As a longtime fan of female fronted metal bands, I have been following In This Moment from the start of their career, through the ups and downs that including immense lineup changes and the overall revisiting of their look and sound. With 'Blood,' released in 2012, they made a huge landmark and forever changed the perception of themselves, with outstanding results. And now, with their new offering, 'Black Widow,' they continue to ride the momentum and have begun to settle into their new routine that features an empowered front-woman, Maria Brink. Brink has chosen to embrace her sexuality and monstrous vocal abilities and, with the help of founding guitarist Chris Howorth, these talented musicians have turned their band from a novelty act into a force to be reckoned with.
The opening track, 'The Infection,' is a creepy introduction that sends us into 'Sex Metal Barbie,' a tongue in cheek track that pokes fun at the many misconceptions the band has been put under when it comes to their charismatic lead singer. 'Big Bad Wolf' is a scary, sensual track that lures the listener into the entangled web that the band has begun to weave. The band's music videos are provocative and ripe with compelling and sometimes disturbing imagery, adding to the mystique and heavy metal vibe that just oozes from them. Tracks like 'Dirty Pretty' and 'Black Widow' contain solid riffs and thought provoking lyrics that have always been a classic trademark of Brink's writing style. In 'Sexual Hallucination,' Brink collaborates and performs with Brent Smith of the band Shinedown, a gritty yet sexy track that shows how well these two work together as singers and artists.
The first single released from the album, 'Sick Like Me,' is an angry and lovely track that gave us a fantastic glimpse of what would come next. With 'Bloody Creature Poster Girl' we get a great mix of metal and horror in a cool and catchy track. Brink slows down the pace with 'Fighter,' a soulful piece that features only the singer and a piano as she bares her soul to her audience. 'Natural Born Sinner' and 'Into The Darkness' are both strong and poignant songs with messages about strength and overcoming the obstacles that we all must face at some point in our lives. The closing track 'Out of Hell,' is another ballad that rounds out an album that is just as strong and relevant as their previous one.
After all these years this band has finally found their voice; they have worked their way up the ranks and hold a top position for current dominating metal acts, as well they should. Brink took a huge risk when she packed up and left everything she ever knew to seek out her dream across the country, but it paid off, and I for one applaud her for using her assets and knowledge to appeal to all of her fans, not just the male ones. Brink;s ability to switch between growls and soft, feminine vocals simply adds to the range and marketability that the band possesses, and I for one cannot wait to see what comes from them in the near future.