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In This Moment - Black Widow

In This Moment - CD Review
Black Widow

Black Widow


CD Info
Atlantic Records
13 Tracks
English Lyrics


Consistency is a rare skill in the music world, and especially in the metal scene. Keep doing the same thing again and again and it gets old fairly quickly. Yet evolution is risky, and with trial there is a constant threat of error. Even some of the most revered bands in the scene have one or two albums that are of a lower caliber than the rest, a dip in quality that usually comes around the third or fourth record. In This Moment has yet to experience this dip, and even with their 5th record, Black Widow, the band is still going strong, evolving their sound without compromising quality. So far each album so far has been better than the last, and Black Widow doesn’t seem likely to break the trend.

Musically, Black Widow sees In This Moment continuing their descent into darker and grittier territory, adding touches of industrial metal and a film noir-meets-the 50s vintage vibe to the heavy and raw metalcore of Blood. Black Widow is even more aggressive than the last few releases, more discordant in its approach with an intentionally choppy mix. Maria again proves that she is one of the most versatile singers in the scene, violently screaming out her frustrations one moment and tearing at the listener’s heartstrings the next. “The Fighter” may in fact be In This Moment’s best ballad to date. Her vocals are gritty yet soaring, harsh yet beautiful, and, of course, intensely emotive. Within the span of a track or two, she moves from playing a seductive femme fatal to allowing the listener to glimpse moments of intimate vulnerability.

Lyrically, Black Widow is a conceptual continuation of the sentiments expressed the track “Whore” from the band’s previous album. Songs like “Sex Metal Barbie,” “Dirty Pretty,” and “Bloody Creature Poster Girl” are empowering anthems shutting down gender-based double standards and unrealistic expectations of women, while “Black Widow” and “Sick Like Me” show Maria embracing her sexuality and femininity and using it as a weapon against those would criticize her for it. Like the spider for which the album is named, she lures in her victims and kills them with poison. “Natural Born Sinner” is the most empowering song on the album, shutting down those who would point fingers and judge you for who you love. On the other hand there is a sense of extreme vulnerability on this album, the sense that one is never good enough, pretty enough, or perfect enough, the feeling that there are obstacles that can never truly be overcome and must be struggled with every day.

In This Moment have done it again. Black Widow is another strong album with a strong concept, one that is sure to be embraced by many a new fan as well as many of the old ones. On top of that, it is an extremely important album, one that both empowers the oppressed and points out the hypocrisies and double standards within the metal scene. It’s an album that wastes no time in being subtle about its message yet manages to be incredibly introspective as well, an impressive feat and one that makes In This Moment one of the most unique (and arguable best) bands in the scene today. Confident and honest, Black Widow easily claims a spot on my list of top albums of this year.