Black Widow picks up right where Blood left off two years ago. In This Moment have never been scared of experimenting with their sound, but that has never been more apparent than when they released Blood. Right away, it is obvious that Black Widow is definitely not an album for everyone. And I’m sure many in the metal community will rip it to shreds. But, who cares? In This Moment certainly don’t.
After instrumental opener “The Infection”, “Sex Metal Barbie” storms in and right away it becomes clear that In This Moment are here to do what they want, and if you don’t like it, well…no one is forcing you to listen.
“Sex Metal Barbie” will throw you the first time you hear it. A metal track over a hip hop beat, where Maria Brink takes all the negative comments found online and turns into a pretty big f**k you. The sexually charged synths heard in Blood have exploded all over this track, and actually the whole album. “Sex Metal Barbie” sets the tone for Black Widow. This isn’t just a metal album. In the one track, “Dirty Pretty” mixes a clean almost classic rock sound, with industrial sounds, backing vocals reminiscent of Manson and a dirty groove. “Bloody Creature Poster Girl” is a pop/metal hybrid, with Brink taking on an almost Marilyn Monroe sound, and title track “Black Widow ” opens with an almost ’80s disco beat after the spoken word intro. The experimentation is obvious. But it works. Chris and Randy have really perfected that dirty guitar sound first heard two years ago, while Tom and Travis have nailed the groove in every track.
It’s easy to see why “Sick Like Me” was the first track released off the record. It’s probably the “safest” of the 13 tracks, with a sound that would be more familiar to the fans. One of the bigger songs on the record, it’s more straight metal than the rest of the album, and you’ll be singing it for days after you listen to it. Black Widow might see In This Moment venturing further into new territory, but there are still elements that you would expect from an In This Moment record. “The Fighter” and “Out of Hell” are the staple slower, ballad-esque tracks and “Sexual Hallucination” sees Brink team up with Shinedown’s Brent Smith for an interesting duet, which is equal parts beautiful, dark and sexual.
Blood was a jarring album when placed in their discography, but now with Black Widow, it really seems tame. The dirty rock and roll mixed with the synths and electronic sounds was new for In This Moment, but they were merely testing the waters. They may have been hesitant to jump in the deep end two years ago, but not now. Black Widow only has the one filler track, “Into The Darkness” which plays out like an argument in Brink’s head followed by crying. It’s a confronting track. It feels like you’ve walked in on something you shouldn’t be a part of. It’s another way for In This Moment to mess with you, and your ideas of what music should be.
Black Widow is a fitting title for In This Moment’s fifth studio record. It’s seductive, but dangerous; just as the black widow spider it is an elegant, yet extremely dangerous creature.