In This Moment

Beautiful Tragedy

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Los Angeles' In This Moment had two years in which to hone and perfect their material before getting to work on this, their debut album, but the resulting tunes still impress for containing not a single wasted note or poorly rendered song idea. Beautiful Tragedy's best single is precisely its title track, whose duality of meaning concurrently defines the band's intention to mine the rich rewards afforded by the melodic metalcore template. To the fulfillment of that purpose, vocalist and focal point Maria Brink is of course crucial and inseparable; her fierce screeching providing the necessary counterpoint for her own soaring clean singing, which she alternates so effortlessly that she qualifies as the female foil to metalcore's premiere vocalist Howard Jones. Coincidentally, In This Moment's musical template bears almost disturbing similarities to that of his band, Killswitch Engage, appropriating their same skill for musical contrast (supple lullabies and sublime dual guitar harmonies offset by complex, but meticulously performed riffs and drum patterns) into remarkably sticky tracks like "Ashes," "Daddy's Falling Angel," and "Next Life." So sticky, in fact, that one feels compelled to overlook their obvious debt to KSE's influence when faced with the sheer wealth of instinctive hooks dripping from additional standouts "Prayers," "He Said Eternity," and the string-laden ballad "The Legacy of Odio" (closing acoustic weeper "When the Storm Subsides" is the disc's only superfluous cut). True, with the exception of Brink's anomalous female presence, In This Moment tenders nothing truly original to the state of early-2000s metal on Beautiful Tragedy; but in a genre too often marred by the misuse of volume and aggression over substance, sometimes great songs should be cause enough for celebration.

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