At this stage, you know fully what to expect from In This Moment; their transformation from their earlier, more metalcore-leaning work to a more radio-ready metal sound has long been completed.
‘Mother’ comes forth as the band’s seventh album, and you’ll know whether or not this is for you very soon after you press play.
‘The Beginning (Interlude)’ features a dramatic synth opening. The whispering at the beginning is clearly meant to invoke some tension and atmosphere, but the resulting effect is quite cringe-worthy, acting as a sign in some ways of what will soon follow.
We then segue into ‘Fly Like An Eagle’, which is enough of a cliché from its title alone. Maria Brink at least has a distinctive voice, but her combination of moaning and yarling is so overdone you may find yourself wondering what actually happens for such a sound to emit from somebody.
‘The In-Between’ also offers a very stereotypical you-told-me-I-was-crazy-but-I’m-going-to-prove-you-wrong lyrical theme, and on a musical level it rarely deviates from its mid-tempo stomp.
‘Legacy’ continues in a similar vein. You can tell that a lot of effort and money has been put into this record to make it sound as grand and epic as possible, but underneath all the layers of Kevin Churko‘s over-production, there’s very little substance.
A cover of Queen‘s anthemic ‘We Will Rock You’ attempts to ignite some fire, and the guest vocal appearances of Lzzy Hale (Halestorm) and Taylor Momsen (The Pretty Reckless) are certainly believable. Yet, despite some attempts to In This Moment-ify this song, it feels a little pointless. The original is readily available, of course.
Further cringe-worthy monologues from Brink follow on. The second half of the record displays less of their idiosyncracies overall, but it largely consists of formulaic radio-metal that blends into one. In spite of some more memorable vocal passages, ‘As Above, So Below’ also suffers from some questionable production choices.
We go through non-descript songs like ‘Born In Flames’ and the generic ‘Hunting Grounds’, before frustratingly arriving at the two best songs on the record to close things out. They’re by no means revolutionary, of course, but ‘Lay Me Down’ is solid enough, and piano ballad ‘Into Dust’ manages to invoke some emotion.
‘Mother’ is a record that will no doubt satisfy plenty of In This Moment‘s fanbase, but will unfortunately do absolutely nothing to win anyone else over.