Sound — 8
As a die-hard In This Moment fan since I first came across the quintet as their CD Beautiful Tragedy first arrived on shelves in 2006, I instantly have fallen in love with their sound, and praise their melodies graciously. Now this may sound weird, but In This Moment at times can add quite the perfect mix of heavy and light together, and thats what happened in The Dream. The Dream was my favorite album of 2008, simply for their effective melodies and leads that gave the album a powerful response from emotions everywhere. A month ago when The Gun Show was first played through my speakers, it was a perfect lead into this new album, where they going back to their roots of Screams and chuggin galore? Or was this just to show they can still rock it heavy? The Gun Show showed the band could still bull off their old roots, but it sounded cheesy. Maria can still scream better than a lot of screamo singers, but the melodies I had grown in love with for long were almost dead. Then I got the album. The second song The Drive gave me all the hope I needed to write this review positively, combining the harmonious vocals with an actual form of chord progressions instead of simple chugg chugg chugg of open pal mutes. The leads came back, and this vibe continued into more songs, leading directly, as I promised, to The Promise. Soft, clean, and a male vocalist?! This adds so much more depth into the song, and the chorus explodes with Maria's screams and the guitars lusciously providing backup. Guitarist Chris Howorth knows hot to play guitar, and he shows it in his graceful leads in quite noticably every song. The Road is the most distinguishable, adding tapping licks, and a delicately drawn out solo to harmony lead, many other songs emphasize unique solos, such as world in flames, the gun show, and A Star-Crossed Wasteland. Jeff Fabb and kyle Konkiel keep the grooves down on the low end, with Fabb on the drums and Konkiel on the bass. Jeff Fabb has quite the skills at drumming, sure it is not anything that will win him an award, but he closes the guitars and the vocals perfectly into songs that have movements and change with his patterns. The mixing is only an improvement, if not better. In This Moment have brought a solid sound to this album.
Lyrics — 9
Watch In This Moment live and you will notice Guitarist Chris Howorth always mouthing the words to songs, well now he gets his own parts. It seems Maria can loosen up a bit on the stress of taking all the vocals, I mean she is great, and not to mention she won hottest girl in metal of 2009. Her vocals are raw, lets put it that way first. She can scream with quite an edge that looks some guys (even bandmate chris howorth) look foolish. Iron Army is one of these songs where you can feel the power of her screams through the speakers, and boy does it create the goosebumps. Those deeps vocals at the end are killer, I mean listen for yourself (buy the album). Her actual singing voice is just as impressive, gaining quite the range since Beautiful Tragedy. She can sing, and I love the soothing voice she has. Into The Light on the last album was by far one of the prettiest songs I have, and I could not wait to hear those type of vocals again, and luckily they are found. World In Flames, the last track, has quite the pretty vocals by Maria, and even her piano is heard, all in all, her vocals can produce tears. Back to Howorth, he adds depth to her vocals by giving that low tone when he duals with her, or his screams, which are not the best, but give a look of surprise to hear someone besides Brink. He can sing though, and every time I hear his voice I swear I think its Myles Kennedy, which is a compliment. The vocals are the strongpoint of this album.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, In This Moment have brought another solid album to the world. With new accomplishments achieved over the years, more hype has been brewing for this album, and to be honest, with an exception of The Gun Show, all the hype will be met. The band stepped past their debut track, which has been said to be too hard to get them anywhere, and found more songs with many having the potential to become singles. Maria Brink ands her lucious screaming has more than meets the eye, and I'm sure she does too. A Star-Crossed Wasteland happens to be a wonderland for listeners, and to call it just solid is downright wrong. It is a new begining to two mixed sounds. Adding the melodies and light sounds from The Dream with their official screaming roots of Beautiful Tragedy give this album the potential to take this band farther than before. This is an album to purchase if you are a music player or a listener, or just a fan of bands with good looking girls in them, no matter what, In This Moment will always be a great band, and this album is a must have.