Sound — 8
Okay, this is a straight up metalcore album. If you're a fan of metalcore, you'll like it; if you aren't then this isn't for you. Interestingly enough, upon the first listen and with no previous information, I could hear elements of n metal work, like the Deftones; incidentally enough, Chino Moreno co-wrote some of the songs on this album. As I was thrown right into the first track, Vipers, Snakes, and Arrows, I could hear the evident minors as expected with metal, and yet the song, as well as the rest of the album, had a certain melodical sense to it that I found to be very interesting. As the album continued, I delved deeper to see past the metalcore face and found out that Norma Jean had indeed, as they wished, created a different sound from the norm, past the expected metalcore I was anticipating. I found myself enjoying the track Surrender Your Sons very much, so much in fact that I went back and heard it twice more. Again, Norma Jean has definitely put a lot of thought into this album in order to break free from the metalcore mold. And this is coming from someone who usually doesn't dive much deeper in metal past Dream Theater. Although I can't see this album as one of the greatest of 2008, it's definitely getting a couple of more plays in iTunes with me.
Lyrics — 7
I'm not a huge fan of screaming; many people like it, but it's just not my bag of chips. Most of the lyrics to me were unintelligible, as lead singer Cory Brandan is screaming not only from his throat but also his gut. However, the band manages to incorporate a couple of slower passages within the music, allowing for pleasant lyrical content, both in the actual lyrics and in the melodical content of the vocal line. Not the best thing I could imagine, but still good nonetheless.
Overall Impression — 8
I have a feeling that if I listened to more metalcore, I would have appreciated this album a little more than what I take it for now. The Anti Mother will definitely find itself lodged in the brains and hearts of metalcore fans, but it's going to have trouble finding an audience past there. I definitely give props to Norma Jean, though, for putting together a good album that will get a decent amount of occasional plays from me.