Smith of Shinedown guests on the slower, hypnotic “Sexual Hallucination”, his vocals intertwining nicely with Brink’s on what could almost count as a power ballad! First single from the album, “Sick Like Me”, is up next, with some thunderous drums and heavily treated vocals and guitars during the verses leading into a more epic sounding chorus. A real mixture of industrial, metal and pop, as is the whole album in general.
“Bloody Creature Poster Girl” features a piano and strings intro before exploding with Brink’s trademark screams, as the pace of the album slows down, and from here on in the momentum seems to go. Maybe it’s just initial impressions from the first few spins of this album on my virtual turntable, but although the album started really well, there is a feeling that you’re getting the best tracks first. This song is followed by the ballad “The Fighter” and another slow track, “Bones”. The tempo picks back up a little with “Natural Born Sinner”, though this is still only a mid-tempo track.
Following the spoken word piece “Into The Darkness”, comes the longest track on the album, “Out Of Hell”. This one features a tortured sounding vocal over a minimalist piano backing, with dialogue and sirens audible in the background adding to the bleakness of the final song of the album proper, before the bonus tracks “Turn You” and “Rib Cage”. Again, none of these display any real tempo as found earlier on the likes of “Big Bad Wolf” and “Black Widow”.
That said, although metal purists may not be keen, as someone who enjoys a wide range of musical genres I believe that this is a good album, very good in places, building on the sound of previous album “Blood” and, although it could have done with perhaps fewer slow tracks, it should still see Maria Brink and her band continuing on their upward trajectory.
“Black Widow” tracklist:
1. The Infection / 2. Sex Metal Barbie / 3. Big Bad Wolf / 4. Dirty Pretty / 5. Black Widow / 6. Sexual Hallucination / 7. Sick Like Me / 8. Bloody Creature Poster Girl / 9. The Fighter / 10. Bones / 11. Natural Born Sinner / 12. Into The Darkness / 13. Out Of Hell / 14. Turn You / 15. Rib Cage