on March 2, 2005
I, like most Norma Jean fans, had a few concerns about this album with a few changes in the bands line up especially the lead singer I was worried the band would lose that special something they had when they first started out as Luti Kriss. Happy to report that this album is a worthy follow up to "Bless the martyr". The new lead singer does a great job of keeping with the "norma jean" sound instead of mucking it up.
How does one follow up such a brilliant epic as "Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child"? Well for starter's they don't try to repeat what made that album so great so the new songs feel fresh, energized and sound damn right incredible at times. There are one or two tracks near the end that unfortunately sound a little predictable and they slow down the pace of the record with the typical redundant hard core sound you hear all over the place. This may have been them just being a little too complacement and I think they should have pushed those songs further. It's not perfect but what is these days? It's still heavy and sounds absolutely insane from one moment to the next and there is plenty of what us Norma Jean fans have come to expect.
There are some really good riffs and melodic break downs it's nice that they don't give into the trend of having melodic melodies on top of a mixture of screaming and singing. This is all heavy and any soft moments are down right creepy and that should keep the tweens far away from this scene. They have abandoned the repeating drone they did on Martyr so there is less repetition and this makes the songs a bit more tighter.
Love the new singer, love the evolution of their sound, and I love this new album. I was not dissapointed and I give them alot of credit for moving past the hype and giving us something worth listening too. I don't hand out 4 stars to just any album but this is a 4 star record, no doubt about it.
on June 1, 2006
When I first listened to "Bless the Martyr, Kiss the Child", the eloquent makeup of brutally efficient hardcore by Norma Jean, I never thought that they could make an album that could come close to matching the shear superiority of the album. I was wrong, and I'll tell you why; not because "O' God..." necessarily matches up, but because the two are literally uncomparable.
When Josh (Lead Vocalist) left the band, he also left the traditional sound that made Norma Jean special as well, and brought it to his newest project, The Chariot. Then, after brief vocal hiatus, Cory joined the band as the lead vocalist, and he, like Josh, brought an innovative sound with him. So comes the the brilliantly simple but never outdated cliche, with every death there is rebirth. And to further prove my mondane use of this cliche, Norma Jean was "reborn", and they proved it on their sophomore album "O' God..."
The album itself, a priceless commodity of artistic sound, brings such an energy, vigor, and individuality that the world of Hardcore music lacks today. The album hits hard immediately with #1 "Murderotica", a passionate, short and sweet (1:58) collection of bliss. Cory yells "Our knives say 'We're making way for this, the ending'", it takes a lot not to jump out of your chair and start beating up air vivaciously.
#3 "Bayonetwork" is the single of the album, and is one of only three songs on the CD with actual singing vocals on it. A rough melody as Cory sings "This is between me and this blade and my heart". The guitars, a heavy crunch in a tuning called "A Minor" which is unheard of to many, but makes the sound of the guitars that much more different from other hardcore acts.
The best song on the album has to be #8 "Absentimental", a comprised use of fast paced metal mixed with the traditional use of breakdown previously demonstrated in "Bless the Martyr, Kiss the Child". I listen to this song whenever I either need to get pumped up for the day, or I'm really pissed off about something; it's therapy I promise, try it.
I recommend this album to anyone who is smart enough to know what pure art is, because that's what "O' God the Aftermath" is, pure art. Lyrically superior, heavy as a Sumo Wrestler, brilliantly passionate, and blissfully heartfelt in their intentions; Norma Jean did not go wrong when they made this album. They have become an inspiration to me and many others, displaying that a belief in something beyond ourselves does not prevent us from writing heavy music.
