The Anti Mother Review

artist: Norma Jean date: 08/06/2008 category: compact discs
Norma Jean: The Anti Mother
Release Date: Aug 5, 2008
Label: Solid State Records
Genres: Metalcore
Number Of Tracks: 10
The Anti Mother ultimately boasts the best of both worlds: heavy riffage with manic, tortured shrieking, and aggressive melodies sung with equal parts passion and grit.
 Sound: 8.3
 Lyrics: 7.5
 Overall Impression: 8.8
 Overall rating:
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reviews (4) 53 comments vote for this album:
overall: 7.7
The Anti Mother Featured review by: UG Team, on august 06, 2008
4 of 8 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 8

Lyrics: 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. // 7

Overall Impression: 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. // 8

- Nikhil Deshpande (c) 2008

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overall: 8.3
The Anti Mother Reviewed by: yokosaki39, on august 07, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: So I just got the CD and I have to say I like it, a lot. It really got me back into Norma Jean, after their last two cd's (which were good but not that good to me). Their sound has evolved even more and they sound unique as ever. Roaring dual guitar leads and Cory's vocals give me chills. Recently many bands have been trying to expand their sound and most have failed, but I'd have to say the Anti Mother is a good example of it. Job well done. // 9

Lyrics: My one complaint about the CD. I've always loved Norma Jeans lyrics but on their newest CD they seem a little worn out. Much of it seems very simple and tired. And usually simple lyrics are clever, but not the case here. Decent, fits the riffs and what not, but not their best. // 7

Overall Impression: Overall, I believe this is my favorite CD from Norma Jean besides "Bless The Martyr". I'd have to say my favorite tracks are "Self Employed Chemist", "Birth Of The Anti Mother", "Death Of The Anti Mother", "Surrender Your Sons", "Discipline Your Daughters", and my favorite track from the CD was definaltely "And There Will Be A Swarm Of Hornets". If you're a fan of Norma Jean, get this CD. // 9

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overall: 7.3
The Anti Mother Reviewed by: pyritmann, on august 26, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: One thing that never ceases to amaze me about Norma Jean is how they manage to progress their sound in every album without selling out or writing the same sound twice. That being said, I still believe this Album was a step down from their previous effort Redeemer. Chris Day and Scottie Henry as always were amazing in the guitar parts, bring their unique style of playing up a level in this album. Bass was one thing that I thought really was a bit more lacking in this album. For one thing The tone of Jake's Bass was not as striking and brutal as "Redeemer" and "O'God the Aftermath", it wasn't bad, but after hearing such an amazing bass performance in their last album I was dissapointed not to hear a step up. And last but not least, drums. This was the area I was most concerned with coming into the antimother as this was NJ's first album without the epic presence of their former drummer Dan Davison. Chris Raines had big shoes to fill, and though I think the production and sound of the drums was really lacking, Raines did an excellent job on The Antimother. // 7

Lyrics: Corey Brandon is by far my favorite vocalist in the Metal, Screamo, Metalcore, Mathcore, (call it what you want)scene, and there was many doubters to whether or not he would be able to pull off the clean vocals in more parts than in previous albums. I believe the track Robots 3 Humans 0 was his best vocal performance to date, but some other clean vocals such as Self Employed Chemist were not quite up to par. Corey's screaming is impressive as always and is his best screaming I've heard from him. He is a singer that always is progressing. The Lyrics in this album are amazing also as NJ Flee's from Cliche and writes something similar to a concept album with the whole theme of the album circulating around "the Antimother" which is a representation of everything evil. Most of the songs are directly related to this theme but others such as "robots 3 humans 0" and "murphy was an optimist" are a little bit harder to find the connection in. Another highlight of the album was the guest vocal performances of The Deftones Chino Moreno, Saosin's Cove Reber, and Helmet's Page Hamilton. Moreno and Reber were an excellent mix with Corey's voice, however I honestly though Page Hamiltons performance was hard to listen to on Opposite of Left and Wrong. The song itself was excellent but Hamiltons vocals just were not all there. // 7

Overall Impression: A very interesting album to say the least, kept me guessing all the way. Me being a long-time fan of NJ, this album took me off guard a little bit at first as it was extremely different from their albums before, but it is a very unique, truly facinating album. It will never be a classic or top any charts, but a strong album none the less. The best tracks were Robots 3 Humans 0, which was incredible and shows that corey really can sing as well as scream. Opening track Vipers, Snakes, and Actors takes us back in time a little bit with just a straight up brutal song and a great way to start the album. Great album. // 8

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overall: 9.3
The Anti Mother Reviewed by: plague_runner, on december 22, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 9

Lyrics: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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