O God, The Aftermath Review

artist: Norma Jean date: 01/05/2006 category: compact discs
Norma Jean: O God, The Aftermath
Released: Mar 1, 2005
Genre: Rock
Styles: Heavy Metal, Post-Hardcore
Number Of Tracks: 11
With O God, The Aftermath, it's clear Norma Jean has entwined its faith so tightly around its amplifiers that there's no separating the two without destruction of one.
 Sound: 7.5
 Lyrics: 7.8
 Overall Impression: 7.2
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (6) 6 comments vote for this album:
overall: 6
O God, The Aftermath Reviewed by: UG Team, on april 15, 2005
4 of 6 people found this review helpful

Sound: Atlanta-based band Luti-Kriss was formed in Douglasville in 1997. In the early '00s they've released two CDs -- five tracks EP and full-length album "Throwing Myself" -- after that they've changed their name to Norma Jean (it has nothing to do with '70s-'80s disco diva) because of the fact that some people were confusing the band with another Atlanta-based artist rapper Ludacris. In 2002 the band has released debute "Bless The Martyr And Kiss The Child," the band's heaviest and most brutal effort to date. On "Bless" the guys had step aside from Luti-Kriss' rap-metal approach and become even more heavier. The aforementioned change is the achievements of Norma Jean's new singer Cory Brandan -- he has replaced the ex-vocalist Josh Scrogin -- and his shout singing manner. During their more than two years long tour, the band has wrote enough material to release their sophomore "O God, The Aftermath." So, it's time to deep into new record and decide what's so special about the band that is usually described as a christian equivalent of Korn, Rage Against The Machine and Limp Bizkit? First off, I was very surprised with CD's artwork -- it's the most conceptual thing I've seen in the past time... and absolutely unsuitable to its content. I've never heard this band before so I didn't know what to expect from them, so my second surprise came straight after I pushed "play" button. For a listener that is unfamiliar with the most brutal style of metal music (my case!), the album might give an impression of absolutely mad, discordant and repulsive music cacophony. It is really take some time to get used to it. For those who's already been devoted to Norma Jean creative work, "O God, The Aftermath" obviously is a pleasant listening, though it's much heavier and aggressive than anything else! Musically this album can be described and leaded into the next general conception, which has two sides -- all tracks sound similar (first one) and lack of any musical construction (another one). There are no customary intros, verses, choruses -- it's just a set of raging, shrieking, growling guitars and drums' madness mixed up with screaming vocals. Though 7th track "Disconnecktie" features ten-minutes long opus performed in the best traditions of alternative metal and might be considered as outstanding track on the album. Being located in the middle of the songlist it's kind of tranquil pause between chaotic first half and not less chaotic last half of "O God, The Aftermath." In a word, this album isn't deprived of its own peculiar lure... // 4

Lyrics: The Christian stylistics of Norma Jean with no doubt leaves a mark on the lyrical side of the band's creation. Unlike many other acts of this genre, lyrics of Norma Jean doesn't distinguish with a lot of God-contained or God-towards themes. For the most part lyrics on the album are all open to your own interpretation, as well as song titles -- it involves difficulties in their perusal and then in their comprehension. I wouldn't say that the lyrical content of "O God, The Aftermath" is totally nonsensical and the same chaotic as the music arrangement, but I almost sure that thru the first listening you will not get their message. Having got the new vocalist, Norma Jean also went away from rap-metal dominance towards fierce, barely intelligible screaming/snarling. So in that point of view we had a chance to see new face of the band. // 8

Overall Impression: In the upshot, it becomes clear that with "O God, The Aftermath" Norma Jean made a huge step towards non-ordinary, more obscure and hardcore cliched music. After 47 minutes of listening to this album you're still thinking: "Oh! Wtf?!" Some people will never listen to this CD again because of the fact that they were scared out with the music, other will consider Norma Jean's work as uncommon music and "O God, The Aftermath" will occupy a good place in their CD collection. This is a worthy product for any true metalcore fan but not for everyone. // 6

