Reviewed: May 2020
Released: March 27th 2020, Atlantic Records
Reviewer: Rebecca Bush
In This Moment’s much anticipated 7th studio album has been unleashed and it is nothing short of breath-taking.
‘Mother’ is rich and beautiful, taking elements from 2017 release ‘Ritual’ and expanding on the imagery and symbolism to take you on a soulful journey. It’s emotional, it’s raw, it’s a complete experience.
This band stay completely true to their vision with their execution, from strong imagery and powerful lyrics to delicious vocals and a truly incredible sound.
Every one of In this Moment’s releases thus far has been fully conceptualised and has encapsulated all the very best elements of the genres they mesh together. They produce artistic works that truly express the strength of their musical prowess and ‘Mother’ is no exception.
Right from the get go intro ‘The Beginning’ draws you in. There’s a sense of being called to with the swirling whispers and the music simmering under the surface promising to break out. It builds and seamlessly melts into the rhythmic drumming of track two, a seductive cover of Steve Millers ‘Fly Like an Eagle’ and you are well and truly on this adventure with them. Maria’s sultry tones pave the way through the musical stylings of Chris Howorth and Randy Weitzel who provide heavy guitars with a hint of 80s synth and rhythmic powerful drumming from Kent Diimmel.
The first single to be released, ‘The In-Between’ takes it up a notch yet again, adding more of the heavier elements for a real punch of a chorus that bursts in all directions in a wonderfully all-consuming way and showcases Maria’s vast vocal range. ‘Legacy’ is a real stand out track for me, having been introduced to it by the band at their London show in November last year I was eager to hear it again. It takes that 80’s synth again and gives it a cinematic feel complete with guitar solo executed perfectly by Chris Howorth and Randy Weitzel. Maria sings the song with such depth of emotion, inspired by the man who raised her – her grandfather, it is moving and truly beautiful. The lyrics express perfectly her appreciation for the sacrifices he made and is a fitting tribute to his memory. As further tribute both Chris and Randy’s fathers along with Maria’s grandfather are honoured by having the song dedicated to them in the liner notes.
This album truly has it all, including sensational cover and collaboration ‘We Will Rock You’ featuring Halestorm’s Lizzy Hale and The Pretty Reckless’s Taylor Momsen. Making a song that is so iconic completely your own is no easy task but it fits effortlessly into the track listing and is almost undetectable as a cover at all! The power of the three women’s voices combined brings a great depth to the track and flips the switch on it by hailing female power as opposed to the masculinity it usually represents. Bringing us to ‘Mother’, the title track is a rock and roll lullaby that carries you and sways through you; it.s soft and yet anthemic all at once.
There are so many versions of Mother within the fabric of this album, the literal imagery with the womb sounds that lead into ‘Born in Flames’, the religious imagery of ‘God is She’, which itself speaks to the earth as mother as well as the spirituality of women and religious female figures – Mother means so many things and without mother there is not life. The album continues on an upward dramatic trajectory with another collaboration for ‘Hunting Grounds’: featuring Joe Cotela of Ded, it’s a primal track full of more wonderful imagery and heavy guitar riffs.
Penultimate track ‘Lay me Down’ conjures images of warrior women. Strong and unapologetic, it has a steady beat and is full of attitude.
Coming full circle to final track ‘Into Dust’, a beautifully haunting and melodic track of over 6 minutes. Maria’s voice is hypnotic and soothing, the music laced with trickling piano and strings that heave and sigh throughout creating an extremely moving end to the tale they have woven here.
This is an undeniable triumph for all involved. What this band have created together shows just how much they continue to grow. There really is no limit to their creativity and I am loving seeing their evolution.