Courtesy: Atlantic/Roadrunner Records
Goth metal outfit In This Moment has, over the course of its life, proven to be a hit among the metal masses. The band has released six largely well-received and successful albums and toured with some of the biggest names in the rock and metal community. The band hoped to continue that success when it released its seventh album Mother on March 27. The result has been the exact opposite with this album, though. This 14-song record has proven to be the band’s most divisive record yet. The reason being the band has clearly gone in a starkly different direction this time out than the band’s previous works. That direction in question is what comes across as a much more mainstream direction. Gone are the shredding guitars and powerhouse vocals that came to be a trademark of the band’s past albums. They have been replaced by lots of electronics that at times lead to comparisons to work from the likes of Linkin Park at some points, to thoughts of Korn at others and even other well-known nu-metal acts at others still. It goes without saying in listening to this record that it is hardly the band’s best album, but at the same time, the band should be applauded for taking a risk and changing things up. The album is not a complete failure, though. Late in the record’s 54-minute run, the band gives audiences something at least slightly memorable in the form of ‘God is She.’ This work will be discussed shortly. ‘As Above So Below’ is another of the works that stands out in this record. It will be addressed a little later. ‘The In-Between’ is one more of the record’s most notable entries. It will also be addressed later. All three of the songs noted here are interesting work in their own right. When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s works, the end result becomes an album that while clearly not the band’s best work, is still worth at least one listen.
In This Moment’s latest full-length studio recording Mother is an intriguing new offering from the veteran goth-rock outfit. That is because stylistically speaking, it is such a stark departure from the band’s previously releases. Rather than being the decidedly loud, shredding work that those albums were, the band largely opts here for a darker, more brooding approach for the majority of the band’s now seventh album. While that approach makes up the majority of the album, the album does not stick to just that approach throughout. There are some heavier moments, such as in ‘God Is She,’ which comes late in the album’s run. The song’s arrangement does start with the noted brooding approach, but that approach is only used in the opening bars of the song. Roughly 35 seconds into the song, the song goes full goth-metal, with heavy, crunching guitars and eerie piano line. The addition of the more melodic sound of front woman Maria Brink’s vocal delivery rounds out the whole to make this arrangement stand out even more. The whole of the noted elements makes the song’s arrangement stand out as one of the album’s best compositions, if not the record’s best work.
As much as the song’s musical arrangement does for its presentation, it is just one part of what makes the song stand out against its counterparts. The song’s lyrical content, set against that musical content, makes the song that much more engaging for listeners. Bring sings in the song’s lead verse, “I am the God and the devil around you/I am the heaven and the hell you crave/I am the queens and the kings that you bow to/I am the name written on your grave/I am the sun that you bask and feed on/I am the moon that you howl to/I am the daydream bringing faith and conviction/I am the nightmare that you’ve been crawling through/So watch as I set fire to everything/Watch as I burn down everything/Anything/Watch as I destroy you/Watch as I turn into God/Watch as she/Watch as she turns into me.” She continues in the song’s second verse, “I am the righteous/The touched and holy/I am the voodoo that you want to believe/I am the angels that hold and surround you/I am the demon you’re afraid to need/I am the temple that will bless and feed you/I’m the religion keeping you in chains/I am the cure that you pray will find you/I’m the disease running through your veins.” This comes across as a female empowerment piece, all things considered. The very note of “God is she – she is god” in the chorus refrain, along with all of the empowering other statements about burning it all down and essentially being the best and worst of all things, of being that which can give joy and which can give pain, is very powerful. There is a lot of metaphorical language here, but at least in this critic’s mind, the metaphors come across as the noted statements of giving women a certain strength. Going back to the song’s musical arrangement, the fire in that content couples with this seeming pro-female message to make this a work that lots of audiences will appreciate.
‘God Is She’ is just one of the works featured in this record that proves the album is worth hearing at least once. ‘As Above So Below’ is another of the album’s most notable works. The song’s musical arrangement boasts some of the fiery energy that made the band’s past works such appealing works, yet it goes in a decidedly different direction than those works this time out. This arrangement is far more accessible for mainstream audiences, with its electronic elements and up-tempo aggro-metal sound. The up-tempo arrangement boasts elements that make it comparable to songs from the likes of Linkin Park, Rob Zombie and even Sevendust. Yes, that sounds like quite an odd combination of sounds, but it works here. When it is considered alongside the song’s lyrical content, which presents a seeming social commentary, the song in whole becomes even more powerful.
