"Ritual" is the sixth studio album by the American heavy metal band In This Moment. It was released on July 21, 2017 by Atlantic in conjunction with Roadrunner Records. This marks the band's fifth release collaborating with producer Kevin Churko. This is the band's first album since the departure of drummer Tom Hane, who left the band in 2016 citing creative differences. Hane was replaced by Kent Diimmel shortly afterwards.
Radically changing your sound and image can be the kiss of death for any band, but it doesn’t seem to have done In This Moment much harm. They might be largely unrecognisable from the melodic metalcore act behind the 2007 debut, Beautiful Tragedy, but Maria Brink and her boys are commanding bigger crowds than ever. So perhaps it’s not a huge surprise that their sixth album pushes them even further away from their roots.
In fact, Ritual feels like it’s been created as the soundtrack to In This Moment’s eye-popping Lady Gaga-meets-Rob Zombie live shows rather than a standalone album. It’s not difficult to imagine Maria gyrating onstage to the dark industrial pop of River Of Fire, or even to the Marilyn Manson-esque Joan Of Arc, which also borrows melody lines from some of their earlier material. Then there’s an unlikely cover of Phil Collins’ In The Air Tonight. It’s breathier than Nonpoint’s version, and retains that big crescendo that’s going to work beautifully in their set.
One thing that’s deliberately missing from Ritual is the sex factor. Despite Maria’s sultry vocals, lyrically there’s nothing as overt as the band’s previous two albums. Instead the tone is darker, seemingly using the occult as an edgy metaphor that contrasts with that poppier edge. Ritual is polished, maybe a little too much in places, and ultimately positions Maria Brink one step closer to becoming metal’s answer to Lady Gaga. Guaranteed to divide fans even more, -- reviewed by http://teamrock.com User Comments