Taking the gothic influence to almost its breaking point comes Californians In This Moment, who mix the perfect blend of stage theatrics, Marilyn Manson, and horror imagery. Their new and sixth album ‘Ritual’ should only go to push their sound forward.
Unfortunately, what starts off as a great promise quickly descends into flabby covers of Phil Collins‘ hit ‘In The Air Tonight’ being whispered to the audience whilst the band meanders onto the same note like they’re basically sleep walking through the whole thing. Take that or ‘Black Wedding’ a shameless rip-off of Billy Idol‘s ‘White Wedding’ that even a guest appearance from Rob Halford (Judas Priest) can’t save, leaves the band devoid of any originality.
It’s a slog of a start, but once we reach ‘Joan Of Arc’ the pace seems to pick up for a short while. The callout of a Rob Zombie inspired movie quote begins the track with yells of “Hey” coming straight out of the ‘Disposable Teens’ text book. This is lost almost immediately on ‘River Of Fire’, where the band goes into a very ploddy sounding Black Stone Cherry bit with an industrial tinge.
This leads the main problem of the band needing to stand forward, it feels less of a creative outfit moving forward together and more of a vanity project for vocalist, Maria Brink. The loops of a song such as ‘Witching Hour’ exist just to make her seem extremely clear and domineering over the piece.
Oddly, the true highlights don’t rear their heads until the tail-end of the record. ‘Half God Half Devil’ adds the metalcore of a band like Motionless In White with an extreme bass from Travis Johnson giving the best beat this track deserves. Following number ‘No Me Importa’ has a build-up from the piano, and feels like it could easily be done by a singer/songwriter and features an impressive guitar section from Chris Howorth.
What is noticeable here is the band works well when they come out as a unit. Unfortunately, the album is being front-loaded with covers to get them on radio, and that cannot be ignored. With a bit more digging into the track listing there are some redeemable features, but as a whole, ‘Ritual’ has little replay value and adds very little fuel to the In This Moment fire.
Written by Bradley Cassidy (@bradcassidy170)