"Ritual", the new album from IN THIS MOMENT, can be streamed in its entirety below. The group's sixth studio effort, which is being released today (Friday, July 21), is being made available by Atlantic Records in partnership with Roadrunner Records.
Produced by longtime collaborator — and multiple Grammy Award nominee — Kevin Churko (FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, OZZY OSBOURNE), "Ritual" sees IN THIS MOMENT pushing their inimitably dark sound forward with a provocative sense of pervading doom and metallic blues power.
Highlights include a dramatic reimagination of the Phil Collins classic "In The Air Tonight" as well as "Black Wedding", a walk down the aisle of musical madness that sees lead singer Maria Brink sharing the mic with legendary JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford.
"It's like we're going into the next realm," said Brink. "I had a conviction of feeling empowered in my life and with myself. I always write from a personal place, and I needed to share that sense of strength. I've never been afraid to hold back. Sometimes I can be very suggestive. However, I wanted to show our fans that this is the most powerful side of myself and it's without overt sexuality. It's that deeper serious fire inside of my heart."
"When fans hear this, I want them to feel the music, whether they take away sadness, anger, or happiness," added lead guitarist Chris Howorth. "As a kid, I remember listening to records and putting them on repeat over and over again. I'd love for the world to listen and absorb this as a piece of work."
"Ritual" track listing:
02. Oh Lord
03. Black Wedding (feat. Rob Halford)
04. In The Air Tonight
05. Joan of Arc
06. River of Fire
07. Witching Hour
08. Twin Flames
09. Half God Half Devil
10. No Me Importa
12. Lay Your Gun Down
Asked whether the more raw and organic sound of "Ritual" is an indication of IN THIS MOMENT's future musical direction, Chris told Metal Wani: "As far as the future direction, that's really hard to say. We kind of just fly by the seat of our pants and don't really have a set plan or whatever when we're going in, or what the future of the band's gonna be. We kind of just see how we're feeling at the time. This time, it wasn't really like we were gonna try to make a more stripped down album. I know people have been saying [that the new record is more] 'stripped down,' and it definitely has a lot less of the kind of campy… I'm not dissing on any of our old stuff, but it's a little bit more serious. And when I say 'stripped down' too, I guess… One way to describe it is, before we would write the songs and not think about how they were gonna be live — we wouldn't even care. It was about writing the best songs, the most cool stuff, push the boundaries. And this time we were kind of, like, as we were doing it, we were, like, 'We're gonna be playing this song live. We know we're gonna play this one live. Let's make it a good live song too. So let's think about the guitars more and what are they gonna be.' It just kind of lent itself to being a little bit more organic, I guess, in that sense, once we started doing that, just thinking about the songs being played live."
Regarding how IN THIS MOMENT got Halford to guest on "Black Wedding", Chris said: "Maria was doing the lyrics, and it's almost like a duet, but she's singing to herself with the mother and the priest. [And we thought] Rob Halford is the priest, and he would be the coolest dude ever to have on this song. A couple of years ago, he actually expressed interest in our band and came to see us. It blew our minds completely. We were, like, 'Oh my God! I can't believe it. He's really gonna come see us.' And he actually did come see us. And we kind of became friends with him from that point. He's been super influential to us, and even Maria. He's always been into the theatrics, with the whips and the bike and all this stuff. And when we were doing the song, Maria was, like, 'I'm gonna see if Rob's interested in doing this', and he jumped right on it. And it's so cool to have him on this song with us, man… Unfortunately, we weren't [in the studio] when he was there [laying down his vocals]. It was right at the end. We had done all of our parts, and we left, and he came out two days later and tracked his parts with [producer] Kevin [Churko]. So we didn't actually get to hang out with him when he did it, but we saw pictures. He's actually worked with our producer Kevin before; he did that FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH song 'Lift Me Up' with him. So he knew Kevin, and it was real easy. [He's] such a pro, man."