F U L L . R E V I E W S


Norma Jean - Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child - reviewed by: AFS

Track Listing1. The Entire World is Counting on Me, and They Donít Even Know It
2. Face:Face
3. Memphis Will be Laid to Waste
4. Creating Something out of Nothing, Only to Destroy It
5. Pretty Soon, I Donít Know What, but Something is Going to Happen
6. The Shotgun Message
7. Sometimes itís Our Mistakes that Make for the Greatest Ideas
8. I Used to Hate Cell Phones, but Now I Hate Car Accidents
9. It Was as if the Dead Man Stood Upon the Air
10. The Human Face, Divine
11. Organized Beyond Recognition
Norma Jean is a band of change. The name of the band has changed, as did their record label. Being a fan of their debut album on Tooth & Nail when they were still called Luti-Kriss, I decided to pick up a copy of the bandís latest release Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child, on Solid State. When I finally sat down and listened, I realized I had gotten one of most innovative metal albums to be released in the past couple of years.

If you heard Luti-Kriss, youíd think this album would be a hardcore album in the vein of Poison the Well or Eighteen Visions. But with the name change, came a style change, as the band seems to have adopted a more metalcore sound.

Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child is insane. Every musician seems to have a different musical idea and they all seem to fall in together perfectly. The opening track, "The Entire World is Counting on Me, and They Donít Even Know It", is a 3-minute train wreck, constantly stopping and going again. But it grabs your attention, and really doesnít let you go until the end of the album.

Songs like "Memphis Will be Laid to Waste", with its haunting guitars, and "Creating Something out of Nothing, Only to Destroy It", with its crushing breakdowns and insane drumming, make this album an instant favorite. The track "Pretty Soon, I Donít Know What, but Something is Going to Happen", is a 15-minute experience that is of the coolest things Iíve heard in quite a while. Definitely worth the listen.

Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child is an album for the fans of bands like Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge. Yes, this is still hardcore, but youíll be so caught up in whatís going on, that you wonít really realize it. The vocals arenít gutteral, but they are still sick. The guitars arenít flashy, but they play some of the craziest shit Iíve heard. And the drums are flat out incredible. Well worth the money.

Rating: 9 out of 10

The Arbitrary Fetus Smasher


--AFS 03.19.03
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: NORMA JEAN
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Bless the Martyr and Kiss the ChildNorma Jean
2002
AFS3/19/2003


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