Image © Century Media 2008
In This Moment | click for MySpace
Image © Century Media 2008
(14 Feb 2009) American alternative / hard rock / metalcore five-piece In This moment formed through the meeting of like-minded vocalist Maria Brink and Chris Howorth via common friends in 2005. From this, the remaining trio of members were enlisted and debut album Beautiful Tragedy (2007) saw light of day, a heavy, hard-hitting collection of songs with influences of Killswitch Engage and holding highly melodic metal backdrops, that saw the band gaining underground success and a strong fan following.
Fast-forward to 2008, and we have, with the highly anticipated release of second album The Dream prove this is one band certainly not afraid to push their own boundaries or seek progression, as the thirteen tracks presented showcase a definite growth, maturity and innovation in sound when compared to previous and already promising Beautiful Tragedy. Vivid, attractive artwork and packaging enhances the ideas / concept of the record, with Howorth explaining the aim of crafting an album that was "like a rollercoaster ride with explosive highs, beautiful lows and everything in between."
A drifting, atmospheric intro track entitled "The Rabbit Hole" strives to sink the listener into this dream ‘world’, some spiritual vocal sways from Brink and background rumbles create a foreboding sense of something approaching to smash the peace, and sure enough, "Forever" leaps out of the gates as a galloping, irresistibly catchy straight-out rock number packed with energy and oozing confidence. Brink displays a strong, deliciously clean vocal approach, gliding over a pumping drum / bass / guitar backdrop. The pace of this bouncing four minute effort never lets up, as some guitar solo frenetics and subtle keyboards only enhance a definite album highlight, even this early on.
"All For You" keeps things fast-paced, only with slightly more mid-paced verses building to a flying chorus, as Brink screams out the importance of having just one person believing in you along the way against some chunky drums and gentle guitar lines. "Lost At Sea" is a pulsing, mesmerizing churner. All strained vocals and teasing verses, leading to a guitar-charged chorus, again revealing Brink to be a real talent and the driving force of In This Moment, and similarly, the later "Her Kiss" holds the same lurching, grinding alternative rock experimentation. Albeit with a hugely melodic and 'sing-a-long’ chorus that completely leaps out of the speakers.
It's with ballad "Into The Light," however, where In This Moment show just how far they've come. Throwing in this gentle, fragile and immensely powerful piano-driven tear-jerker to the mix, proves their adventurous ideas and in truth, it comes off a treat. Brink taking clear center stage, it's a simple, heartfelt gem, calming the relentless pace and nicely timed. "The Great Divide" is, in contrast, a touch out of place. It’s hard to call why, but the thrashy, metal edge finds the screamed vocals of old making themselves known and the guitars and drums holding a little extra crunch to them. It's a pretty well-worked song, just perhaps not linking as effectively with the theme of the album as the majority of other tracks.
As the certainly dreamy title track plays out the album in hazy, immersive fashion, the lasting impression of The Dream is of having indeed been involved in a rollercoaster of emotions, approaches and ideas. Backed by a solid, warm production and clear songwriting competence, In This Moment have stepped up to the challenge they set out for themselves in pushing forward the success and achievement garnered from their debut, having clearly worked mighty hard on this opus. It's easy-to-digest, catchy and long-lasting
music full of passion and depth, which should appeal to a vast audience. Sit up and take notice, for their moment, is now.--Jim Hall in Derby, England