Halloween is coming a few months early as the visually arresting In This Moment releases its latest album, “Ritual,” July 21.
The album is somewhat of a departure from the band’s previous two albums, 2012’s gold-selling “Blood,” and its follow up, the 2015 “Black Widow,” with the new album steering In This Moment’s dark and intense sound into a less-ferocious and more-moody territory, evoking witchcraft and exorcism imagery.
The band’s singer and ringleader, Maria Brink, said the album’s direction was inspired by her own personal introspection.
“On every album, I like to make sure that it’s something that I’m really passionate about,” she said. “I get bored easy. On this new album, I’m going through my own personal journey of this independent awakening. I realize that I can feel safe and loved just by myself in life. I wanted to strip away a lot of other things and make it this intimate, personal, organic thing.”
One of the tracks on the new album, “Black Wedding,” features guest vocals by openly gay metal icon Rob Halford, legendary vocalist for the highly influential Judas Priest.
Brink said Halford is a fan of the group and they jumped at the chance to collaborate with him.
“We had a show in California and we heard that he had come out to the show and wanted to meet us,” he said. “We were pretty blown away. He’s just an amazing guy, super-humble and down-to-earth and kind. We built a little relation with him and became friends, staying in touch. When we wrote this song, it originally wasn’t supposed to be a duet but I just keep hearing these things in the lyrics. We asked him if he wanted to be part of it and he didn’t hesitate at all. That’s how it all came to be. It’s a very different way to hear him and that’s special.”
In This Moment started out as your traditional, yet, way-above-average metal-core band for its first three albums but, after touring for their third album, 2010’s “A Star-Crossed Wasteland,” the band made a drastic switch. Instead of its traditional metallic sound, it moved to a more anguished, darker, electronic- and industrial-influenced sound, starting with the album “Blood.” Its stage show changed too, becoming a circus/cabaret-like spectacle with elaborate staging, lighting and costume changes, as well as masked dancers augmenting their live performances.
Brink said the changing up of its sound and image was a result of the band having nothing to lose at the time.
“It was the liberation of the band,” she said. “It opened up things for us. A bunch of members quit and the mangers dropped us. It was the lowest of the low for us. It was that ‘do or die’ moment. Do we break up and be born again and whatever we want? When we did that, everything I ever dreamed of doing in the past but maybe was afraid of what people would think, I let go of all that and we just started being who we are now. Ever since, things are manifesting for the band and they keep seeming to grow each album. We’re so happy we freed ourselves.”
The changes were for the best, and In This Moment’s audience grew as a result. The devoted fans routinely post pictures of themselves dressed up in costumes like the band wears in the group’s social-media pages with hashtag #betheshow.
“We love our fans and they kind of started doing it themselves,” Brink said about the band’s adulation going viral. “We just started paying attention and seeing different people and how they are. I always think people expressing themselves is such a beautiful thing. When you come to our show, it’s not just about the band on stage. I like for people to feel like they’re part of it and they get to dress up and become whatever they want that night. All of us together can be the show together. There’s just something about it that makes us feel more connected with the crowd. I love it.” n
In This Moment’s “Ritual” is available July 21. For more information, visit www.inthismomentofficial.com.