So go, buy this album, blast it to the max, and live the dream...
on December 11, 2005
Bless The Martyr was a milestone in the Christian hardcore music scene, and it holds a special place in my heart. The chaotic nature of the music reminded me of the music of my late cousin - unschooled raw emotion. It was raw, chaotic, experimental, which earned it a place in the genre of chaoscore. O God, The Aftermath seems to me to be a logical progression (or should I say digression?) It is still raw (though obviously produced differently from the first album), chaotic to the extreme, and experimental (just listen to Vertebraille and Pretendeavor). For the purists, Josh Scogin is NOT Norma Jean - Norma Jean is a band made of of Christian musos which over time has and will continue to evolve, which may involve line-up changes. Van Halen were no less Van Halen just because David Lee Roth left and Sammy took over. And Metallica is still Metallica, even though Cliff Burton is no longer with them (God Bless his soul) or because they have deviated from their neo-classical roots. Norma Jean is the real deal, and this release is as good as it gets! They ARE chaoscore, and have given me an appreciation for a genre that pushes the extremes, and teaches us that there can be and is order in chaos. This is a comforting thought in today's seemingly senseless world.
on December 24, 2005
The first time I listened to this album I almost threw it out because it was so DIFFERENT from Kiss the Martyr. I didnt listen to it for awhile, but eventually I started to listen to it and I noticed how good it really it really was. I think people who buy it should listen to it fully through the first time. Every song is amazing on this cd its just different. The guitar riffs are still amazing just in a different way than Kiss the Martyr...Whoever said this album is garbage should take a close listen. Yes the new singer is nowhere as good as Josh was, he really doesnt have any range but he is still good without it. The music matters more to me than the singer tho and the music is amazing but it differs from Bless the Martyr because it is much more repetitive, but Ive learned to like repetitive music much like A Life Once Lost. All in All an amazing album you just gotta break it in.
on December 30, 2006
When I first spun this CD in my car stereo the thing that immediately jumped into my mind is that this CD sounded more like Botch than anything I'd ever heard besides Botch. This isnt necessarily a bad thing though, I liked Botch a lot and this is a great CD nonetheless. O' God the Aftermath isnt as noisy as Norma Jean's past CD's and certainly nowhere near as noisy as Josh Scogins new band the Chariot, but still contains enough mathy riffs to satisfy any fan of your standard mathcore bands (Dillinger, Coalesce, Botch, ETID, etc) Overall definitely worth a listen.
on October 29, 2005
I knew this was going to be a tough one to review when I first got a hold of it. "Bless The Martyr, Kiss The Child" was one of the most innovative and outstanding hardcore records of its time. Following anything of that magnitude would be hard for any band. The fact that Josh Scogin departed the band after its release made the task no easier. However with "O God The Aftermath", Norma Jean have done their best to follow up their last masterpiece. In some places the band have expanded their sound greatly, and in some places you can tell the obvious difference that the absence Josh has hurt the band. However "O God The Aftermath" is still a record that, despite its flaws, will pummel you just as the debut did, as long as you give it the chance it deserves. "Bless The Martyr..." was a difficult record to follow, and I commend these guys for delivering a good album like this, even in the wake of speculation and controversy.
A lot of people believe that Norma Jean should have changed their name after Josh left and Corey Took his place. I'm kind of on the fence about that, because I still want to hear the old NJ songs when I see them live. However having Corey front the band gives Norma Jean a completely different sound. Corey's vocals are a little more rough than Josh's, and at times can get a little redundant. In about three places on the record ("Bayonetwork", "Liarsenic" and "Pretendeavor") he slips into a slight melodic tone, which I actually don't mind; it's a welcomed change from his screaming. However don't think this record is full of whiny emo choruses or anything, that's not the case. The band continues to prove they can write some of the heaviest tunes around in songs like "Vertebraille" and "Dilemmachine". Also as another reviewer pointed out, it is worthy of noting that the record gets decidingly stronger as it gets toward the end, which is the opposite of the way the last cd was. There's a lot less breakdowns on this one, which is kind of a disappointment, but when they do throw out one on tracks like "Pretendeavor" and "Dilemmachine", they definitely make it count. Also the pace of the tracks is done very well. If songs don't need to be carried out, they aren't. "Murderotica" and "Dilemmachine" are short frantic bursts, which are evenly matched out with longer pieces like "Disconnecktie" and "Scientifiction". The biggest thing fans must understand about this album however is that comparing it to "Bless The Martyr, Kiss The Child" is pointless; they're just too different. However I think both present an enjoyable listen, even with the last being slightly better.
