Norma Jean – Meridional

Reviewed: February 2011
Released: 2010, Razor and Tie Records
Rating: 2.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Christian metalcore merchants Norma Jean have been plying their trade since the heyday of the genre; getting started back in 1997 and releasing several albums to large success (this album debuted at #45 in the U.S. last year). The band has had a number of member changes over the years, especially on the vocalist front where Cory Brandon is the band’s third singer since their inception, but they’ve persevered and continue to find success to this day. Then again, it’s not like a metalcore band changing vocalists is up there on par with storied front man changes like we’ve seen in Van Halen or Iron Maiden, so take that for what it’s worth.

Anyway, Norma Jean play some of the most faceless music ever, which pretty much goes hand in hand with being a metalcore band these days. Since they’ve been around since the beginnings of the genre, you can’t knock them for jumping on the bandwagon, but you sure as hell can kick them for bringing nothing to the table to differentiate themselves from the pack. Yeah, they’re Christian, but it’s not like you can tell from the music. MERIDIONAL is packed full of dull riffs and uninspired vocals making this one of the most boring albums I’ve heard in a while. If you like metalcore, there’s technically nothing wrong with it, but there’s nothing to distinguish it either. These guys obviously have their fans, but I can’t imagine why…feel free to take a pass on this one.


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Track Listing:
1) Leaderless and Self Enlisted
2) The Anthem of the Angry Brides
3) Deathbed Atheist
4) Bastardizer
5) A Media Friendly Turn For the Worse
6) Septentrional
7) Blood Burner
8) High Noise Low Output
9) Falling from the Sky: Day Seven
10) Everlasting Tapeworm
11) Occidental
12) The People that Surround You on a Regular Basis
13) Innocent Bystanders United

Cory Brandon: Vocals, Guitar
Chris Day: Guitar
Scottie Henry: Guitar
Jake Schultz: Bass
Chris Raines: Drums