Norma Jean
O' God The Aftermath


2.5
average

Review

by Taylor Jermolajew USER (39 Reviews)
April 8th, 2010 | 142 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: We Are the Christians.

In Ancient Rome everyone drank, fornicated and they fed Christians to the lions…

Metalcore has experienced an interesting alteration since the increasing activity of Christian bands. Where bands like Botch, Integrity and Coalesce spent their time pushing the limits of what people could handle, many Christian bands created what could be seen as an insult to the genre, music that relies far too much on genre conventions and never does anything to separate itself from the crowd.

A handful of Christian bands have carried forth the Metalcore banner in a rather faithful way, Underoath springs to mind as a band that’ve put their own spin on the genre whilst maintaining strong connections to its roots. Unfortunately, a large number of Christian Metalcore bands are nothing but imitators, Becoming the Archetype, As I Lay Dying, August Burns Red and in this particular situation Norma Jean are bands that spring to mind.
O God The Aftermath doesn’t just border on plagiarism it epitomizes it. It’s We Are The Romans part 2 and whilst credit can be given to the band members for stepping up from the simplicity of their debut, they still have to accept that the entire sound of the album is a copy-paste job of an already existing record. Do the band members demonstrate impressive instrumentation? Yes. Are the songs of a satisfactory standard? Yes. Has the album been produced well? Yes. Should the members of Botch be seeking legal action? Yes, a thousand times yes.

As much as the band deserves credit for not putting forth a generic album, they definitely need to be punished for copying the smart kid’s assignment. It’s hard to fault the song writing for the majority of the record, as a piece by piece replication of an already existing album it does its job well. However, it’s when Norma Jean stop playing dress up and try to incorporate their own ideas that the band fall flat on their face. Clean vocals appear on a track or two and aside from being downright mediocre, they just don’t fit the sound. Similarly, where the band they’re imitating was able to keep your attention, O God just sort of meshes together into a 50 minute blur of feedback.

The vocals aren’t terrible, granted they aren’t anything special and the band members aren’t at all bad musicians, the problem with O God The Aftermath is that it isn’t its own album. It’s a copy, a tribute, if you’re feeling generous. The problem with this is that it just cannot reach the heights of its source material and because of this the album feels less like an original idea and more like a paraphrase of an existing argument. When it comes right down to it the similarities between O God and We Are the Romans are just too prevalent, there’s a fine line between influence and plagiarism. I’ll let you decide where this album stands…

In Ancient Rome everyone drank, fornicated and they fed the Christians to the lions….I hear Dave Knudson’s got some sort of bear….



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user ratings (845)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Tanner Lichty (Twlichty) (3.5)
Your argument about these guys stealing from Botch is almost as redundant as this album....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 8th 2010


31173 Comments


You've got a few grammar issues throughout, and tbh the whole 'against Christian Metalcore' argument you seem intent on making is pretty badly formulated; its also redundant when you don't delve into the lyrics, which to me is the only noticeable difference when it come to 'Christian' metal.

You also spend 3 paragraphs saying the same thing, that they're copying another band

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

ThePalaceOfWisdom
April 8th 2010


1134 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

the whole 'against Christian Metalcore' argument you seem intent in making is pretty badly formulated; its also redundant when you don't delve into the lyrics, which to me is the only noticeable difference when it come to 'Christian' metal


So you're telling me you've never noticed that the majority of christian metal bands aren't really generic and tend to show up just after something starts getting popular?

I've no issue with Christianity, tbh I was worried that the review would get accused of christ bashing but the fact is the majority of Christian bands tend to have shown up around the time metalcore crossed over into the mainstream and seem less like a band playing metalcore and being christian. And more like a group of christians playing a style of music that recently became popular.

Also the point for mentioning how blatant of a botch-rip off it is, is my main point of criticism for a reason. If WATR didn't exist this album would be fine, it's the fact that I can't listen to it without immediately being reminded of something else to the point where it just doesn't feel right.

Like I said, I can't fault the musicanship because it isn't bad, it's just copied. Same as the vocals they aren't bad, they aren't great but there isn't really much more I can say about it. At the end of the day the band themselves aren't playing badly it's the fact that the album is a carbon copy of something that already exists that doesn't sit well with me. That's why it's a 2.5 and not a 1. They're skilled musicans but they're also total copycats.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 8th 2010


31173 Comments


So you're telling me you've never noticed that the majority of christian metal bands aren't really generic and tend to show up just after something starts getting popular?

I could name just as many non-Christian bands that fit that same description is all
I've no issue with Christianity, tbh I was worried that the review would get accused of christ bashing

Doesn't bother me in the slightest, probably because i'm agnostic, but that summary could potentially anger/annoy people into negging


And no, that wasn't my neg. Your reputation proceeds you apparently

ThePalaceOfWisdom
April 8th 2010


1134 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yes well, I'm pretty sure there's some guy who literally follows me around waiting for something to change on my profile.