I give Norma Jean a lot of credit for this one. This could have easily been one of the biggest flops of 2005. However "O God The Aftermath" is Norma Jean doing what they know best, and that's making wonderfully heavy music. If you look past the slight vocal problems, and the different feel this record gives off, there's a lot to like about this one. If you liked "Bless The Martyr, Kiss The Child", then there's no reason not to check this one out. Just don't expect the same thing you got last time. If you're looking for something more along the lines of the last record, then Josh Scoggin's new band The Chariot is also a worthy recommendation. However "O God The Aftermath" is still something that you should at least give a listen to before writing off. It will definitely provide you will a great listen. Don't let the "aftermath" of Josh's departure, stop you from hearing this one.
on August 21, 2005
Ok, I'm a HUGE hardcore fan. I never really liked metal at all, or even metalcore. I have heard Norma Jean being called metalcore by most. That drove me away from this album. After a while i decided: **** it. I'm gonna buy their new cd and see what this is all about.
After a long listen to this CD, I concluded that this is definately not hardcore, but something more.
Norma Jean brings a varied assortment to the table. While it's a lot like Bless the martyr, this CD also manages to branch out with the new singer. (I think he's as good as the last one)
The guitars are definately technical, if anything. NJ has a cool way of making the guitars sound chaotic and unorganized, when they really are very technical and organized at heart.
If you don't know what I mean that's ok...it takes some explaining.
The singing is IMO very good. The guy clearly has a very powerful scream and the few lines of melody he emits manage to be good too. The only thing wrong with the vocals is that in some parts it gets repetitive. EX: A guy screaming the same two words 30 times in a row for 20 seconds does get old after a bit. But this isn't really a major flaw.
As far as drums go this CD is average. Nothing to write home about. If you want to hear some real drumming go listen to Mastodon or something.
This cd manages to keep up the same heavy,fast, and random pace for most of the cd which is good. Even the couple of slower songs are great.
So basicly, go to best buy and buy this. It's got good guitars, good screaming, and it's very chaotic and random.
I love it.
on November 30, 2005
I love music,all kinds ;and i can be quite picky and hold a rather high standard when it comes to bands.
On many an occasion, ive fallen into ignorance , now and then, and have "hated" on certain music or bands. Once you listen to different kinds of metal and different kinds of bands, one can find themselves thinking their taste and choice of performers are superior to all else. Even to the point where one trys to hide and keep certain bands/music a secret, so that "all the shallow clones of the world wont ruin our music "
God forbid some "preppy" chick or "poser" pick up and start listening to "our" music... After all, its "our" music, and we dont want it contaminated by these shallow 'mainstreamers'.
All of that, of course, is just as shallow as the alledged "poser" out there trying to "steal" "our" music.
The point here is that i come from that kind of thinking, and i try to combate that kind of ignorance and immaturity, and sometimes even force myself to give certain music and bands, an honest try.
And Norma Jean could fall into the catagory of hated-on bands that would be typically insulted and frowned upon from those of us with a more "superior" taste in music.
But, me listening to Norma Jean is another exercise in open mindedness and honesty.
You see, just two nights ago, i saw them perform at the Norva, and it was a fun experience. They are a fun band with potential and a good spirit about them i think.
You might be dozing off right about now, prolly wondering why the hell i took so long to give my opinion on the band.
And my view is that they are a lot of fun to watch live and they sound pretty heavy. On the border of metal music and something else.... call it screamo/hardcore or whatever.
A convient term for this kinda sound is "metal-core"...or whatever... like it really matters what its labeled.
And another thing... if you saw how these guys dressed , if you were judgmental ( like how i am A LOT ) you might think these guys are emo boys or something like that...or "fags" , whichever.
I used to judge things based on looks a lot ( still do, unfortunatly) ... if its a metal band of any kind, they must have long hair and not wear any of the latest fashions. They all must look like European metal bands like Children Of Bodom or Blind Guardian or Rhapsody.
