In This Moment - Mother review


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Band: In This Moment
Album: Mother
Release date: March 2020

01. The Beginning
02. Fly Like An Eagle
03. The Red Crusade
04. The In-Between
05. Legacy
06. We Will Rock You [feat. Maria Brink, Lzzy Hale & Taylor Momsen]
07. Mother [Queen cover]
08. As Above, So Below
09. Born In Flames
10. God Is She
11. Holy Man
12. Hunting Grounds [feat. Joe Cotella]
13. Lay Me Down
14. Into Dust

Embracing the zeitgeist is a gamble bands take at their own risk. Succeed, and you can embrace a swathe of new fans and sound revitalized in the process, Fail? Pull in few new fans and alienate established ones while stalling any forward momentum you may have had. In This Moment roll the dice and the resulting album Mother is their weakest release to date. While I can only speak for myself, I can't say I would be surprised if this album is remembered as the latter rather than the former.

This is music for someone on downers to shuffle their feet around to in the club; rarely does it make you raise your head up and pay attention, instead playing itself out in the background. Embracing the electronic and distorted sounds that are popular in the mainstream at the moment, the band shed much of their prior identity and now exist solely as a vehicle for Brink's voice (well more so than was already the case anyway). It is a gamble and one I can understand why In This Moment would take, but as they move ahead and expect the listener to follow, you instead stay on the side lines and watch a band derail themselves and decide it best to walk rather than hop on the same bandwagon.

Mother sounds like a cross between Poppy and Myrkur, with the electronics of the former and the minimalism and atmospheric ambitions of the latter. In This Moment accomplish this but at the expense of making any of the tracks compelling listening. It isn't bad as such but there is nothing to sink your teeth into; it takes "The In-Between" before something sticks out, as the guitars break the monotony that has taken hold up until this point.

If you wish to make the comparison for yourself then I would direct you to "We Will Rock You", the Queen classic that is anthemic and a rousing call to defiance. While Brink, and guests Hale and Momsen, sound strong, it is against the most limp background; for something so simple to go so wrong, it sums up the problem with the album. Brink is a good singer but this isn't an acappela record, she needs to sing over something compelling and strong to make a well-rounded album. "Born In Flames", "Fly Like An Eagle" and "Legacy" are songs that feature a good performance by Brink but fall flat musically.

The album does succeed in creating an atmosphere though, the sense of darkness and melancholy flows throughout and lingers in every aspect of a track. The electronic instrumental tracks may not make for the most engrossing soundtrack, but they do work to create a steady and constant atmosphere that gives you something out of each track.

Brink's vocal performance is the highlight of this record, however; her powerful pipes are present in each track and give you something to hang onto as the song plays out. The use of effects on her voice does detract from the quality of her voice at times, however. On "Holy Man", the use of effects work as they feed into the atmosphere of the track; on songs like "Fly Like An Eagle", they are overused and reduce the impact of Brink's vocals overall. When the effects are limited or used sparingly then Brink is able to shine, having power and charisma in equal measure.

While I'm in no rush to hear the album again, the two tracks that stand above the rest would be "As Above, So Below" and "Holy Man". While neither are classics by any stretch, they're the best of a bad bunch and ones that I wouldn't object to should they pop up on my radar in the future.

Sometimes you're damned if you do and damned if you don't, it is a conundrum most bands face at some point in their careers; In This Moment went all in with Mother and come out the other side with little to show for it.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 5
Songwriting: 4
Originality: 4
Production: 8


Written on 31.07.2020 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.

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