Norma Jean - Redeemer
Solid State Records
11 songs (41:00)
Release year: 2006
Norma Jean, Solid State Records
Reviewed by Thomas
Archive review

After the hardly accessible yet Grammy-winning O God the Aftermath, Norma Jean headed in another direction and started releasing albums that weren’t too hard to stomach. All the bent notes and odd sounds that made you think they were on acid creating it, was more or less gone. Redeemer was the first album to come out on this new path of modernized hardcore they took and led the way to last year’s great The Anti-Mother, which is even more accessible and easier to get. Redeemer does still contain some of the oddities from before, but it’s their undeniable sense of catchy riffs and rhythms that dominates this entirely. The tunes are incredibly memorable, and you do not in any way have to force yourself to pay attention. Even though Anti-Mother was easier to catch, I believe that this one is slightly better, and filled to the brink with unforgettable and really gripping post-hardcore moments. Brilliantly performed breakdowns, no not those breakdowns, shapes clean yet chaotic melodies, breathtaking rhythm-patterns forged by both solid guitar and drum-work and compelling vocal lines that puts on the finishing touch on songs like A Small Spark vs. A Great Forest and Songs So Much Sadder.

There is not however, only melody that is in focus here. The frenetic intensity that takes place from the very instant creates a spark that develops into a raging static inferno in the end. This may be the hardest thing to get into for people not familiar with hardcore in general as it may prove as the hardest obstacle to get through. However, an excellent display of spike-scaled energy is put on display here and even if its mellower songs like No Passenger: No Parasite, they manage to clutch your battered and bruised senses and absolutely nothing here is going to patch it up. Crunching and frantic guitar-playing leads the way through a jungle of breakable obstacles, as the trademark twisted punk-y sound pierces your eardrums with every stroke. Sure, there are some notes that’ll put you off, but it’s not anywhere near the same frequency put forth on O God the Aftermath. Cory Brandan Putman’s signature and easily recognizable twisted screams proclaims his message through pure insanity, as well as a healthy dose of painful clean vocals. In addition to all this, the ever so technical drumming of Daniel Davison is the main reason for why this is so damn exciting. His creativity is backed up by Chris Day and Scottie Henry’s chilling electric guitar-playing, and together they have mastered the rhythmic skills which are so important when playing this music. Hardcore is not about dazzling guitar-solos, it’s about rhythmic perfection that’ll boggle the mind when done right. That is what Norma Jean are all about. Detailed and creative but still rather simple rhythms that’ll catch the ear and smash the face.

If you were one of those who started early with Norma Jean or rather Luti-Kriss at the very beginning, and gave up pretty quickly because it was hard to stomach, should look this way and give these guys another shot. This is entertaining and exciting hardcore at its best, and while this is not as aggressive or intense as Converge or as melodic or chaotic as The Chariot, it’s even more accessible, and a great place to start if you’re new to this stuff. It’s intense enough, melodic enough, and definitely catchy enough for any open-minded listener to enjoy. Highly recommended.

Killing Songs :
A Grand Scene for a Colour Film, Blueprint for Future Homes, A Small Spark vs. A Great Forest, Song Sound Much Sadder, Cemetary Like a Stage
Thomas quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Norma Jean that we have reviewed:
Norma Jean - Meridional reviewed by Thomas and quoted 79 / 100
Norma Jean - The Anti-Mother reviewed by Thomas and quoted 84 / 100
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