In This Moment: Black Widow review

It’s always a tough pill to swallow when you receive an album to review that falls short of your expectations. For some, that’s exactly what In This Moment’s Atlantic Records debut- Black Widow- is. For others, it’s not so simple. With the explosive popularity of ITM’s 2012 record, Blood you knew the electronic, industrial, sexually-laced metal they created would be taking over. With that, gone are the days of Beautiful Tragedy, The Dream and A Star-Crossed Wasteland. Instead, we now have Maria Brink and company singing about sex and lots of it with Brink tantalizing our eardrums and eyes with her sexual innuendoes. With Black Widow, fans who were hoping for a return to the band’s old sound are going to be disappointed. As soon as songs like “Whore,” “Adrenalize,” “You’re Gonna Listen” and “Blood” hit it big and got the band their first no. 1 rock album and their most successful album overall, you knew they would stick with the formula that worked. Therefore it really shouldn’t be expected that they’d do anything remotely different. However, with Black Widow, they go in the same direction but at full speed. The industrial is more industrial, the electronic is more electronic and the sexuality is more extreme than on Blood. While it worked on Blood, it comes off as just too much on Black Widow. Blood was a masterpiece, a perfect combination of hard rock-meets-industrial but Black Widow is just one direction and doesn’t balance it out a whole lot. The album does have its share of highlights though.  “The Infection” is a beautifully eerie intro for the album. Then there’s “Big Bad Wolf,” which has a tantalizing vibe to it and, trust me, you won’t be able to get the instrumentals out of your head- same goes for “Dirty Pretty,” which is vintage Maria Brink. “Sexual Hallucination” features Brent Smith of Shinedown and is impressive enough to be one of the better tracks on the records. Lead single “Sick Like Me” is one of the better tracks on the record but is a bit of a misleader for the fans as it’s the furthest thing from the rest of the album and could make fans think the album is more like Blood than it actually is. “Bloody Poster Girl” is another one that fans will gravitate to and would be perfect for the band’s already visual live show. When it comes down to it, Black Widow shouldn’t be too much of a surprise for fans but it may still take some offguard. If you’ve been following the band since the beginning, you may not like this one but if you came on during Blood or preferred that record to the older records this is going to be one of your albums of the year. Rating: 7/10 -Reggie Edwards