Album Review
Norma Jean - Meridional Album Cover

Norma Jean - Meridional

Reviewed by
Norma JeanMeridional
Release Date: July 13, 2010
Record Label: Razor & Tie
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
If the Anti Mother sessions with Deftones’ Chino Moreno and Helmet’s Page Hamilton taught Norma Jean anything, it was definitely to think bigger. While 2008’s The Anti Mother was mixed among fans and critics, it definitely set the stage for Norma Jean’s latest wrecking ball, Meridional. Norma Jean has always been one step ahead with their brand of heavy music, never dumbing it down for the masses, and Meridional is no exception. By taking the aggression of O God The Aftermath, the melodies that littered Redeemer, and the experimental approach of The Anti Mother, the band has created their heaviest, loosest, and most progressive album yet.

Meridional begins with “Leaderless and Self Enlisted,” and while it has all the classic Norma Jean elements – ripping guitar chords and Cory Brandan’s massive howl – it still sounds fresh, but the musicianship is just tighter and heavier. Really, the Douglasville, Georgia, quintet pours on the heavy like a southerner pours on the hot sauce. “The Anthem of The Angry Brides” is may be the heaviest song in the band’s canon, as it’s a two and half minute burst of pure disjointed mathcore. The floggings continue with the punishing “Bastardizer,” as the track is buoyed by breakdown after breakdown, courtesy of guitarists (and original members) Chris Day and Scottie Henry.

But the album isn’t heavy just for the sake of being heavy. Tracks like “Deathbed Athiest” and “Falling From The Sky: Day Seven” display some technical skills while sludging along with Brandan’s sing-screams. The amped-up “A Media Friendly Turn For The Worse” flows in the vein of The Artist In The Ambulance-era Thrice. All three share one thing in common, however, and that is the fury the band unleashes towards the close of each track.

There are two eerie interludes placed in Meridional, and each one signifies a change in pace. Whether it’s the band making it rain with breakdowns (“Everlasting Tapeworm” and “Blood Burner”) or setting the mood with some ambiance (“Falling From The Sky: Day Seven”), Norma Jean combines old ideas with a new approach to keep itself from rehashing generic metalcore.

Meridional shows Norma Jean at an all-time high of creativity and aggression. The band promised that their fifth album would bring the band back to their roots, and they kept their word. It’s an adrenaline rush that will keep listeners hitting repeat all year long, as Meridional has something for everyone. The powerful moments on this disc (such as “The Anthem of The Angry Brides” and closer “Innocent Bystanders United”) will stick with you, reverberating throughout your neocortex. This is Norma Jean’s magnum opus, as the chaotic, dark nature of Meridional will be matched by very few within the genre.

Additional InformationTrack 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
Produced by: Jeremy Griffith

Norma Jean is:
Cory Brandan – vocals/guitar
Chris Day – guitar
Scottie Henry – guitar
Chris Raines – drums
Jake Schultz – bass

Official Website; Official Myspace; Official AP.net Profile; Official Twitter Account

Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 152
10:29 AM on 07/06/10
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ayerock's Avatar
Will be checking this out
10:30 AM on 07/06/10
Echo Park
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Echo Park's Avatar
90! i'll give it a listen
10:32 AM on 07/06/10
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FireInTheSky's Avatar
Great review. I really hope this is good. I want so badly to believe in this band.
10:33 AM on 07/06/10
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crimes's Avatar
will definitely be listening
i love norma jean
10:34 AM on 07/06/10
The Color Before The Sun
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CoheedForever's Avatar
Have to check this out!!
10:36 AM on 07/06/10
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arson's Avatar
Nice review! I'm looking forward to hearing this a little more now.
10:36 AM on 07/06/10
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TwelveTribes230's Avatar
Damn. By the reviews I've been seeing this is going to be an amazing CD. Cannot wait to hear it.
10:38 AM on 07/06/10
henry chinaski
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henry chinaski's Avatar
fuckin awesome album.
10:38 AM on 07/06/10
Ryan Gardner
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Ryan Gardner's Avatar
Awesome review; can't wait for this! How does it compare with other heavy records this year?
10:40 AM on 07/06/10
Spencer Control
i am orange and i can grow wings
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Spencer Control's Avatar
This cd will, in fact, be freaking amazing.
10:40 AM on 07/06/10
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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Drew Beringer's Avatar
Awesome review; can't wait for this! How does it compare with other heavy records this year?
It's my favorite of the year thus far, but it's comparable to the new As I Lay Dying and Parkway Drive albums in terms of awesomeness.
10:42 AM on 07/06/10
our names are x and n
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airik625's Avatar
Great album.
10:46 AM on 07/06/10
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HometownHero's Avatar
Such an awesome album. Will be one of the best heavy albums this year.
10:47 AM on 07/06/10
If You Dig Up The Dead...
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Mattylikesfilms's Avatar

yeah fuck bless the martyr. I can not believe how good this album is, it reignited my love for the band like wildfire. This album is fucking solid gold.

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