Erin O’Dell lives in Red Lion, PA, USA with her boyfriend, 5 cats, a snake, and a lot of ridiculously cringe-worthy jokes. She is an ethics, history, and philosophy of world religion studies major. She may or may not also be a mermaid. She enjoys video games, vinyl, macaroni & cheese, reading, Bollywood films, bowling, and outer space. Her favorite music genres include Symphonic Rock, Heavy Metal, Indie, and Soundtracks. Her favorite bands are Counting Crows and In This Moment.
Can you recall the exact moment when you fell in love with a band for the first time?
A few days after I graduated high school, I found myself on a rare afternoon off from my job, lounging about the room I shared with my sister, getting lost in the world of Amazon Music. I won’t lie to you all, I quite possibly spent a majority on my paychecks on hundreds upon hundreds of digital songs and albums. I distinctly remember scrolling through the releases, trying to find something new to fixate upon, and I was having no success.
Until I happened upon a new single by a band I didn’t really know well. I bought it on a whim and played it at full blast, laying on my bed with my cat, eyes closed, just taking in the music. I was hooked, to say the least. It wasn’t like the majority of the music I had listened to before then, but I loved it with a burning passion.
This month’s Femme Pick is the certified gold fourth studio album, Blood by the Metalcore band, In This Moment.
When a new 2020 reissue of Blood was announced, it felt to me like the stars had aligned and that I had been blessed by some divine and cosmic fortune. The picture above was found by pure chance a few days prior to the release, and I knew it couldn’t possibly be a coincidence. Maybe the universe knew I never could get a hold of a copy of previous issues of this vinyl, or maybe it thought I needed and/or deserve a much needed break from some of the stress I have been enduring.
Either way, I have never been so happy in my 27 years of life. I adore this album immensely because it was the one that careened me down the rabbit hole and started my intense love of this band, and more specifically, Maria Brink. I will add, however, this is not my all time favorite album by In This Moment.
One of the things that drew me in when I first listened to this album was the extremely personal and painful lyrics of most of the tracks. I love when music isn’t just written to be a hit or something that will make the most money. To me, the best songs are the ones written from the darkest parts of the soul, where all our agony festers and the experiences that created us reside.
I developed an emotional connection to the lyrics, some verses resonating with me on a personal level, and I hungered for more. I didn’t know then that this band’s music and Maria Brink’s melodic siren call and spine-tingling banshee wail would become a huge part of my life and essentially be my go-to for musical therapy during my darkest hours.
You don’t know how hard I fought to survive,
Waking up alone when I was left to die
And you don’t know about this life I’ve lived,
All these roads I’ve walked
All these tears I’ve bled
So how can this be?
You’re praying to me
There’s a look in your eyes,
I know just what that means
I can be, I can be your everything
I can be your whore!
I am the dirt you created
I am your sinner
I am your whore
Would you believe me if I told you that the song, ‘Whore’is actually about female empowerment?
While most wouldn’t think or comment that a song with that kind of title should be the battle cry of women everywhere, I disagree. The song is meant to be a sarcastic look at the derogatory use of the word and showing that we have the ability to not allow a word to control us.
I’m not sure what an older generation would say about that, and maybe the reason I agree with the idea is because I am young. I firmly believe that words are powerful tools, but some words can be rendered powerless if we choose to rise above their ill-intended meanings.
Blood forever holds a special place in my heart and soul as being my first real introduction to this amazing band and the talented woman whom I idolize for being a strong and empowering female in a world that still seems to look at being female or feminine as being inferior, weak, not as talented, or not as intelligent. I would like to iterate that this is my personal opinion and that my intention is not to force these ideals and notions upon you, the reader. I feel like this album is when In This Moment really started to come into their own and evolve into who they are as a band today.
When I listen to this album, even today, I more and more find myself hearing deeper messages within the lyrics.
They are personal and powerful messages for those who choose to hear.
It has earned its place as a Femme Pick for being a unique and alternative look at expressing female empowerment through heartbreaking, controversial, and emotional lyrical content, while also remaining honest to the real life experiences of Maria Brink herself. Metalcore may not be your thing, but I urge you to give this album and band a listen, as you may end up finding a few songs you like in a genre you may not usually dip into. Or you may not be into it! Both of these things are okay.
To me, every track on the album is fantastic in its own way, but here are my favorites:
- “The Beast Within”
A notable honorable mention is a track that only appears on the deluxe version of this album, which I do not believe is on vinyl but this cover of this classic Nine Inch Nails song is worth checking out:
Who exactly is In This Moment?
“In This Moment is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. The current members are: Maria Brink, Chris Howorth, Travis Johnson, Randy Weitzel, and Kent Diimmel.”
Read more about the band and their lead singer here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_This_Moment
Want to listen? Here are some links!
Stay tuned for next month’s Femme Pick!
Enjoyed this album showcase? Check out the full archives of our album review series, Vinyl Femmes & RPMs, by Erin O’Dell, here: https://vinylwritermusic.com/vinyl-femmes-rpms-archives/