Brink notes at one point in the song’s chorus refrain what is the most telling portion of the song, “As above, so below/What you reap is what you sow/What you give come back three fold/As above, so below.” That is pretty much the primary statement of this song. It is complimented in the song’s lead verse as Brink sings, “I won’t lie/It’s quite tempting/Your handouts and your bones/I wont’ lie/They’re quite empty/Your promises and your stones/If you sell, they’ll buy/Don’t feel, just sign/If you sell, they’ll buy/Don’t think, stay blind/Give me control/Sign on the dotted line/Give me the control/She whispered softly/Give me the control/You’re crawling inside my mind/Give me the control/Don’t you fight me.” She adds later in the second verse, “Watch me float away/I was never yours to save/It all comes back three fold/As above so below.” This comes across as a seeming message of a person getting what a person gives. That is illustrated in the statements about buying and selling, and doing things without thinking about the consequences. It’s as if Brink is making a statement that whether a person tries to lie to others or lets one’s self be lied to, the consequences will happen. Again, this is merely one interpretation. Hopefully it is close to being correct. The very fact that these lyrics can even generate discussion on such a topic (and discussions in general) shows the importance of said content. When that seeming message about being aware of the consequences of our actions is coupled with the song’s mainstream radio friendly arrangement, it proves in whole to be another key addition to Mother. It is not the last of the album’s most notable works. ‘The In-Between’ is one more of the songs featured in this album that shows it deserves to be heard at least once.
‘The In-Between’ is another nu-metal style opus that might surprise audiences. Once again, the comparison to works from Linkin Park is distinct. One could even argue that the song’s arrangement also boasts a comparison to works from Otep. This might turn off some audiences, while it might appeal to others, especially considering it is a direction that the band has not previously taken. Again, that the band was willing to take the risk to go in such direction is to be applauded, simply because it is not an approach that the band is known for taking. The emotional theme in the song’s lyrical content couples with the song’s aggressive musical content to strengthen its presentation even more.
Brink sings in the song’s lead verse, “My mother said that I was holy/My father said that I would burn/My mother said I was an angel/My father said that I would turn/So I believed these words and I turned on myself/’Cause maybe he’s right/maybe I’m worthless/Or maybe he’s wrong and my mother was right/I got a killer in me to give me purpose/Oh, I can feel a holy war/I can feel a holy war within/No, I can’t take a holy war/No, I can’t take a holy war again/Is this what you wanted/I’m gonna bring a little hell/I’m gonna bring a little heaven/You just keep wanting more/With your blood and your whore/I’m gonna bring a little hell/I’m gonna bring a little heaven/It’s a beautiful tragedy/You wanna be sick like me/’Cause I bring a little hell.” She continues in the song’s second verse, “I was told that I was nothing/yet I was told that I was so pure/And I was told that I was dirty/yet I was told I was the cure/I ask myself am I God or s***/Am I the high, the low/I’m f****** worth it/And I ask myself/Am I love or hate/You are the reason why I have and why I can’t quit.” There is little doubt as to what is being addressed here. This is someone who has gone through a difficult childhood, which is, of course, a familiar lyrical theme of so much rock music. That aside, it still hits hard here. That is especially the case as the theme is accompanied by the song’s musical content. The whole of those elements makes the song that much more notable. When it is considered with the other two works addressed here, the trio shows without doubt that while Mother may not be the *ahem* mother of all albums from In This Moment, it is not a total loss.
In This Moment’s latest full-length studio recording Mother is a work that is a loss at least for the moment for In This Moment, but not a total loss. It is a work that despite falling short in taking its risk, still has some positive points, as pointed out here. Keeping all of this in mind, the album will appeal to In This Moment’s most devoted fans. In the same vein, more casual fans will find it worth at least one listen. It is available now. More information on the album is available online along with all of In This Moment’s latest news and more at:
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