Sound — 9
This album definitely has a sound all of it's own. Norma Jean had always been described a huge Botch rip-off with all the dissonant technicality that they stole from them back in 1999. Norma Jean's "The Anti-Mother" is a fresh of breath air for the band, and is probably the best Post-hardcore, Mathcore, Christian Metal album released this year. Gone are the Both elements with a more 90's grunge metal sound. This band knows how to get brutally heavy while retaining real emotion, beautiful melodies, and catchy hooks. The guitarists easily find those chords that no one has ever stumbled upon. They still retain some of the Mathy guitar work that Norma Jean had always preformed, but it's more sludgier and less chaotic than on previous albums. I personally don't mind because we have lots of bands that sound like that anyway.
Lyrics — 9
Norma Jean is a christian band, but the lyrics aren't directed specifically to those of the christian faith. They write their songs to appeal to just about everyone. On this record however, the lyrics get personal, Cory Brandon the vocalist specifically. You can really feel the pain and emotion that comes with Cory's lyrics and vocal activities. A couple songs however (Murphy was an optimist, Left of Wrong) have some dumb lyrical content but the songs are executed well. The vocals are Screamed, Yelled, and Sung. Cory really has some pipes, he has some of the best vocals any hardcore singer has ever had. Cory's best performance though is on the song "Robots3 Humans0" were Cory really stretches his voice for some top-noth Trice style vocals. And to top it all off there is guest spots on this record. Def-Tones Chino Morino, and Helmet's Page Hamilton apear on this record. Not only do they sing but they help write the record.
Overall Impression — 10
This is some of Norma Jean's best work. I like Norma Jeans old material, but this really takes the cake. I haven't heard a good record like this in a long time, Norma Jean really steped up their game this time, but I do sort of miss the techy Botch style guitar work, but Cory's vocals make up for that. Check out songs like Robots3 Humans0, Birth of the Anti-mother, Self employed Chemist, Surrender your sons(w/ Chino Morino), and Opposite of Left and Wrong(w/Page Hamilton). If this lost or stolen I would buy it again or kill the S.O.B who stole it.