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Norma Jean O' God, the Aftermath

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Norma Jean - O' God, the Aftermath
01. Murderotica
02. Vertebraille
03. Bayonetwork
04. Dilemmachine
05. Coffinspire
06. Liarsenic
07. Disconnecktie
08. Absentimental
09. Charactarantula
10. Pretendeavor
11. Scientifiction
2005 Solid State Records

OUR SCORE
3
Reviewed by: Cory   //   Published: 4/17/2005

As an admitted non-fan of this band's material, both as Norma Jean and in their previous incarnation (Luti-Kriss), it was with some hesitancy that I approached this album. After deciding to ignore the one-two punch of a stupid album title and the annoyingly gimmicky titles of the songs themselves, I pressed play on the CD player and let the band's music speak for itself, honestly hoping to be impressed with what came out. Unfortunately, the music spoke loudly, saying the same things over and over. And over. And over.

For a band that frequently draws comparisons to some of the most innovative metal/hardcore bands of the last ten years (Botch, Converge, Zao) Norma Jean certainly seem uninterested in doing anything creative. Each song on O, God the Aftermath follows a formula so trite and repetetive that by the fourth track what could have been a decent listen becomes a painful one. The band has one tempo, two time signatures and three riffs, all of which were done better by Converge nearly ten years ago.

This is the first outing for the band's new vocalist Cory Brandan. Much like the rest of the band, his performance here borders on competent but falls far short of inspiring. In addition, he is responsible for the disc's least bearable moments, the clean singing on tracks like "Liarsenic" and "Bayonetwork." On a more positive note, this disc is produced far more tolerably than the Chariot disc from former Norma Jean frontman Josh Scogin.

Finally, lots of bands have gimmicky song titles and I, like most music fans, have come to terms with that, but Norma Jean are giving the Locust a run for their money here. The band chose to nonsensically link two words together by overlapping certain letters that both words shared. "Bayonetwork" and "Scientifiction" are two examples of this song-naming technique working out as the band intended. Maybe this is a stretch, but I think these song titles are indicative of the general malaise that infects Norma Jean's creative processes. Rather than trying their hardest to be genuinely creative, Norma Jean have latched onto one formula and one gimmick musically and decided to stick with it through thick and thin no matter how stale it becomes. Two of the song titles ("Charactarantula" and "Disconnecktie") don't even properly fit into the previously established pattern. Apparently even the band didn't care much about the gimmick.

Bottom Line: How in God's name a band this mediocre has managed to sell more copies of this record than Botch probably sold of their entire catalog combined is beyond me. Elementary songwriting combined with stolen riffs rarely equates to anything good and Norma Jean is no exception.

Comments
anonymous   posted 3/26/2012 10:31:51 AM
Disregarding anything according to the history of this band and line up.Norma jean demonstrates similarities of course, but for you to say this band follows a simple formula is inaccurate. According to the physical copy and music videos you will find quite a complex structure that bleeds into th music.After giving We are romans by Botch a listen. my perspective grew to see that NJ reinvented this crappy no seller with absolutely nothing memorable unlike O god the aftermath.
matt_   posted 9/20/2006 6:34:10 PM
Cory, I agree with you completely. I was into this band back when they were luti-kriss and had an awesome work ethic, and put on a good metal show. Lustening to this album was a painful experience (I don't even want to listen to Redeemer). They basically went out of there way to sound exactly like botch, and if you listen to Weare the Romans, and then this cd back to back it is very easy to hear a few stolen riffs, and I think I read an interview somewhere with the bassist of Norma Jean that sai
Mike_   posted 9/1/2006 2:28:28 AM
My favorite song is...Vendiahhrea: We couldn't think of real names for our songs.
john_   posted 8/25/2006 12:01:29 PM
i remember i read a article about this cd and it said that the cd sounded a lot like botch's we are the romans, so after listening to botch for a while and when i got the new NJ cd, there really wasnt no difference, but i new NJ cd is nothing compared to botch
cjb_   posted 7/12/2006 3:36:41 PM
man...this review sucked really bad. I would love to know what stolen riffs were in this album. There were'nt any...and two time signatures....dude, you really don't know a thing about music, if you think this is true. I study music, and when I have a hard time figuring out the complexity of some of there meters they are not of the ordinary. I did not really catch a formula for any of the songs except good song writting. If you think converge is better...I don't even know what to think. Cory's s

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