There's no denying Maria Brink's a babe. The full-bosomed, pouty-lipped, heavily inked blond frontwoman for Southern California metallers In This Moment sort of gets that, too. That's not to say she isn't a modest lass, of course. But she's reminded on an almost daily basis just how striking she is.
"There's definitely a lot of marriage proposals," she confided, before guitarist Chris Howorth, who runs the band's MySpace page, chimed in: "Every day, there's like five or six marriage proposals that come in, and all of her picture comments — there's about a 1,000 posts for each picture — they're all like, 'You're hot,' 'Will you marry me?,' 'You're hot.' It's retarded."
At the same time, though, In This Moment — which formed in 2005 and will release their debut full-length, Beautiful Tragedy, March 20 — realize that having an attractive face behind the microphone can't hurt in a male-dominated genre. Gorgeous singers have helped the likes of Lacuna Coil and Arch Enemy get noticed, both onstage and off. One thing In This Moment fans may not notice, though, is the gash that graces the bridge of Brink's nose in the video for the first single, "Prayers."
"I literally got my head split open during the shoot," she explained. "I have a big scar across my face. The [camera] dolly came a little close, and I was headbanging, and we just collided and my whole face split open. There was blood all over the place."
When the band's manager tried to call off the shoot, to let Brink recoup, she insisted In This Moment finish what they had started. "We just iced it and glued it shut," she said. "My hair's in my face for much of the video, to cover up the cut on my face." How much more metal does it get?
In This Moment are on tour with Kittie, Walls of Jericho, Dead to Fall and 36Crazyfists through March 24 in Warren, Michigan. After that, they'll head out with Lacuna Coil and Stolen Babies in May for a North American run that launches May 7 in Louisville, Kentucky. The trek's routing is still being finalized.
Howorth said there was a great deal of pressure on the band during the recording of Beautiful Tragedy, which has been in the bag since late August and was produced by Eric Rachel (Atreyu, Every Time I Die). "It's our first record, and we're trying to impress a lot of people," he said. "So we wanted everything to be perfect and sound great. Everything has worked out phenomenally for this band."
Brink — who sounds like a cross between Lamb of God's Randy Blythe and Evanescence's Amy Lee — shows a great deal of range on In This Moment's inaugural studio outing, which immediately differentiates the band from other female-fronted metal outfits. Lyrically, Brink was inspired by challenges she's faced throughout her life, as well as by her son.
"Whether or not it's the past or something more recent, each song's based on things I've been through in my life," Brink explained. "Some of it's heart-wrenching and torturous for me to sing or scream about. But it was also cathartic for me. I was crying in the studio and fully upset, at moments. I think it helps my performance sound real. You can hear the pain in my voice. One song I wrote about my best friend, who died two years ago. I would pull all of his pictures out, and it helped bring me to that place while I was singing. It's important that people can feel what I'm singing about."
In This Moment, while relatively new to the scene, have been making a name for themselves on the road, thanks to their intense, visceral live shows. And for the rest of 2007, Brink and Howorth expect they'll be living out of a van, traveling from one venue to the next, spreading the word about Beautiful Tragedy.
If all goes well, In This Moment would like to land a spot on either Sounds of the Underground or Ozzfest this summer. Ultimately, though, Howorth said they have a very important mission in mind: "We want to be the biggest band in the world. Like Metallica, only I don't want to kiss our bassist."
The rest of the week's metal news:
More details have emerged regarding this year's New England Metal & Hardcore Festival, which is set for April 27-28 in Worcester, Massachusetts. So far, the bill's shaping up like this: Bury Your Dead, Satyricon, Walls of Jericho, Kataklysm, Unearth, Cannibal Corpse, the Black Dahlia Murder, the Red Chord, Job for a Cowboy, Lizzy Borden, Goatwhore, I Killed the Prom Queen, Shai Hulud, Since the Flood, Demiricous, Hallows Eve, Cellador, Beyond the Embrace, the Architect, Animosity, Psyopus, If Hope Dies, Ed Gein, the Absence, Kylesa, Skinless, the Devil Wears Prada, All Shall Perish, 100 Demons, Nora, the Human Abstract, Still Remains, Thy Will Be Done, Nachtmystium, December Aeterali, Merauder, Death Before Dishonor, Suicide Silence, Beneath the Massacre, Skeleton Witch, Stick to Your Guns, the Faceless, Blood Runs Black, Dead Hearts, xDeathStarx, Palehorse, Bloodlined Calligraphy, the Funeral Pyre, Gaza, Forever in Terror, Apiary, Sons of Azrael, the Destro and the Network. ... Florida metallers Into the Moat would like you to know that, contrary to rumor, they're not disbanding. In fact, according to guitarist Kit Wray, the band hopes to record a new album later this year. Bassist Josh Thiel has once again left the group, to focus on school, but Into the Moat insist they're "not looking for a bass player. A longtime friend of ours will be lending his bass skills for this upcoming album. We are hard at work on our next album, The Campaign." The band said it would like to once again work with producer Erik Rutan (Cannibal Corpse, Goatwhore). ...