What? Is music about what we wear or how are hair style is? Is metal about that ? If you have short hair, does that mean you cant play as skilled as Alexi Laiho or Yngwie Malmsteen?
Yes, the long locks of a musician can be the mark of a dedication and talent...but it doesnt 100% equate skill, dedication or talent.
So, regardless of how Norma Jean dresses ( tight jeans/shirts and emo hair cuts apparently), which isnt really even an issue that stands out at all ( and who really cares anyway )
They are just being themselves i think... you still play heavy music and dress how you want. Why be a slave to some rule on how to dress or look.... isnt that , in it self, shallow?
Of course it is.
And ya, you might not agree with what ive typed out here, and i know that. But im just being honest, or atleast trying to be.
I dont want to be ignorant about music anymore, i love the art too much to remain in immaturity like that. I still have problems, but ive gotten better, and im allways pushing myself to try and understand why someone is into what they are into and why are they so crazy about a kind of music.
Dont be mistaken though, i still have an objective outlook on music. If someone can't play a guitar, they cant play. If someone cant sing, they cant sing. The eternal laws of melody and harmony are here forever. A guitar thats out of tune, will never be in-tune ( unless of course, you tune it )
Anyways... this cd is pretty chaotic, i bought it becouse i had a real fun time watching Norma Jean live, i was in the front row and actually got to hold up the lead singer as he steped over onto the top of the small baricade fence thing (devideing us from the stage) It was a real cool experience. They are still on tour with AS I LAY DYING ( norma jean is one of the opening bands for As I Lay Dying, its their first ever headlineing tour )
If you saw Norma Jean live and had a fun kick ass time watching them, then definatly pick this cd up. If you get a head ache easily, then im not sure about buying it, maybe download it online or something. Save your money for something less chaotic.
And the word chaotic DOES NOT sum up Norma Jean's sound. They have potential and they dont sound bad. Its noted that the cd has influences from Pantara to TOOL.
Also, the producer behind the band MASTADON, put the album together. So if that means anything to you, give it a try.
And one of the big thing thats good about this band, is there spirit. Its not all doom and gloom, even though your ears might decieve you. You really have to see deeper.
Theres more that meets the ear ;)
ok, ttyl , hoped you enjoyed reading or got something out of all this.
on September 15, 2005
alright well i didnt like this cd too much when it first came out. i was listening to it the other day and realized how good it really is. it makes me wanna slam my face on a concrete sidewalk when coffinspire comes on. damn good cd although id probably recommend their older cd, bless the martyr..., before this one.
on July 23, 2005
I became an absolutely HUGE Norma Jean fan after hearing "Bless The Martyr & Kiss The Child" and am proud to say that I have lost my hearing for a few days from seeing them live in Rock City, USA :> Sadly, after hearing that their lead-singer had parted ways with the group, I knew things would be different the next time around, and that's exactly what's happened here with "O God, The Aftermath".
I think the first 2-3 listens for me were a major disappointment simply because the music wasn't as constantly chaotic as BTM and the incorporation of singing into the album just seemed wrong. However, I came to a realization that the path that Norma Jean took with this release was probably the wisest that they could do in order to keep their reputation as a group. BTM was simply an absolute CLASSIC hardcore release which has and will continue to influence many an up-and-coming band in the genre. Knowing this, I believe the band was wise in not trying to duplicate that same sound but branch off into something new and slightly different instead. Could you imagine hearing Norma Jean, new singer and all, try to take BTM one-step further and catastrophically missing the mark? If you ask me, they made the right decision to take a new route musically. Yeah, gone are the insanely high-pitched screams and strangely well-timed feedback effects, but keep listening from an objective standpoint, and the album really does stand up to a critical ear.
The best comparison I can think of to describe this transition is actually from NJ's former label-mates Living Sacrifice as they went from 1997's "Reborn" (possibly my favorite album ever) to "The Hammering Proccess" with their next effort. Seriously, give the album a legitimate shot, and you won't be disappointed.