Norma Jean
Redeemer


3.5
great

Review

by Andrew H. EMERITUS
September 11th, 2006 | 184 replies | 28,364 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


After the departure of previous vocalist Josh Scogin, things looked like they were all over for Georgia metalcore quintet Norma Jean. Just a few years later, Norma Jean resurfaced with ex Eso-Charis Cory Brandan and a new bassist in the form of Jake Schultz. This revamped incarnation of Norma Jean released O' God The Aftermath in early 2005 to a positive response. Produced by Ross Robinson, Redeemer, the band's third studio album as Norma Jean, comes just over a year after the release of O' God The Aftermath.

Norma Jean
Scottie Henry - Guitar
Chris Day - Guitar
Cory Brandan - Vocals
Daniel Davison - Drums
Jake Schultz - Bass

If one thing is obvious right from the beginning of Redeemer, it's that Norma Jean haven't lost the energy of last year's O' God The Aftermath. The album's opening track begins with noisy a mess of dissonance, before calming down for a few seconds only to jump straight back into heavy guitar riffing along with Cory Brandan's brutal screaming. Norma Jean have had quite the busy year, filling up their time with touring, releasing a special edition of O' God The Aftermath, writing, recording and even being nominated for a Grammy. The band worked in the studio with Korn/Limp Bizkit producer Ross Robinson and although the production is perhaps a little less intense than the efforts of Matt Bayles on O' God The Aftermath, it nevertheless succeeds in making Norma Jean sound just as heavy and pissed off as they ever have.

While Norma Jean's label mates Underoath changed the direction of their music wildly on their new release this year, the changes that Norma Jean have undergone for Redeemer are much more subtle; an evolution rather than a dramatic change. Possibly the most noticeable change can be found in Brandan's vocals. Though his gut wrenching screams aren't drastically different from those found on the band's last album, Redeemer does include a lot more of his clean singing (or perhaps 'clean' is not the right word), something which O' God The Aftermath hinted at in tracks such as "Liarsenic". Some tracks such as "Songs Sound Much Sadder" even have melodic sections and, dare I say, catchy sections that resemble choruses. The songs on Redeemer are also a lot shorter; the 10-15 minute epics that were present on the last two albums don't make an appearance on Redeemer. Instead, we are given 11 sharp tracks which all clock in around or under the five minute mark. Thankfully, Redeemer still retains the heavy dissonance of previous releases. This is best exemplified in the breakdown that closes the album's longest song "The End of All Things Will Be Televised". Album closer "No Passenger: No Parasite" starts as a surprisingly quiet affair that builds up until its conclusion and is based around more of Brandan's singing.

All in all, Redeemer is a great follow-up to O' God The Aftermath; the songs are a little shorter, there is a little more diversity and the new sound is a solid evolution for Norma Jean. Despite the small changes, the music is angry, noisy, dissonant and heavy, which is what most fans have come to love and expect from Norma Jean. Fans of O' God The Aftermath should find very little disappointment in Redeemer.

Pros
Technical, heavy, dissonant
Good production
The album shows a natural progression in Norma Jean's sound

Cons
Perhaps a little less intense than previous efforts
Some fans may not enjoy the slightly more conventional song structures

Recommended Tracks
A Small Spark Vs. A Great Forest
The End Of All Things Will Be Televised
Amnesty Please

Final Rating: 3.5/5



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user ratings (874)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
fromtheinside (4)
These things did harmonize just like Norma Jean hinted at in O' God turning all of the powerful elem...

tooolenduso (4.5)
Norma Jean redefines the word 'fury' in this huge classic....

6604 (4.5)
"Redeemer" is a return to form for a band that seemed to have lost their touch. A beautiful, dirty,...


Comments:Add a Comment 
loathed
September 11th 2006



174 Comments


What i've heard so far from the stream on their myspace, i do not really like...but i might give this another chance.

is there anything melodic here?

ToWhatEnd
September 11th 2006



3172 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is a fantastic review. I'll have to check this out soon.

Confessed2005
September 11th 2006



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review. I do enjoy quite a bit of Norma Jean so I will definitely check this out.

pixiesfanyo
September 11th 2006



1223 Comments


Probably the worst cover in history.

