A Raw Exploration of Spirituality.
The short but unforgettable “Salvation” starts off In This Moment’s sixth album Ritual, and sets the raw tone that the rest of the album builds upon. The album, which came out on June 21st, is a more serious departure from the lighter themes of past albums, coinciding well with the departure of former drummer Tome Hane. Yet, Ritual uses its seriousness to create an album full of emotion, exploration, and power in both the spiritual and personal realms.
Lead singer Maria Brink is quoted as saying that Ritual was inspired by her recent trip to Salem, MA (Via In This Moment Official Bio 2017), and this inspiration is reflected right from the start. From the pleading for salvation in “Oh Lord” to the honest reflection of a person’s own inner good and evil in “Half God Half Devil,” Ritual takes the complications that a person may find his own spiritual path, and expresses these struggles through raw music and emotion.
The spiritual theme of this album continue to be reflected throughout. A standout song on the album is “Witching Hour,” a powerhouse that clearly reflects the Salem inspiration for the album as a whole with lyrics like, “Watch as I devour/convicted for my faith/this is the witching hour.” “Joan of Arc’s” lyrics, on the other hand, help bridge the gap between the spiritual and more mundane themes of the album, the lyrics seeming to be that of scorn, yet also referencing Joan of Arc’s own suffering, “you can find me guilty for everything you’ve lost (light me up)/ go ahead blame me for your sins/go ahead and sacrifice me.”
Departing from the spiritual themes the rest of the album takes is “No Me Importa,” a song of twisted scorn and rejection. The slippery slope of emotion the subject of the song is undertaking filling its verses with so much emotion the listener can practically feel the pain. True artistry is seen in this song, as simply the inflection of the vocals brings out the emotion of the verses perfectly.
The classic rock-inspired songs of the album also stand out from the rest. The pseudo-Billy Idol cover “Black Wedding” serves as a great early song to Ritual. It takes the refrain of “White Wedding” and twists it to the group’s own accord, creating a creepy cry for forgiveness to some higher power. This song is the perfect amount of unnerving and catchy. Another impeccable song is the real cover song of the album, Phil Collin’s “In The Air Tonight.” A classic that is recognized instantly, In This Moment manages to make it their own, with lead singer Maria Brink’s vocals being in the center of this masterpiece. Her vocals are highlighted by the less heavy aspect of the song, as she sings practically unaccompanied till the end, where the percussion then picks up, the drum beat like a march for Brink’s vocals to match and race with intensity.
Ritual is unlike any other album out right now and it deserves a listen, as there’s a song on the album that will appeal to everyone, regardless of their own path with spirituality. In This Moment is also on tour right now, providing an opportunity to see this new transition of this band in person.