Sunday, March 3, 2013

Artist of the Day: Norma Jean

Five-piece heavy metal veterans Norma Jean first rose to popularity with Bless The Martyr and Kiss the Child in 2002 with ex-vocalist Josh Scogin fronting the raw metalcore chaos. When Scogin left to pursue other musical interests by forming The Chariot, the band recruited Cory Brandan to tear up the mic. Since then, Norma Jean has experimented with technical mathcore, post-hardcore, and even some hard rock influence to create some of the best metalcore of the past ten years.

Although Christian-inspired bands like The Devil Wears Prada and For Today took the heavy hitting metal to the forefront of contemporary metalcore, Norma Jean have been weaving intricate riffs between technical breakdowns since 2002. Although band members have come and gone, Norma Jean continue to deliver a furious and evolved record every time. O God, the Aftermath is heavily inspired by Botch: continuous time and tempo changes, stop-start guitar noodling and distortion-blurred vocals lend more than a nod to the mathcore legends. Redeemer takes a more subtle and less distorted approach, mixing in clean vocals and a cleaner production. Despite this, the band successfully executes a relentless record fused with the intensity of their earlier releases. The Anti Mother features a more commercial sound as songs follow a more defined structure and a focus on clean vocals. The album may be the bands weakest album, but tracks such as "And There Will Be A Swarm Of Hornets" and "Death of the Anti Mother" keep the album from being more than forgettable. The band's recent release, Meridional, is a culmination of all previous efforts. Strong technical guitar playing backed by innovative and memorable drum beats is a face melting classic.

Beneath the band's quirky song titles lies songwriting that can only come from a mature band. Norma Jean have truly proven themselves as masters in the genre, and will continue to push boundaries in the future. If you're a fan of metal and have not heard of Norma Jean, you owe it to yourself to listen through the relentless and unforgettable discography of Douglasville's finest.

Norma Jean just spent the past couple months in the studio and will release their sixth album later this year.
You can stream the band's material on Spotify and purchase it on iTunes.

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