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overall: 9.7
O God, The Aftermath Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 20, 2005
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Ok, 1st off, this album even before the creation of it, was said by the band not to sound anything like their former debut (as the band Norma Jean) "Bless The Martyr, Kiss The Child," whoes sound is unique to listeners who are just getting into the band, and even hardcore veterans. The guitarist of Norma Jean (I believe his name is Scott) said prior to the making of "O God, The Aftermath" that they were looking for a completely different sound thats more technical than "Bless The Martyr." With that said, "O God" is much different than "Bless The Martyr," not only intrumentally, but as most know, vocally as well with their new singer Cory. Personally, Josh Scogin (former vocalist) is my favorite vocalist in hardcore right now (not only cause of his voice, but also his stage show), but the Cory guy is still ok. If one were to categorize this particular sound, it would be under mathcore, dealing with complex time signatures and at times dramatic dynamic changes. This album mainly deals with what some would consider "insane" time signatures with several 13s, and 15s (only music theory guys know what I'm talking about there). Overall the sound is extremely different for Norma Jean, but not so much so considering its Norma Jean's second album, although its still different. Personally I love it, but since it shows the inconsitency in the song writing process I am forced to give it two grades, of which one I will put down. Compared to old NJ, I give it a 6/10, but for this CD as a whole, I give it. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are also a change from the old NJ. Josh Scogin (not scrogin) has a very unique writing style, which is one of the other reasons hes my favorite. The new guy is good, but in his own way. I think though, that there are times were he attempts to force in anti-Bush which is extremely hypocritical considering there a Christian band (not saying all Pxians are conservative, but for the most part). Otherwise there pretty damn good, my favorite song lyrics being number 2, 6, 9, and 11 (not gonna go through naming them). // 9

Overall Impression: For bands right now, and albums recently released, this is among my favorite. I got into the band over the summer with "Bless The Martyr," so this was kinda different for me, but I still loved it. So many people are going out saying, o well it sucks 'cause it doesn't sound like there old stuff, which I can totally compare with, but to tell you the truth behind Throwdown's "You Don't Have To Be Blood..." and "Bless The Martyr," this might very well be one of my favorite albums, ofcourse not comparing to the old NJ. I just think of them as a new band, and the "Bless The Martyr" chapter is closed, and possibly re-opened elsewhere in the Chariot (Josh Scogins new band, check em out). // 10

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overall: 10
O God, The Aftermath Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 22, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: After listening to the this record once through all I can say is pure genius. This CD is full of feedback and screaming and amazingly enough some singing. Norma Jean are such a chaotic bands it is amazing. I'm amazied by the favt that hey can turn such chaos into amazing music. // 10

Lyrics: Norma Jean are a christian band so when I first heard this I though all the songs were gonna be about god and how he is our savior but I was surprised with the fact that they only mentioned god or something related to it in a couple of the songs. But some of the lyrics are pretty cool for example from the song Bayonetwork "this is between me and this blade, and my heart" these are kind of typical metlacore lyrics but thats why I love metlacore. // 10

Overall Impression: I'd have to say that Bayonetwork, Diskonecktie, Murderotica, and Coffinspyre. But honestly all of these songs are amazing to me. I can't think of anything to hate about this album except mabye it's not long enough even with a ten minute song. But I love everything about this cd it blows my mind away. If I were to have this CD stolen I would bye it within a heatbeat and if I didn't have any money I would sell myself to buy it. // 10

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overall: 6.7
O God, The Aftermath Reviewed by: watchmannee, on april 16, 2005
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: O God, The Aftermath, is somewhat a departure from "Bless The Martyr Kiss the Child" - Norma Jean's previous release. Along with the edition of singer/screamer Cory Brandan, Norma Jean has beefed up their musical structure as well. Although you can still hear the the stereotypical dissonant "hardcore chords" splattered throughout the tracks, it sounds like Norma Jean made a conscious effort to take their sound to a heavier level. As far as gear goes, they recorded the record in Litho Studios in Seattle and used MesaBoogie triple rectifiers with Randell Warhead cabinets. For axes they stuck to Fernandes Vertigos, except on "Disconnecktie" were Scottie used a Fender Jazzmaster for the clean breakdown. The riffs on this record seem to be much denser than before, however to the trained guitar player it seems that either Scottie Henry and Chris Day (the bands guitar players) didn't have the ability to write more challenging riffs or were to lazy to do so. I love Norma Jean, their live act is wonderful, and you won't meet any other guys who are as dedicated and caring; but as far as sound goes on this disc it seemed like for all the aggressive territory they want to explore, they went half way through the adventure and turned around. They started to press into some new territory but they soon got uncomfortable and went back to familiar territory. As I mentioned before I love Norma Jean, so I'm going to be a little biased here and go ahead and give them a 4, however on their next attempt in the studio I hope to hear some playing that will knock my socks off. // 8