The thing is I'm not saying that christian bands are inherently generic, nor am I saying there aren't tons of generic bands with no religious connections, rather it seems that the most popular Christ-core bands tend to be really generic and just come off as insincere to me. And in regard to that this album literally comes off as "hey, Botch made a pretty awesome album, wanna cover it and say we made it ourselves?"

americanmusicmachine
April 8th 2010


3953 Comments


they totally do sound like botch

Inveigh
April 8th 2010


24968 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

they do sound like Botch, but I feel like you're a little misinformed about this band. Norma Jean started playing metalcore like this around 1997, under the name Luti-Kriss. Being from Atlanta (and going to the same school as two original members, although I was about 3-4 years younger), I know they've been around. Sure, they've gone through countless line-up changes since then, but Luti-Kriss released an album in 1999 (?) I believe, it might have been 2000, either way, when they started writing music together they had probably never even heard of Botch.

I don't really care, because I find this band to be pretty damn derivative, it just seems like this review talked about them being Botch rip-offs for 90% of its prose, and the other 10% was spent talking about how all Christian metal is ripped off from something else. I'd like to see more time spent on the actual music or lyrics, a description in some way, shape or form.

Again, I don't really care as I'm not a fan nor a Christian I'm not going to neg your review, I just thought I'd point that out.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 8th 2010


31173 Comments


The thing is I'm not saying that christian bands are inherently generic

Review reads differently, to me anyway
And in regard to that this album literally comes off as "hey, Botch made a pretty awesome album, wanna cover it and say we made it ourselves?"

I agree with that, given that all their other albums are different in sound. Well hell, they're all different from each other. I'm just saying that you tend to rely on the 'this is a Botch ripoff' argument to see you through, you don't really describe this album's music in any great deal

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 8th 2010


31173 Comments


Your rating's fucked Blake!

Inveigh
April 8th 2010


24968 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

haha, yeah, we're a little off on this one. I actually haven't really listened to this record since it came out, I'll give it a spin tonight and see if my opinion's changed ;-)

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 8th 2010


31173 Comments


Predict rating change haha

ThePalaceOfWisdom
April 8th 2010


1134 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

but I feel like you're a little misinformed about this band. Norma Jean started playing metalcore like this around 1997, under the name Luti-Kriss. Being from Atlanta (and going to the same school as two original members, although I was about 3-4 years younger), I know they've been around. Sure, they've gone through countless line-up changes since then, but Luti-Kriss released an album in 1999 (?) I believe, it might have been 2000, either way, when they started writing music together they had probably never even heard of Botch.


Except I never said they've always sounded like Botch, but this album does. This album is a massive WATR tribute, they hired the same producer, they even claimed Botch to be the primary influence on the album.

Bless the Martyr sounds almost nothing like botch, which leads to my opinion that the imitation found on this album was conscious decision on the band's part.

And the thing is, I can't really say anything about the instrumentation without falling back on the fact that it sounds like something else. Like I said they're technical and they can play but there's no original thought or idea behind it, which makes it very difficult to be either positive or negative about it, to call it bad playing would be factually incorrect but it'd be just as wrong to call it interesting or unique or new or to really say anything positive about it's overrall substance. It's a cunt of an album to analyze because of it's nature.

Also lyrics mean fuck all to me, the emotion comes from the sound of the voice not what it's actually saying.

Inveigh
April 8th 2010


24968 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Fair enough, I can agree with that. I mean, I wasn't defending this band or anything, because I've never really loved anything they did (including Luti-Kriss' Throwing Myself, which sounded just like this only much sludgier or nu-metaly or something).

Deviant: it's definitely possible. I haven't listened to Norma Jean at all in the past few years.

Dryden
April 8th 2010


12928 Comments


4 real

HighandDriving
April 8th 2010


3288 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You should add that they even got Matt Bayles, who produced all Botch's shit, to produce O'God for them.

Ya this is a complete rip off, but my God it's an amazing rip off.

ThePalaceOfWisdom
April 8th 2010


1134 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah Luti-Kriss was generally regarded as a nu-metal band from what I'd been told, which tends to add credence to my point that this band just seem like bandwagon jumpers.

Motiv3
April 8th 2010


8932 Comments


I could name just as many non-Christian bands that fit that same description is all

BINGO!, whether or not its Christian is irrelevant.

Digging: Punch - They Don?t Have To Believe

Inveigh
April 8th 2010


24968 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

they definitely had some nu-metal qualities to them, but it was more in their look than their sound. I mean, there were no clean vocals or rapping at all, which were two staples of nu-metal. The riffs were pretty simplistic, and they wore baggy clothes, but that was probably the extent of their nu-metalness.

ThePalaceOfWisdom
April 8th 2010


1134 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Except the argument isn't that it's bad because it's Christian, the comment on Christian metalcore has more to do with how I see the majority of Christ-core as being more interested in passing trends and imitation than being genuinley inspired to do what they're doing. The album is bad because it's too much like it's source material.

Also H&D I want to hate you for your rating but your avatar is all like dick hardening and stuff.

HighandDriving
April 8th 2010


3288 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I know Wisdom, I don't feel good having a NJ album rated so high. It's just a love the Botch fomula too much.

My ratings for the other NJ albums are 2, 3, 2. lol

ThePalaceOfWisdom
April 8th 2010


1134 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's just a love the Botch fomula too much.


Might I suggest Knut?



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