North Carolina metalcore maestros Between the Buried and Me have entered writing mode and are hard at work on the follow-up to 2006's The Anatomy Of, claiming in an online post that "things are coming along very well." The band plans to begin recording in May with producer Jamie King (Human Abstract, Far-Less). In the meantime, you can catch the band in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, March 30; Harrisonburg, Virginia, March 31; and Greensboro, North Carolina, April 1. ... Bled Fest 2007 has been set for May 5 at the Skateland West complex in Westland, Michigan. Animosity, the Faceless, As Blood Runs Black, Beneath the Massacre and At the Throne of Judgment have been confirmed for this year's lineup. ... A Life Once Lost have completed tracking their forthcoming album, Iron Gag. The effort was helmed by producer Eric Rachel (Atreyu, Every Time I Die) at Trax East Recording Studio in New Jersey, and the LP has now entered the mixing phase. No word yet on when the disc will drop, but we'll keep you posted. ... Los Angeles death-metallers the Funeral Pyre will launch a two-week West Coast tour with Cerberus March 29 in Canoga Park, California. Dates are booked through April 13 in San Diego. ... Montreal deathcore dudes Despised Icon have wrapped the recording of their forthcoming sophomore LP, with producer Yannick St-Amand (Beneath the Massacre, Neuraxis). The still-untitled disc is set for a May 22 release. ... South Carolina technical death-metal mammoths Nile are working on their next studio offering, the follow-up to 2005's Annihilation of the Wicked. The band has recruited Neil Kernon (Nevermore, Deicide) to produce the effort, which should land in stores later this year. ...
Experimental metal band the End have just finished their debut video, "Throwing Stones," from their just-released album, Elementary. The clip was shot in Toronto with director Jeff Scheven and producer Dallas Dyer. The End will play a week of Canadian shows with Cancer Bats, Johnny Truant and the Gorgeous starting Wednesday in Sudbury, Ontario, and running through March 13 in London, Ontario. Then they'll open for Poison the Well across the States beginning April 3 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and ending April 20 in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. Fear Before the March of Flames and Heavy Heavy Low Low are also on that bill. ... We'll tread carefully with this one since the great uncle of Blessed by a Broken Heart's new singer, Tony Gambino, was Carlo Gambino, a former boss of the Gambino crime family. Tony Gambino recently replaced Hugh Robbie for the Montreal band's upcoming album You Wanted the Best, You Got the Blessed: Greatest Hits. "Tony can do back flips and breakdance better than Turbo in 'Electric Boogaloo,' " the band enthused on its Web site. "We're psyched to have him on board." If Gambino were ever on the wrong side of the law, we're guessing he's clean now, since Blessed are widely considered Christian metal — but we'll refrain from one-liners just in case. Blessed by a Broken Heart will enter a studio with producer GGGarth (It Dies Today, Atreyu) March 19 to track the album. "It will be one of the best metal albums of all time," said the self-proclaimed "superheroes destined to save the world from nuclear annihilation with the power of metal." We couldn't agree more. ...
Metalcore fans will likely weep with joy when they find out Bullet for My Valentine and All That Remains will tour together starting May 2 in Philadelphia. Dates have been booked through May 10 in Toledo, Ohio, and the rest of the shows will be announced soon. Escape the Fate and the Confession will open. Bullet for My Valentine are currently at home in Wales working on their next album, and All That Remains are taking a quick break before heading to Europe, where they'll tour through April 21. ... Former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman will release his sixth solo album, Loudspeaker, March 13. The fast and furious disc features guest appearances by Steve Vai, Dream Theater shredder John Petrucci, ex-David Lee Roth bassist Billy Sheehan and ex-Michael Schenker drummer Jeremy Colson. "I wanted to get these guys to play the most aggressive way they could because, as a fan, I really wanted to hear them in a full metal context," Friedman said. Tracks include "Coloreas Mi Vida," "Black Orchid" and "Elixir." ... Widely hyped U.K. metalcore band Fightstar will release their U.S. debut, Grand Unification, in April. The record was produced by Colin Richardson (Bullet for My Valentine, Cannibal Corpse), and while it holds together as a concept album, that wasn't the band's original intention. "When I hear something is a concept album, I always think, 'I hope this isn't a load of pretentious bullsh--,' " singer/guitarist Charlie Simpson said in a statement. "But gradually, as we wrote more lyrics, everything seemed to link together." Bassist Dan Haigh added: "The songs are supposed to be key moments in people's existences during that last day of the world. A lot of the music is born of a desire to capture something epic." Fightstar will make their Stateside performance debut with two March 15 shows at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. A full U.S. tour will follow. ...
Swedish doom-metal legends Candlemass will celebrate their 20th year anniversary with a March 31 concert in Stockholm. They'll be joined onstage for the first time ever by their original singer, Johan Lanquist, who left after the recording of their legendary 1986 debut, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus. The show will also mark the debut of the band's new singer, Robert Lowe (also of Solitude Aeturnus), who replaces Messiah Marcolin. Grand Magus will open the evening and Cathedral frontman Lee Dorrian and Witchcraft singer Magnus Pelander will DJ. ... New Jersey emo-metal band Bedlight for Blue Eyes have started tracking their second album, tentatively titled Whole Again. The band is recording in Atlanta's Tree Sound Studios with producers Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount, who also recently worked with Cartel. The disc will be the group's first to feature new singer Danny — original singer James quit in September to "pursue other interests." "The past year has been really rocky for the band and for us individually," guitarist Itzhak "Itchy" Bishburg said. "We thought we were on the verge of the end until we met Danny. So we took all of that energy and channeled it into the album." ... Polish black-metal band Behemoth are finishing up their new record The Apostasy, which is being produced by frontman Nergal and the band's longtime sound engineer, Malta. The album is tentatively scheduled for release in late July. "It is taking us much longer than we had originally expected but The Apostasy is technically the most demanding of all Behemoth albums thus far," Nergal said in a statement. "We are extremely proud of what we've recorded and the sound is just devastating."