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In This Moment - "Beautiful Tragedy" (CD)

In This Moment - "Beautiful Tragedy" CD cover image

"Beautiful Tragedy" track listing:

1. Whispers Of October
2. Prayers
3. Beautiful Tragedy
4. Ashes
5. Daddy's Falling Angel
6. The Legacy Of Odio
7. This Moment
8. Next Life
9. He Said Eternity
10. Circles
11. When The Storm Subsides

Reviewed by on April 6, 2008

"the band has great potential when they break out of the formula and create their own sound, particularly when they focus on the melodic metal elements of a song and avoid the hardcore influences"

Southern California melodic metal band In This Moment dropped their full-length debut album, "Beautiful Tragedy," in early 2007. From the outset of their first song (not counting the intro track), In This Moment reveal that they are influenced by the same things as many modern metal bands, including melodic guitars and a little metalcore. With help from female vocalist Maria Brink, In This Moment still manages to create their own unique sound in a crowded genre.

The band starts the opening track, "Prayers, " with melodic-sounding guitars, followed by a hardcore-sounding female scream. Once the first verses starts, however, Brink launches into her singing voice while the melodic metal riffs take over. Switching back to her screaming voice a few verses later, the music turns into a series of a few short choppy notes strung together in typical hardcore fashion. About two minutes into the song, the guitars double-time it and the double-bass kicks in, in what is a short bout of Gothenburg-style metal.

Despite bearing a substantial influence from modern metalcore as well as some melodic death metal, In This Moment has carved out a somewhat unique sound for themselves with a more melodic bent and a female vocalist who can both sing and scream very effectively. The third track, "The Beautiful Tragedy," starts out more melodically, both musically and vocally, and shows Brink invoke more emotion and intensity in her singing voice, without resorting to screaming -- at least not until the mid-song climax, accompanied by some melodic-death-metal-style riffing. The song slows down immediately to an acoustic guitar and picks up with another few renditions of the chorus before wrapping the song up. Overall, "The Beautiful Tragedy" is a well-crafted melodic-metal song that demonstrates the band's strengths fairly well -- a good melodic sound with an interesting female vocalist and the ability to pick up the intensity at the drop of a hat.

On "Ashes," the intensity and screaming starts almost immediately, but it then retreats for a very melodically-sung chorus, a formula the band uses a bit too repetitively throughout the album. The riffing in "Ashes" is distinctly metalcore-sounding, and about two minutes into the song the band changes up into a pseudo-breakdown, as the screamed vocals continue along with it. Brink can really scream an aggressive scream and she lets it all out on this track and the next.

The next song, "Daddy's Falling Angel," runs the gamut of styles and techniques, creating an impressively dynamic song than should appeal to anyone outside of the metalcore haters. It starts with more screaming and a melodic death metal sounding riff, again utilizing a melodic, sung chorus. Musically, the song changes from hardcore-influenced to lighter-melodic riffing fluidly throughout. In addition, the song contains a mid-song solo and leads, then a minute later a full-blown breakdown and finally builds up to an end of song climax in Gothenburg-influenced metalcore fashion.

"The Legacy Of Odio" is a slower-paced emotional song full of singing and tends to be the one I skip often, seeking the faster paced, more aggressive songs.

"This Moment" starts out slowly again, but escalates nicely to a chorus containing layered singing and screamed vocals. This song is followed by "Next Life," which starts off heavy once again, followed by hardcore style riffing and screaming. Brink showcases an excellent extended scream to end this song that could vicariously exorcize one of nearly any amount of pent up anger or stress.

The final song, "When The Storm Subsides," is an acoustic sung song that is less emotional sounding and, contrary to "The Legacy Of Odio," works out very nicely.

In This Moment change things up a lot and draw on influences that make it difficult to soundly categorize their music. Many times In This Moment's music feels light, with riffing more melodic than heavy, only to follow seconds later with the double-bass drums and heavier, faster riffing. In a number of songs, the hardcore and melodic elements fight for dominance. Fortunately, in many cases, having a female vocalist who can sing tips the scales in the melodic direction, making In This Moment sound a little less like any other cookie-cutter metalcore band. In fact, some of their best songs are the ones that musically avoid the metalcore influences, barring the screams, which are still great for adding much-needed vocal intensity, as displayed in "Circles."

In This Moment's "Beautiful Tragedy" comes across as slightly formulaic, but shows that the band has great potential when they break out of the formula and create their own sound, particularly when they focus on the melodic metal elements of a song and avoid the hardcore influences. The band is capable of keeping up the intensity while still sounding melodic. If you like melodic metalcore, or female fronted melodic-metal bands, I'd suggest picking this one up.

Highs: A fairly unique sound with dynamic female vocals

Lows: A number of somewhat formulaic songs and a little too much hardcore influence for my tastes

Bottom line: A good first effort, recommended for fans of metalcore and female-fronted melodic metal

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)