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Country - Released June 1, 2018 | RCA - Legacy

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Country - Released March 1, 1967 | RCA - Legacy

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Country - Released March 29, 2019 | Columbia Nashville Legacy

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Metal - Released January 1, 2008 | Solid State Records (SST)

Another Norma Jean album, another lineup change. This time, drummer Chris Raines steps in for the absent Daniel Davison, who exited the lineup in 2007 to pursue a career in visual art. Raines is a solid replacement, having honed his percussive thunder with Spitfire, and The Anti Mother offers up another batch of cathartic, pummeling metal. Although the bandmates still flaunt an ability to grind their audience's eardrums into powder, Norma Jean's hidden strength lies in their dedication to melody, which hides behind walls of sound and rears its head during key moments. "Self Employed Chemist" and "Robots 3 Humans 0" are prime examples, mixing distortion with melodic hooks and vocal harmonies. Norma Jean's members aren't softening in their old age; rather, they've learned to add variation to the metalcore pattern, injecting bursts of melody and offering cameo spots to members of the Deftones, Mighty Six Ninety, Saosin, Helmet, and others. 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. ~ Andrew Leahey
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Country - Released May 11, 2016 | Rarity Music

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Comedy/Other - Released January 1, 2002 | Solid State Records (SST)

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Comedy/Other - Released January 1, 2006 | Solid State Records

On their third release overall, 2006's Redeemer, the Atlanta metal quintet Norma Jean hook up with Korn/Limp Bizkit producer Ross Robinson, and the results are just what you'd expect. With the right amount of angst, rubbery riffs, and brief detours into tranquil bits, all of Robinson's trademarks are present. And truth be told, the "Robinson approach" seems to work well for the group, as singer Cory Brandan seems to live to scream his head off, and guitarists Chris Day and Scottie Henry can't wait to detune their guitars to "death metal D" (or is it C?). Burning anger is the name of the game here, as heard on (or more fittingly, assaulted by) the likes of "A Grand Scene for a Color Film" and "A Small Spark vs. a Great Forest." But Norma Jean have a surprise or two up their sleeve, as they trod oh so gently upon prog metal territory on "Songs Sound Much Sadder." Some may argue that the tunes on Redeemer sound akin to the majority of the bands spotted on your average episode of Headbanger's Ball. Yet Norma Jean manage to add a conviction to their performances that appears to be lost in the shuffle by some similarly styled bands. ~ Greg Prato
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Metal - Released July 13, 2010 | Razor & Tie - Concord

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Metal - Released August 6, 2013 | Razor & Tie - Concord

After hitting a creative high note like 2010's Meridional, you wouldn't expect a band like Norma Jean to struggle with writing a new album while the iron was hot. The process that led to Wrongdoers, the band's sixth album, was fraught with peril, with three members of the quintet leaving during the two-year writing process. Finally emerging on the other side of the harrowing journey, the band delivers an album that feels surprisingly vital, with the only indication of the band's struggle coming through as catharsis. An album that's as exciting viscerally as it is texturally, Wrongdoers takes listeners on a hell ride through a variety of tempos and fidelities ranging from crisp soaring heights to grimy sludge. This gives the album an element of dynamic uncertainty that always keeps listeners on their toes, never allowing them to get too comfortable with any particular sound before it blindfolds them and takes them to some entirely new place. This also doesn't feel like an album made by a band that just replaced three of its five members, instead coming across as a cohesive album that still features plenty of thrilling guitar work and rock-solid playing. While Norma Jean were no doubt exhausted by the creative process that went into Wrongdoers, fans will be happy to reap the rewards of their hard work and the perseverance of a band that still holds true to the spirit of metalcore. ~ Gregory Heaney
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Country - Released May 1, 1969 | RCA - Legacy

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Country - Released November 16, 2018 | RCA - Legacy

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Metal - Released January 1, 2010 | Solid State Records (SST)

