Ritual (In This Moment album)

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Ritual
In This Moment - Ritual.png
Studio album by In This Moment
Released July 21, 2017 (2017-07-21)
Recorded 2016–2017
Studio The Hideout (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Length 48:56
Label
Producer Kevin Churko
In This Moment chronology
Rise of the Blood Legion: Greatest Hits (Chapter 1)
(2015)
Ritual
(2017)
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]

This concept album[3] about a witch during the Salem Witch Trials 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]

Background and composition[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 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]

Promotion and tour[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]
Blabbermouth8/10 stars[18]
Metal Hammer3/5 stars
Kerrang!4/5 stars[19]
New Noise Magazine3.5/5 stars[20]
Team Rock3/5 stars[21]
Salute4.25/5 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 says "[Brink] possesses one of the most powerful and compelling voices, male or female, in the modern rock genre."[25] Metal Hammer 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".[26] Kerrang! describes the album's change in style from its predecessor as "a positive move" and says that the band has "delivered their best vehicle to date."[27]

Sales[edit]

Ritual debuted at #23 on the Billboard 200, selling an estimated 22,000 copies, which is their third highest debut on the charts to date.[28]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks 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

Charts[edit]

Personnel[edit]

  • Production, mixing, mastering, engineering – Kevin Churko
  • Additional Engineering – Tristan Hardin and Josh Connolly
  • Studio management – Khloe Churko
  • Piano on Black Wedding – Scott Stevens
  • Guest vocals on Black Wedding – Rob Halford
  • Pre-production – Randy Weitzel
  • Art direction and design – Virgilio Tzaj
  • Photography – Jason Blake
  • A&R – Pete Ganbarg
  • Management – In De Goot Entertainment

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. 
  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. 
  3. ^ "Review: In This Moment cross boundaries with Ritual | RUSHONROCK". RUSHONROCK. 2017-07-26. Retrieved 2018-09-09. 
  4. ^ "In This Moment Recruits 3 By Design Drummer Kent Diimmel". Blabbermouth.net. June 29, 2016. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  5. ^ Wendowski, Andrew (May 12, 2017). "In This Moment Announce New Album, Ritual". Music Mayhem Magazine. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  6. ^ "In This Moment Official Bio 2017". Atlantic Records Press. Retrieved June 30, 2017. 
  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. 
  8. ^ Childers, Chad (April 10, 2017). "In This Moment Eye New Single This Month, Album This Summer". Loudwire. Retrieved April 10, 2017. 
  9. ^ Tatiana (April 20, 2017). "In This Moment's Maria Brink talks New Music, Sexuality, and…Albany!". WQBK-FM. Retrieved April 20, 2017. 
  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. 
  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. 
  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. 
  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. 
  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. 
  15. ^ "Watch now: In This Moment's "Roots" run deep in new song". WJBD. June 16, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2017. 
  16. ^ Munro, Scott (July 18, 2017). "Listen to In This Moment cover Phil Collins". Team Rock. Retrieved July 20, 2017. 
  17. ^ Monger, James Christopher. "Ritual Album Review". All Music. Retrieved 20 July 2017. 
  18. ^ Horn Jr., Ray. "Ritual album review". Blabbermouth. Retrieved 29 July 2017. 
  19. ^ Hickie, James (8 July 2017). Ritual review. Kerrang!. p. 50. 
  20. ^ Pemental, Michael. "Album Review: In This Moment – Ritual". New Noise Magazine. Retrieved 20 July 2017. 
  21. ^ Scharf, Natasha. "In This Moment Ritual Review". Team Rock. Retrieved 20 July 2017. 
  22. ^ Offner, Daniel. "REVIEW: In This Moment Channel Phil Collins With New Album, 'Ritual'". Salute Mag. Retrieved 20 July 2017. 
  23. ^ Howison, Kaydan. "In This Moment – Ritual (Album Review)". Wall of Sound. Retrieved 20 July 2017. 
  24. ^ Bowar, Chad. "In This Moment, 'Ritual' – Album Review". Loudwire. Retrieved 27 July 2017. 
  25. ^ Christopher, James. "AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger". All Music. Retrieved 27 July 2017. 
  26. ^ Scharf, Natasha. "In This Moment – Ritual album review". Team Rock+. Retrieved 27 July 2017. 
  27. ^ Hickie, James (8 July 2017). Ritual review. Kerrang!. p. 50. 
  28. ^ Brown, Matt. "Metal By Numbers 8/3: Nine Inch Nails add some violence to the charts". Metal Insiders. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  29. ^ "Ritual / リチュアル" (in Japanese). Warner Music Japan. Retrieved May 22, 2017. 
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  35. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – In This Moment – Ritual" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  36. ^ "NZ Heatseekers Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. July 31, 2017. Retrieved July 28, 2017. 
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  38. ^ "Swisscharts.com – In This Moment – Ritual". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  39. ^ "In This Moment | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  40. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
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  42. ^ "In This Moment Chart History (Top Hard Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  43. ^ "In This Moment Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  44. ^ "Top Hard Rock Albums – Year-End 2017". Billboard. Retrieved December 22, 2017.