November 8, 2023

The word “godmode” is often applied to gaming and denotes invincibility, the ability to crush the competition. All powerful. Unstoppable. Whether this is exactly the meaning behind the title of In This Moment’s new album or not but either way, the Los Angeles act has never lacked confidence and is clearly looking beyond the upper echelons with their eight record.

Formed in 2005 and with the superstar quality of Maria Brink at the vocal helm, In This Moment began as a metalcore band that gained recognition with their debut album Beautiful Tragedy in 2007. From the outset, In This Moment has always been about evolution with a steady build-up of bold theatricality and it was 2012’s Blood where the band really began making waves. While style over substance can be left at a band’s feet, In This Moment does have the necessary requisite with the songs as well as the retina busting visuals.

The title track opens the album, Godmode has smooth synths and a tribal thump of the drums. The menacing The Purge is more in the tone of In This Moment, the beating sinister pulse and Maria Brink’s split personality vocals dripping with sugar one moment and then tearing into a foundation shaking scream the next. The cover of Bjork’s Army of Me is no mere copy, its dark gothic-ness holds both power and melodrama. Sanctify Me is something of a standout track that has some gorgeous synth word and a catchy melody. Everything Starts and Ends with You once again has a throbbing pulse and maybe the heart of it is love based on the lyrics. Damaged features Spencer Charnas from Ice Nine Kills and the combined vocals with Maria Brink has synchronicity within its electronic aggression. The album ends on I Would Die for You which is the album version of the song that appeared on the John Wick 4 soundtrack – a perfect ending to the album in its cool breeze and beautiful keys with Brink’s goosebump vocals.

For anyone looking for an out-of-the-gate memorable album may well find that there Godmode is not exactly that, there is a lot of slow burn that takes repeated spins to take hold and if anything, it is missing a banger of a track where the rest smooth into the groove. On the other hand, with songs co written by Tyler Bates and with guitarist Chris Howorth learning programming and creating music around synthwave, it is impossible to fault In This Moment’s ambition and scope.  Godmode is a record that easily fits within that visual context of their breathtaking show, but it does lack that something, an explosion, anything to rile its audience and pump the blood. Sure, dim the lights, grab a good pair of headphones and soak in the atmosphere because there is a metric shit-tonne of it on Godmode and it is not that the album does not have its moments because it certainly does, but it is a deep dive and requires full on immersion.

The beauty of In This Moment is their ability to shapeshift and not necessarily be tied to any one genre; their creative well is seemingly bottomless. As their first new music since the pandemic, there is bound to be introspection and reflection and maybe that is why Godmode is what it is – hardly a bad album at all, just one that needs time to reveal its riches. With the band looking at headlining arenas in the US, there is going to be no stopping In This Moment – and about time too.

GODMODE is out now via BMG.