Thor
September 11th 2006



10158 Comments


123 on that.

I won't be getting this album, but good review anyways.

Digging: Cult Leader - Nothing For Us Here

Neoteric
September 11th 2006



3243 Comments


I've never liked this type of music, the closest I get is Converge.

jrowa001
September 11th 2006



8749 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ive never been able to get into these guys mainly cuz of the vocals. at least this album doesnt have stupid track names like their lst one did. they also stole their album name from one of Machinae Supremacy's albums. good review too

Statutory Ape
September 11th 2006



20 Comments


You're kidding? They stole....the word "Redeemer"? My god...

Anyways, I didn't like much of what I heard, but I might buy it.

Shattered_Future
September 11th 2006



1539 Comments


Good review, mate. I don't like this band one bit though.

Intransit
September 11th 2006



2797 Comments


good review. I tried rating this a two, but it doesnt wanna do it. the first song sounds like it has promise, but the rest of it pretty much flops imo

Mikesn
Emeritus
September 11th 2006



3709 Comments


You have to wait until tomorrow to rate it.

They had this streaming on their Myspace page, so I thought "why not?" Meh-ish album imo.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
September 11th 2006



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

[quote=loathed]is there anything melodic here?[/quote]

Moreso than other releases. There isn't a major amount of melody though.


I think this is still streaming on their myspace page, for anyone who wants to hear it.

TurnTheOtherWay
September 11th 2006



459 Comments


I bought a Norma Jean album in the past and I won't make the same mistake twice. I might check out the stream on myspace, but I'm fairly certain I'll hate it. Great review, however.

rustysurf84
September 11th 2006



327 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sighs at album cover. I thought it was a joke initially. Bit of a letdown considering OGTA and BTMAKTC had such great covers. Ill have to get this at some point.

cbmartinez
September 11th 2006



2525 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I loved O' God, The Aftermath, I've come to love it moreso than Bless The Martyr. I really just was awed by how much the guitarists improved and got so technical. Yeah, it really ripped off Botch but they did it really well. Some of the time sigs and technical riffing on that album are incredible.

When I heard the two songs from this album on their myspace, I was really disappointed. All that technical riffing that they really worked on for the second album had seemingly disappeared. It seemed like they really dumbed down the playing to almost Bless The Martyr style. I didn't like it at all. But I'm still going to get the album and post my comments about it anyway.

TurnTheOtherWay
September 11th 2006



459 Comments


I listened to about half of the album and it wasn't bad. I like the vocalist they have now a hell of a lot more than Josh Scogin. And the songs I heard didn't have the terrible ringing dissonant guitar sound I despised on Bless the Martyr.... There was some dissonance, but it wasn't annoying like it was before. That being said, it wasn't really anything special. I might go back later and listen to the rest. The stuff I heard, I'd probably give about a 2.5/3. Definitely better than Bless the Martyr...

br3ad_man
Emeritus
September 12th 2006



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

[quote=cbmartinez]
I loved O' God, The Aftermath, I've come to love it moreso than Bless The Martyr. I really just was awed by how much the guitarists improved and got so technical. Yeah, it really ripped off Botch but they did it really well. Some of the time sigs and technical riffing on that album are incredible.

When I heard the two songs from this album on their myspace, I was really disappointed. All that technical riffing that they really worked on for the second album had seemingly disappeared. It seemed like they really dumbed down the playing to almost Bless The Martyr style. I didn't like it at all. But I'm still going to get the album and post my comments about it anyway.[/quote]

My experience was very much the same. The songs that were on their myspace aren't the greatest. The rest of the album is, imo, considerably better, but O God... beats it by miles.

"Freshly Baked"
September 12th 2006



583 Comments


KEwlest cover ever (no srsly, I like it)

They seem interesting, but do they get too Christianny, because If so, i wont even waste my time.

superfascist
September 12th 2006



118 Comments


They've never seemed too "Christianny" before on their other albums. At least, if they are, it's not too noticeable.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
September 12th 2006



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't think they get too "christiany", no. I don't understand why that would be a big deal to begin with though.



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