Lyrics: "Stay back, turmoil is across-the-board it is making way for..." - that line is out of "Murderotica" the first track of of O God. The lyrics are fairly typical of a emocore/metalcore band, dark and up for interpritaion. On "Dilemmachine: Coalition Hoax" they take a jab at the current administration and they're malevolent endeavors. This is fine but, first of Norma Jean (if you didn't know already) are Christians from the Bible Belt of Georgia (a red state), and they don't really have the teeth to back up their bark (if they are condeming President Bush to hell i.e. "Coffinspire"). This seems to be a common theme throughout O God, they want to be daring and controversial (to a degree) but they dont want to go all the way. As far as lyrics compling to the music, its pretty much a perfect match. Cory's screams/growls are effective in convying whatever emotion he's going for. On the lyrics I'm not going to be so lenient, I'm going to have to give the lyrics and singing a 3. // 6

Overall Impression: If you are a new listener to Norma Jean than I recomened that you go out and buy "Bless the Martyr" first. One thing that Norma Jean has going for them, is that they have a presence about them that no other metalcore band can touch and they convey it through their recordings and music. However Norma Jean is a better band than this recording shows. It seems like they got lost somewhere between Pantera and Dillinger Escape Plan, they were almost there. If I ever lost this album I would probably go out and buy another one just because I'm a big fan, but for the casual listener it will take a couple of listens to get used to, and even then you might have some trouble. I wish they had half stars becuase I would give this one a 3 and a half, but they don't so I'm going to have to go with a 3. Sorry boys, I love you, but better luck next time. I.e. if you want to look into some good harder records, check out: "Calculating Infinity" by Dillinger Escape Plan, and "Me Before You" by Poison The Well. // 6

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overall: 5.3
O God, The Aftermath Reviewed by: llama_slap, on november 21, 2005
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The music is freaking awesome. It isn't typical metal, but I love how they play deep things then go to a high pitched noise real quick. The addition of the new singer was a downgrade though, he is nowhere near as talented as a lot of metal singers out there. And if you bought "Bless The Martyr..." you know how you couldn't understand a word that singer was saying? Well, you still can't, but at least the lyrics are in the book this time. The book is awesome also. // 5

Lyrics: The lyrics are good. And even though Norma Jean are considered Christian metal or whatever, they don't sing about religion and god that much (which is very good, that stuff gets annoying). They push their lyrics to the limit without going into something like "I wanna f--ing stab you!" like a lot of metal bands do. Lyrics flow pretty good with the music. Once again, the new singer sucks. // 7

Overall Impression: Compared to their last album, this is iffy. It's hard to like a lot of the songs when you don't like the singer, but I personally like "Bayonetwork" and a couple others, and that's it. If you like music that is different than anything you have heard before, than download these songs and listen to the guitars, don't buy it. I can't say anything about if it were stolen or lost, because I just sold this CD to my friend because I knew I would probably listen to it maybe once more in my lifetime. Buy "Bless The Martyr And Kiss The Child" instead if you want a Norma Jean CD. It is much better. // 4

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overall: 7.3
O God, The Aftermath Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 05, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: When I first turned on the cd, I was scared. Not because of how aggressive the music seemed to be, I was scared that I bought the wrong cd, which I eventually discovered that I did. But, no matter, because Norma Jean's music turned out to be very well put together. The guitar style and tone is typical for Norma Jean's genre, but it all sounds very well produced. The guitar tone sounds great. The bass sounds great as well, and the drums don't override the music with double-bass pedal, which is great in my opinion. The music is generally fast, and once it begins, relentlessly pounds throughout the song. Only on track 7, "Disconnecktie" does Norma Jean show a little bit of peacefulness, but directly after the track is over, the music goes straight back into overdrive aggression. There aren't any solos, but I wasn't really expecting any. // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics are pretty good, especially in a genre that seems to be out-of-touch when it comes to good lyrics. However, the singer barely stops yelling. There are only a few spots on the album that are just music, most of it is covered up by the vocalists screaming. This is a bad thing, especially since for one, it can get annoying, and for two, Norma Jean has a great music thing going on. Some of the vocals hint at trying to be catchy, but fail (except track 10 "Pretendeavor"). The only hooks on this album are music melodies. // 7

Overall Impression: Overall, this album is good. It's not amazing, but it's definitely better than most of the other stuff out there. If I lost this album, I would not buy it again. I would have probably been a little bit more impressed if I listened to more things in Norma Jean's genre. The music is great, the singing is okay. Next effort, the band should really considering taking the microphone away for a while, to let their true potential shine. // 7

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