The Anti Mother review by Norma Jean

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  • Released: Aug 5, 2008
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.2 (58 votes)
Norma Jean: The Anti Mother
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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.

26 comments sorted by best / new / date

    undeaded
    So... Norma Jean have joined the bandwagon of metalcore after being a Dillinger Escape Plan rip-off band? Meh.
    Eternium
    If you do consider Norma Jean metalcore, they are definitely one of the better ones out there.. even though they still have those breakdowns, there's just something different about them. I'm kinda surprised the Chino helped out, Deftones being one of my favorite bands.
    yokosaki39
    I think wen that guy said they were a DEP rip-off, he was talking about the math core element that they USED to have on Bless the Martyr
    Wizard_of_Aus
    seriously, get a grip. how can you get a subjective review from someone who is in love with a band? this guy's an outsider to the scene and wrote an unbiased review of what everyone thinks is a good album. if it's not master of puppets/vulgar display of power/Led zep two, it shouldn't get above an 8 and a half. good review man. kinda makes me wanna listen to norma jean, when i'd normally rather gargle dog shit.
    PDMChubby
    aildkid wrote: jumping jesus on a pogo stick its music eventually its gonna sound like someone else's song you hear a riff or a beat or a melody and expand on it in your own way you make it yours thats what NJ has done from day one even back in the luti days hey bacon stop hate'n and enjoy the ****ing music
    Except that Norma Jean actually had the intention of sounding like Botch's WATR on OGTA, even hiring the same producer. They meant to rip off Botch, which I don't really have a problem with. Album's not their best work at all, and I'm pretty disappointed in them.
    kornball82490
    this album is my personal favorite Norma Jean album. i found all the classic Norma Jean we love plus that melodic touch mentioned in the review. great album, easily a 10 across the board for me
    aildkid
    jumping jesus on a pogo stick its music eventually its gonna sound like someone else's song you hear a riff or a beat or a melody and expand on it in your own way you make it yours thats what NJ has done from day one even back in the luti days hey bacon stop hate'n and enjoy the ****ing music
    THEAK47
    jesus h christ if you don't like this kind of music then why not let someone else handle the review? A very solid effort by NJ, a step in the right direction from Redeemer IMO
    people_hate_me
    i sure hope nobody takes this review seriously, this guy seems to not even be a norma fan....the album is def their best since o' god, and whoever said norma is a DEP rip off, you should figure out the difference between genres instead of talking smack about something you obviously know nothing about....
    The Spoon
    I really like this album. To the guy saying they were a DEP rip off band....what dillinger escape plan are you listening to?
    VersA
    Get a different reviewer. If you don't like screaming, why review CD's that's going to obviously contain it?
    x_basskid_x
    Metalcore? Alright then, cause Norma Jean obviously sound like Killswitch Engage. I'm a big fan of Norma Jean and always found every album progresses which makes them stand out.
    VersA
    Definitely best album put out by The Almighty Norma Jean. Easily stands out from the rest!
    Killer_bacon
    nah norma jeans first 2 albums were metalcore, in its orginal sense (like the way it was back in the late 90's...around the time of botch...and zao...two bands they ripped off) then they made redeemer which i was happy to see they weren't making shitty botch covers, but then now on anti mother they are makeing shitty thrice covers, man if botch got this kind of exposore they would still be doing this today...norma jean is starting to piss me off, the way a trust fund kid does, hasn't done anything wrong but gets all the breaks in life
    mxrblind
    Agree with soho... is not metalcore. Maybe, old Norma Jean fans like Bless the martyr times might be disappointed, but this is Norma Jean music evolution. Sounds more melodic, but also sounds complex and different. Sounds cool to me. Chino rules!! good for Norma Jean
    pyritmann
    cannot wait for my pre-order to come in. i heard the album on myspace and thought it was excellent but not as good as redeemer... redeemer was a genre definer, whatever genre you want to classify these guys as. great band
    soho
    alright to set the record straight, norma jean is NOT METALCORE. there sound used to be defined as Rock/Hardcore/Noisecore/Progressive, and all i can say is this album floored me, its an evolution from redeemer and i was hoping these guys would go back to the o'god the aftermath sound, but this stuff is definately an appreciative change, all i can say is listen to the brilliance of "Robots 3 Humans 0", lyrics, riffage, and the little things that they do, make it amazing
    LedZeppelin
    At least they stopped ripping off Botch, even if now they sound like old Thrice. Decent album from what I've heard of it.
    pul-tse
    alright, lets get it straight metalcore = august burns red, killswitch, and such norma jean does not sound like that, their sound is much deeper, grittier, unrefined but hammered to perfection. i agree with the deftones touch and i am glad for it. i think this is the sound they were trying to reach on redeemer (also amazing). it sounds a great deal more mature than their previous albums. The Anti Mother is amazing. plain and simple. 10 out of 10 for me.
    lastlife43
    sorry mate, not the best review, since your not into metalcore i guess you still gave it a non-bias and average rating.
    TTr*
    horrible review, great band can't wait to get the album NOT metalcore, open your ears
    Brendan.Clace
    How can you give the lyrics a 7 because you don't like screaming.... and the overall album an 8 because you are not a huge metalcore fan..... holy bad team review batman....
    BuryYourDead
    undeaded wrote: So... Norma Jean have joined the bandwagon of metalcore after being a Dillinger Escape Plan rip-off band? Meh.
    are you ****ing high? dillinger is technical as ****. whens the last time you heard norma jean make tech metal
    SchitzoJoe
    This album is amazing. I honestly think it's the best album from Norma Jean to date.