Ritual (In This Moment album)

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Ritual
In This Moment - Ritual.png
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 21, 2017 (2017-07-21)
Recorded2016–2017
StudioThe Hideout, Las Vegas
Length48:56
Label
ProducerKevin Churko
In This Moment chronology
Rise of the Blood Legion: Greatest Hits (Chapter 1)
(2015)
Ritual
(2017)
Mother
(2020)
Singles from Ritual
  1. "Oh Lord"
    Released: May 12, 2017
  2. "Roots"
    Released: June 16, 2017
  3. "In the Air Tonight"
    Released: July 17, 2017
  4. "Black Wedding"
    Released: April 28, 2018

Ritual is the sixth studio album by American heavy metal band In This Moment. It was released on July 21, 2017, by Atlantic Records and Roadrunner Records.[1] This marks the band's fifth release collaborating with producer Kevin Churko.[2]

A concept album[3] revolving around a witch during the Salem witch trials, Ritual is the band's first album since the departure of drummer Tom Hane, who left the band in 2016 citing creative differences. Hane was replaced by Kent Diimmel shortly afterwards.[4] On May 11, 2017, the album title and album cover was released on the band's social media. The lead single, "Oh Lord", was released on May 12, along with the track listing, music video and digital pre-order of the album. "Oh Lord" is the band's highest charting single to date, peaking at #6 on the Top Mainstream Rock Charts.[5]

Composition[edit]

Influences, style and themes[edit]

In February 2016, after a year and a half of touring for their previous album Black Widow, the band posted on social media a short video that hinted the recording of a new album. In a video interview, lead vocalist Maria Brink stated that she had already come up with a theme for the next record. The theme of the album is mostly inspired by Brink's visit to Salem, Massachusetts, with the women in her family in the fall of 2016. She said, "I was trying to find a lot of truth in myself. I loved Salem. I was blown away by how visually beautiful it is. The history of the witch burnings is fascinating. It was a special ceremonial journey."[6] The album title refers to looking at different religions and spiritualities of the world. Lead guitarist Chris Howorth explained that Brink is "a very spiritual person, she's not necessarily religious like going to church religious but she's also not into all this witchcraft stuff, she kinda likes it all and believes openly. That's why its touching all these different topics of religion and stuff."[7]

In an interview on April 10, 2017, Howorth said the sound of the Ritual has more serious themes, "Stylistically, I think we went a little bit more raw, you know—like, not so much campiness like 'Sex Metal Barbie.'"[8] Brink says the record is less sexualized than the band's previous efforts, saying, "I wanted to show people and definitely women a different side of strength in me that was a really powerful force in me that didn't need the sexual part, so there's definitely a more serious overtone...a more serious deeper side of us."[9] Sonically, the electronic elements found in the previous two albums, typical of industrial metal are less prominent with a greater presence of guitars.[10] Though the album has dark aspects, there is also a positive message inspired by Brink's spiritual learning and experiences. Brink's love for Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" decided the band's cover on the album, which the band has attempted in the past.[11] The writing and recording process for the album took four to five months. This time around, songs were written with the live show in mind, whereas in the past it was created after the album was completed. The band's main songwriters—Brink, Howorth, and Kevin Churko collaborated with other writers from outside their usual lyric-pool to expand the influences, such as Scott Stevens and Dave Bassett, as was recommended by the label.[12]

Release and promotion[edit]

On February 6, 2017, the band announced their North American tour titled Half God, Half Devil, which is also a track on the album. The 19-date tour kicked off on April 7, 2017. The set consisted mostly of their previous efforts, Blood and Black Widow, while also debuting three new songs from Ritual, including "River of Fire", a cover of Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight", and the lead single "Oh Lord". The single premiered on May 10, 2017, on Sirius XM's Octane station.[13] The second pre-release single, "Roots", was released on June 16, 2017, along with the lyric video.[14][15] "In the Air Tonight" was released as the final pre-release single on July 14, 2017, along with a lyric video.[16]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[17]
Blabbermouth.net8/10 stars[18]
Kerrang!4/5 stars[19]
New Noise Magazine3.5/5 stars[20]
Salute4.25/5 stars[21]
Team Rock3/5 stars[22]
Wall of Sound3/10 stars[23]

Chad Bower of Loudwire writes that Ritual is "their most mature album, especially lyrically, but still musically adventurous". On Brink's vocals, he writes, "outstanding voice with a lot of power and texture, and when unleashed is a potent force. The vocal effects on some of the tracks could be dialed back to allow that force to break free more often instead of being diluted"[24] while AllMusic wrote that "[Brink] possesses one of the most powerful and compelling voices, male or female, in the modern rock genre.[17] Team Rock compares the album to the band's live theatrical shows, saying "feels like it's been created as the soundtrack to In This Moment's eye-popping Lady Gaga-meets-Rob Zombie live shows rather than a standalone album" and that it's "best enjoyed with moving images".[22] Kerrang! described the album's change in style from its predecessor as "a positive move" and stated that the band has "delivered their best vehicle to date."[19]

Commercial performance[edit]

Ritual debuted at number 23 on the Billboard 200 with an estimated 22,000 copies sold in its first week, becoming the band's third highest debut on the chart to date.[25]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Maria Brink, Chris Howorth, and Kevin Churko, except where noted. All tracks produced by Churko.

