Norma Jean
Meridional


3.0
good

Review

by fromtheinside USER (127 Reviews)
July 9th, 2010 | 252 replies | 25,068 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The band does try branching out every now and again, but the downside is the moments are too few and far between.

16 of 18 thought this review was well written

Norma Jean are back and following the trend just as good as anyone has ever done. Let’s get this out of the way now, this is not a hark back to their roots; in fact NJ have traveled so far from home it’s doubtful they even remember where they live. That of course isn’t to say that they haven’t evolved along the way, nor is it to say that they’ve stopped ripping off bands because they haven’t. Except it’s ok as long as they continue ripping off good ones. This time around they show the world how in love they are with The Dillinger Escape Plan not to mention how over Botch they are and thank God cause Botch was so 10 years ago.

Few things have changed in camp Norma Jean, first and foremost the breakdowns, the staple of metalcore brigade, are presented on this disc better than 90% of the genre which is something you can’t say often. They keep the momentum at top notch throughout the entire offering and distinguish themselves from each other extremely well. Album opener and first single Leaderless and Self Enlisted ends on a crass note plagued by hammered dissonant chords and the most unfriendly of vocals thanks to Cory Putnam. From then on you can basically tell which tracks were made to rip off the ears and which were meant to soothe by reading the titles. Bastadizer for anyone who hasn’t caught on yet is a vengeful tune that contains a bombastic intro, and is centered around a hook + a riff that wouldn’t feel out of place on an Every Time I Die record. And then… there was Blood Burner an attempt to create a devastating piece of carnage and easily the heaviest Norma Jean song to date. Backed by an exhausting guitar lead and sporadic drum fills the song feels like a bottomless pit of breakdowns and build ups. Sometimes the song is interesting like at the 0:47mark and sometimes the song grows mindless moments like the 2 hour (or something) breakdown that closes the song.

Of course the band does try branching out every now and again, but the downside is the moments are too few and far between. Track two The Anthem of the Angry Brides is plagiarism all the way through on DEP’s account but that’s a topic for a different day. With a vibrant bass intro and estranged guitar riff centered on the catchiest dissonance I’ve heard in a while its a perfect pitch for the home run the bros hit once the breakdown makes it way - a bitter line of "You're not getting under my skin!". The only downside is how weak it makes the rest of the album look barring a few other instances. Falling From the Sky: Day Seven is the most radio friendly I’ve ever heard the band attempt, and it’s obvious they made this decision after hearing Hollow Crown – just listen to that intro. A six minute offering of a sullen bass creep, and an unfortunate typical build up for its well executed climatic chorus make this the best NJ ballad to date.

There are also two pointless moments on the album; both interludes which are the only resemblance to their early days with their pretentious titles, making their presence known at the most awkward moments. Septentrional which I'm not even going to try and pronounce kills the flow after one of the albums best songs and then lags into the audacious Blood Burner. The second Occidental makes putrid attempts to try and distance itself from the former, but hilariously fails with Cory speaking in the most arrogant of ways coupled with unnecessary clapping and stomping which completely devastates the mood of the album.

Aside from these small complaints this is Norma Jean’s most consistent album to date. They have finally figured out how to mold ridiculously catchy anthems like A Media Friendly Turn For the Worse around their sporadic music and it pays out the dividends each time. When Cory slips in the line “Blood is thicker than water, but which one did you drink?” shivers crawl up my spine escorted along with their temper tantrum to end the track. The People That Surround You On A Regular Basis has a sexy riff that off sets Cory’s interspersed vocals and it creates a beautiful marriage of melody and heaviness. Deathbed Atheist feels like an stab at A Small Spark vs. A Great Forest with its tepid intro bringing the calm before the storm, but one can’t help that they’ve retread these waters all the way until the bridge where they swim a new creek. Instead of blatant cries of “FIGHT FAIR” the band tries blissful swoons of “This is my nightmare”. This is where veteran’s listeners of Norma Jean can hear the change in sound; becoming softer in areas they’d usually tear down and killing their experimental fortunes which they’ve traded out for predictable heaviness. One wonders if they’re done trying to take the helms of the genre and just stick to what they know how to do, simply rawk.

Tracks Recommended: The Anthem of the Angry Brides, A Media Friendly Turn for the Worse, The People That Surround You On A Regular Basis. - wtf is up with these song titles?



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user ratings (643)
Chart.
3.6
great
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    BrodieGron (4)
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    stillexist (3)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
fromtheinside
July 9th 2010



17714 Comments


streaming on their myspace - http://www.myspace.com/normajean/music/albums/meridional-16091880

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2010



30865 Comments


That's a terrible summary

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

fromtheinside
July 9th 2010



17714 Comments


oshit you know what i forgot to add the best part.

Ire
July 9th 2010



41746 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Makes me want to listen to Botch

fromtheinside
July 9th 2010



17714 Comments


the album or the review?

Ire
July 9th 2010



41746 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This band

fromtheinside
July 9th 2010



17714 Comments


typical.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2010



30865 Comments


The addition hasn't helped it

fromtheinside
July 9th 2010



17714 Comments


ha, do you have a problem with dogs?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2010



30865 Comments


No

bloc
July 9th 2010



34669 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Don't listen to this guy, summary is fine.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Gyromania
July 9th 2010



15197 Comments


I don't think you understand the metaphor

Ire
July 9th 2010



41746 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

At least this wasn't as bad as Redeemer and The Anti Mother.

fromtheinside
July 9th 2010



17714 Comments


ugh you know what. i'm just gonna go with the summary i had planned for originally.

fromtheinside
July 9th 2010



17714 Comments


there. now i'm going to make a pb&j sandwich with double the skippy peanut butter.

bloc
July 9th 2010



34669 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That's a terrible summary

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2010



7018 Comments


i would never listen to this

Digging: Braid - No Coast

Gyromania
July 9th 2010



15197 Comments


It was somewhat clever, perhaps leaving it at just "who says old dogs can't learn new tricks? Unfortunately, Norma Jean aren't dogs". It seems a little contrived though, and people will undoubtedly take that out of context. I'm going to read this just as soon as I get back from a quick trip to the bank.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2010



30865 Comments


Bring me back money

Gyromania
July 9th 2010



15197 Comments


Btw, your new summary is pretty bad



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