rating icon 7 / 10

Track listing:

01. Godmode
02. The Purge
03. Army Of Me
04. Sacrifice
05. Skyburner
06. Sanctify Me
07. Everything Starts And Ends With You
08. Damaged (feat. Spencer Charnas)
09. Fate Bringer
10. I Would Die For You

With their 20th anniversary looming over the horizon, IN THIS MOMENT can look back at their first two decades with some considerable pride. While many bands that emerged during the post-millennial rock and metal resurgence have fizzled out, Maria Brink's genre-splicing misfits have continued to move forward, evolving with every step. More importantly, they have become a contemporary benchmark for commercial but classy alternative rock: their singer's overwhelming star quality proving a perfect focal point for songs that rarely conform to any specific genre. "Godmode" expands upon the gothic and industrial influences that dominated 2020's "Mother", and propels IN THIS MOMENT into fresh territory as a result.

A succinct ten-song set, the band's eighth album is hardly a radical departure, but it does register as more adventurous and mischievous than its immediate predecessors. Heavy on post-NIN industrial throb 'n' squelch, the likes of the wild and aggressive title track, "Sanctify Me" and a crushing cover of BJORK's "Army Of Me" are classic, hard-edged IN THIS MOMENT, er, moments, but with a futuristic twist.

Deeply gnarly recent single "The Purge" begins with Brink in snarling assassin mode, before the song erupts into baroque splendor, gothic metal grandstanding, in between the robotic beats and caustic low-end bass. Down on the Devil's dancefloor, "Sacrifice" whips up a storm of offbeat crunch, as Brink throws down with palpable anguish amid a raging river of digital noise. A perverse prog metal/dream-pop hybrid, "Skyburner" is brilliantly disorientating and one of the strangest, most hypnotic things IN THIS MOMENT have ever recorded.

Elsewhere, "Everything Starts And Ends With You" is a morbid love song, built upon an alien electro pulse, but with a razor-sharp pop-metal chorus that Brink hammers home with a career best vocal performance. "Damaged" sees the singer team up with ICE NINE KILLS' Spencer Charnas over a barrage of cross-pollinated alt-metal, "Fate Bringer" rumbles in on a taut, glam stomp that continually mutates as Maria Brink's gift for melodrama runs riot. The closing "I Would Die For You" is a dark and desperate ballad with a true goth heart, and the one moment on "Godmode" that seems content to conform to a familiar formula.

In every other respect, this is a strong and gently subversive piece of work. As ever, IN THIS MOMENT have vast commercial potential, but there is plenty of evidence that they remain slightly too weird and unpredictable for that potential to be fully realized. For that alone, they should be loudly applauded.

Author: Dom Lawson
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