Sound — 9
Formerly known as Luti-Kriss, Norma Jean explodes with their first CD. This shows just how much talent these boys had. A large part of it didn't go to the music, but to the singer, which I'll get to in a minute. Either way, you get this CD, and you have one rare jewel. These guys are very talented at what they do, which is constantly beat you over the head with some real hardcore music. They make some of this stuff sound really eerie, like "Memphis Will Be Laid Waste", with slower guitars in the middle and spooky moans. Let me lay it straight. They are the hardness I've been craving for in some hardcore music. So many bands sound generic, but these guys have a really sharp edge. The songs do sound alike, but it's fine because they all sound really good.
Lyrics — 10
Josh Scogin. This dude could be the best screamer I have ever heard. He just scratches that itch in your ears to hear a seriously gruff scream. It works with all of the songs and is just a fantastic voice. He's very versatile. He can go from a screech to a growl to a long, throaty scream. It's truly a shame that he's no longer making music with Norma Jean. He seemed to write a lot about how the world is fighting each other, but that it's not necessary. There are other great songs in there about redemption through Christ and the such, but people are more likely going to look at the words just so they can screech along with him.
Overall Impression — 10
It would be a lie to say that this is my favorite hardcore CD I own, but it is easily the runner up. Despite a slightly repetitive sound, this album has no flaws. There are one or two black sheep songs that almost every CD is going to have, but everything else just has you really caught up in the rockin'. Once you start, this CD doesn't let you catch your breath, and when you get a chance to, you won't be ready for the next headbashing. This is a truly impressive album, and I would get again if lost in a heartbeat.