When I first listened to “Bless the Martyr, Kiss the Child”, the eloquent makeup of brutally efficient hardcore by Norma Jean, I never thought that they could make an album that could come close to matching the shear superiority of the album. I was wrong, and I’ll tell you why; not because “O’ God…” necessarily matches up, but because the two are literally uncomparable.
When Josh (Lead Vocalist) left the band, he also left the traditional sound that made Norma Jean special as well, and brought it to his newest project, The Chariot. Then, after brief vocal hiatus, Cory joined the band as the lead vocalist, and he, like Josh, brought an innovative sound with him. So comes the the brilliantly simple but never outdated cliche, with every death there is rebirth. And to further prove my mondane use of this cliche, Norma Jean was “reborn”, and they proved it on their sophomore album “O’ God…”
The album itself, a priceless commodity of artistic sound, brings such an energy, vigor, and individuality that the world of Hardcore music lacks today. The album hits hard immediately with #1 “Murderotica”, a passionate, short and sweet (1:58) collection of bliss. Cory yells “Our knives say ‘We’re making way for this, the ending’”, it takes a lot not to jump out of your chair and start beating up air vivaciously.
#3 “Bayonetwork” is the single of the album, and is one of only three songs on the CD with actual singing vocals on it. A rough melody as Cory sings “This is between me and this blade and my heart”. The guitars, a heavy crunch in a tuning called “A Minor” which is unheard of to many, but makes the sound of the guitars that much more different from other hardcore acts.
The best song on the album has to be #8 “Absentimental”, a comprised use of fast paced metal mixed with the traditional use of breakdown previously demonstrated in “Bless the Martyr, Kiss the Child”. I listen to this song whenever I either need to get pumped up for the day, or I’m really pissed off about something; it’s therapy I promise, try it.
I recommend this album to anyone who is smart enough to know what pure art is, because that’s what “O’ God the Aftermath” is, pure art. Lyrically superior, heavy as a Sumo Wrestler, brilliantly passionate, and blissfully heartfelt in their intentions; Norma Jean did not go wrong when they made this album. They have become an inspiration to me and many others, displaying that a belief in something beyond ourselves does not prevent us from writing heavy music.
So go, buy this album, blast it to the max, and live the dream…