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Salvation" 2:21
2."Oh Lord" 4:07
3."Black Wedding" (featuring Rob Halford)
4:07
4."In the Air Tonight" (Phil Collins cover)Phil Collins4:57
5."Joan of Arc"
3:37
6."River of Fire" 3:57
7."Witching Hour" 4:09
8."Twin Flames"
  • Brink
  • Howorth
  • Churko
  • Randy Weitzel
5:00
9."Half God Half Devil"
4:11
10."No Me Importa" 4:16
11."Roots" 4:10
12."Lay Your Gun Down" 4:03
Total length:48:56
Japanese edition bonus track[26]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
13."Creep" (Radiohead cover)3:57
Total length:52:52

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Ritual.[27]

In This Moment[edit]

  • Maria Brink – vocals
  • Chris Howorth – guitar
  • Randy Weitzel – guitar
  • Kent Diimmell – drums
  • Travis Johnson – bass

Additional musicians[edit]

Technical[edit]

  • Kevin Churko – production, mixing, mastering, engineering
  • Tristan Hardin – additional engineering
  • Josh Connolly – additional engineering
  • Khloe Churko – studio management and coordination
  • Randy Weitzel – pre-production

Artwork[edit]

  • Virgilio Tzaj – art direction, design
  • Jason Blake – photography

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Trapp, Philip (May 12, 2017). "In This Moment officially announce new album, 'Ritual,' reveal new song, "Oh Lord"—listen". Alternative Press. Retrieved July 26, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Ervolina, Robin (May 12, 2017). "PRESS RELEASE: In This Moment Announce New Album "Ritual" — Watch Video for "Oh Lord"". Shockwave (Press release). Retrieved May 12, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Review: In This Moment cross boundaries with Ritual | RUSHONROCK". RushOnRock. July 26, 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  4. ^ "In This Moment Recruits 3 By Design Drummer Kent Diimmel". Blabbermouth.net. June 29, 2016. Retrieved May 12, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Wendowski, Andrew (May 12, 2017). "In This Moment Announce New Album, Ritual". Music Mayhem Magazine. Retrieved May 12, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "In This Moment Official Bio 2017". Atlantic Records Press. Retrieved June 30, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "IN THIS MOMENT Guitarist On Having ROB HALFORD Sing On 'Ritual' Album: He's 'Such A Pro'". Blabbermouth.net. July 9, 2017. Retrieved July 11, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Childers, Chad (April 10, 2017). "In This Moment Eye New Single This Month, Album This Summer". Loudwire. Retrieved April 10, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Tatiana (April 20, 2017). "In This Moment's Maria Brink talks New Music, Sexuality, and…Albany!". WQBK-FM. Retrieved April 20, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Mick (May 19, 2017). "Chris Howorth from In This Moment – Interview at Carolina Rebellion". New Rock 99X. Archived from the original on August 5, 2017. Retrieved May 23, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "IN THIS MOMENT Singer Explains Decision To Cover PHIL COLLINS's 'In The Air Tonight'". Blabbermouth.net. June 22, 2017. Retrieved June 23, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ Janci, Janelle (June 29, 2017). "In this Moment guitarist speaks on new album, overcoming addiction and why fans should 'Become the Show'". LNP. Retrieved June 29, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ L, Haley (May 11, 2017). "In This Moment Share What Seems To Be New Album Artwork And Title". Ultimate-Guitar.com. Retrieved May 11, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ Trapp, Philip (June 16, 2017). "In This Moment unveil new song "Roots" from their upcoming album, 'Ritual'—listen". Alternative Press. Retrieved July 20, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ "Watch now: In This Moment's "Roots" run deep in new song". WJBD. June 16, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ Munro, Scott (July 18, 2017). "Listen to In This Moment cover Phil Collins". Team Rock. Retrieved July 20, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ a b Monger, James Christopher. "Ritual – In This Moment". AllMusic. Retrieved July 20, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ Horn Jr., Ray. "Ritual album review". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved July 29, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ a b Hickie, James (July 8, 2017). "Ritual review". Kerrang!. p. 50. ISSN 0262-6624.
  20. ^ Pemental, Michael. "Album Review: In This Moment – Ritual". New Noise Magazine. Retrieved July 20, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^ Offner, Daniel. "REVIEW: In This Moment Channel Phil Collins With New Album, 'Ritual'". Salute Mag. Retrieved July 20, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ a b Scharf, Natasha. "In This Moment Ritual Review". Team Rock. Retrieved July 20, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  23. ^ Howison, Kaydan. "In This Moment – Ritual (Album Review)". Wall of Sound. Retrieved July 20, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  24. ^ Bowar, Chad. "In This Moment, 'Ritual' – Album Review". Loudwire. Retrieved July 27, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  25. ^ Brown, Matt. "Metal By Numbers 8/3: Nine Inch Nails add some violence to the charts". Metal Insiders. Retrieved August 4, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  26. ^ "Ritual / リチュアル" (in Japanese). Warner Music Japan. Retrieved May 22, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  27. ^ Ritual (liner notes). In This Moment. Atlantic Records. 2017. 1686-174572.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  28. ^ "Australiancharts.com – In This Moment – Ritual". Hung Medien. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  29. ^ "Austriancharts.at – In This Moment – Ritual" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  30. ^ "Ultratop.be – In This Moment – Ritual" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  31. ^ "Ultratop.be – In This Moment – Ritual" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  32. ^ "In This Moment Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  33. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – In This Moment – Ritual" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  34. ^ "NZ Heatseekers Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. July 31, 2017. Retrieved July 28, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  35. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  36. ^ "Swisscharts.com – In This Moment – Ritual". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  37. ^ "{{{artist}}} | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  38. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  39. ^ "In This Moment Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  40. ^ "In This Moment Chart History (Top Hard Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  41. ^ "In This Moment Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  42. ^ "Top Hard Rock Albums – Year-End 2017". Billboard. Retrieved December 22, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)