Review Summary: A somewhat bland album that's still a good headbanger.
In This Moment is an interesting metal band. They do what so few bands seem to be able to do - adapt with each album so that they're not making the same damn thing over and over again, but not make it such a drastic departure that every fan stops trying to keep up with what they're doing. On their debut Beautiful Tragedy
, they were essentially the usual metalcore band, only standing out because of the talent of the members and Maria Brink's distinctive voice. The Dream
took them in a completely singing-oriented direction (letting Brink flaunt her abilities) and incorporating a poppier style in, but still retaining a hard edge. A full 360 later, A Star-Crossed Wasteland
took them to their heaviest sound yet, with lots of well-done screaming and great instrumental work. And now we're here.
So going by that description, you can infer that In This Moment are probably going to try something new with this album as well. Unsurprisingly, they're going down the path that many rock/metal bands seem to be (judging by a wide array of new releases) and incorporating some form of electronics. Luckily, no signs of wub-wub, and it's telling that the iTunes bonus track is a cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Closer". It's not an exact comparison, but some similarities can be drawn, since Blood
's electronics tend to lean towards the industrial stylings of Trent Reznor, Marilyn Manson, or Black Light Burns. It creates a new, enjoyable sound, and it helps the instruments are as tight as they were on the previous album. The riffs and solos aren't groundbreaking, but they're heavy, somewhat catchy, and should meet the standards of most metalheads. The drums are the same way - but unfortunately, there's very little bass that can be heard on the album, as is the case with more than a few metal bands. Generally, their musical path on Blood
is interesting and catches the attention. "Adrenalize" is a good example of how heavy yet catchy they can go, and "Scarlet" might be one of my favorites, due to its repetitively addictive acoustic intro, plus some great cleans from Maria that lead into a burst of fury...before dulling back into quiet once more.
Moving onto the lyrics and vocals - Maria Brink has a very good, distinct voice, one that can switch from harshs to cleans at a moment's notice, and both sound appealing. Her cleans tend to be tinged with melancholy, which can make them repetitive, but they're so well done that it's hard to dislike them. So the vocals are still up to snuff, that's awesome. Unfortunately, it seems as if Brink has decided to embrace her status as a sex symbol full on instead of trying to fight it. Good for her, but it results in almost all of the songs on Blood
sounding like they're about sex. The titular track is the worst offender (and might be the worst song on the album musically, too), with bland and repetitive lyrics that seem to be masochistic in nature. Which is great if she's trying to represent that (or if it's being satirical regarding how women might take after men that look down upon or loath them), but it loses legitimacy when the very next song
completely spins this attitude around from submissive to dominating. The lyrics just lose their power when they're all about basically the same topic, but they gain some from being somewhat...uncomfortable, if, say, you're not into BDSM or misogyny. Again, the title track is the one most at fault for this, as it's so ambiguous as to what Brink is trying to say due to the set of other songs about either being on equal level or being above her partner. Lyrically, the album is almost cock-rock, but from the female perspective (excluding the title track, which sticks out like a sore thumb and was a poor choice to represent the album as a whole). Hopefully, Brink will diversify in lyrical topics the next time around
Overall, In This Moment's new album should appeal to their fanbase - it's got some stylistic changes, but the core sound is still there, and Maria Brink's vocals are as sharp as ever. The major downfall is the lead single/title track and the lyrical limitations, but most metal fans should be able to look past that and enjoy it for what it is - an actually creative metalcore album.