Collecting their first three albums in one three-disc set, the lengthily titled Birds and Microscopes and Bottles of Elixirs and Raw Steak and a Bunch of Songs gives us a look at the early days of Norma Jean after they had dropped the name Luti-Kriss and went in search of heavier pastures. The anthology contains the band’s 2002 debut under the new moniker, Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child, as well as their 2005 follow-up O God, the Aftermath and 2006’s Redeemer, making this a solid collection for anyone looking to see what the band is all about. Unfortunately, with no liner notes or bonus material, there’s not a whole lot here for the longtime fan, making this a collection that’s meant more for Norma Jean neophytes and hardcore completists than average fans. ~ Gregory Heaney
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Pop - Released May 10, 2016 | Rarity Music

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Country - Released December 18, 1967 | RLG - Legacy

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Country - Released July 8, 2016 | Legacy Recordings

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Country - Released June 3, 2016 | Legacy Recordings

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Country - Released May 13, 2016 | Legacy Recordings

It's fitting that the body comes before the mind in the title of Norma Jean's album Body and Mind, because her hard country cheating songs are unequivocally "of the flesh." The title track is a desolate portrait of loveless sex and drinking, and that's only the beginning of the album's expression of honky tonk despondency. "In the Park After Dark" describes a troubled affair with a married man, "Once More I'll Let You In" is about a cheating woman whose lover is also cheating on her, and "Woman Hungry" offers justification for adulterous men. The album has a few incongruous moments of levity, like "Truck Driving Woman" and a cover of the Harden Trio's upbeat hit "Tippy Toeing." "Truck Driving Woman" was a minor country hit, and the album itself made the country Top 40, but the mainstream country audience may not have been fully prepared in 1968 for this kind of liquor-soaked, self-destructive album from a female vocalist. ~ Greg Adams
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Country - Released August 21, 2015 | Legacy Recordings

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Country - Released December 19, 2014 | RCA - Legacy

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Metal - Released January 1, 2005 | Solid State Records (SST)

Norma Jean's lineup shifted again between Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child and 2005's O God, The Aftermath -- the Georgia metalcore unit got a new bassist in Jake Schultz, and replaced vocalist Josh Scrogin with former Eso Charis shouter Cory Brandan. Still, there's no rage or passion lost. Brandan is comparably distraught on the microphone, and he matches wits ably with the pummel of Norma Jean's twin guitars. "This world is damned to hell and it's a revelation," he spits over the manic, jagged rhythms of "'Coffinspire." "I'll set myself on fire/Come on, watch me burn." Later, in "Pretendeavor," Brandan speaks directly and with force. "Oh my God, hand us down our ribbons/You death defier you/Far from fear, we are." It's an important tactic in the Norma Jean arsenal, this balance between pain and religious fervor, between hate and hope. Hardcore, metal, whatever -- heavy music pierces the soul. And with O God, The Aftermath, it's clear Norma Jean has entwined its faith so tightly around its amplifiers that there's no separating the two without destruction of one. Isis and Mastodon producer Matt Bayles helps with this stance, removing any reverb (maybe even any overdubs?) to reveal Norma Jean's gristle. Revealing the truth he leaves to the band. "Murderotica," "Vertebraille" (?) These songs are relentless. Their gaps, stops, starts, and interplay of single and dual guitars push the listener toward the meaning with a dynamic volatility. "Bayonetwork"'s rabid pace cuts out for an almost melody, and Brandan delivers the payoff: "This is between me and this blade/And my heart." "Disconnecktie" (these word-jumble titles are a little trying) is a ten-minute powerhouse of swirling distortion chum and ambient metal driftwood -- it sketches more of the ship and sea imagery that drifts throughout the album. "Scientifiction" is another album highlight. It's the record's last song, but after 45 minutes Norma Jean is still screaming mad, intensely passionate, and seemingly incapable of coming up with a riff that doesn't rip through bone and sinew, right to the heart of the matter. ~ Johnny Loftus