Norma Jean – Deathrattle Sing For Me CD (Solid State Records)

Norma Jean - Deathrattle Sing For Me CD - Solid State Records

Norma Jean have always been a band that shapeshifts the boundaries of extreme underground music. Whatever that genre might be, they do it and never look back. Luckily, this work ethic always worked out for them. Just listen to their impressive back catalog once again, and you’ll notice there aren’t any bad moments in their 25-year career. Norma Jean are known for their genre-bending compositions that sometimes leave you speechless or maybe wondering how they managed to pull some of those sonic maneuvers. You’ll get the same impression once you check out Deathrattle Sing For Me, their highly anticipated full-length release that comes out this Friday via Solid State Records.

Deathrattle Sing For Me carries thirteen excellent compositions performed in a classic Norma Jean manner. However, this album includes many innovations hearable through their upgraded approach to songwriting, composing, and arranging. The band stacked this material with only the best properties of post-hardcore, metalcore, mathcore, melodic hardcore, sludge, doom, and ambient music. Deathrattle Sing For Me starts with a longevous overture enclosed on 1994, which unquestionably builds an intense atmosphere and prepares you for the remainder of this outstanding full-length. Call For The Blood and Spearmint Revolt showcase the post-hardcore side of the band with all the complex melodies, harmonies, heavy riffs, and bone-crushing atmosphere. Both songs have many calmy moments, but heaviness comes as a necessary slap in the face when you don’t expect it at all. Memorial Hoard shines a new light on this profoundly creative band with its experimental, ambient, drone music structure. This number comes as a more than well-deserved break after two bangers, but it could also serve as an intro for Aria Obscura.

Aria Obscura resembles something renowned alternative metal bands would eventually record throughout their careers, but everything changes with those sludgy, fuzzy, complex riffs. The nearly mathcore theme during the chorus reminds us why Norma Jean are such a great band. Don’t be surprised if this composition reminds you of their older recordings because those sonic acrobatics are definitely there. Norma Jean invested all heavy weaponry into Any%. It’s a polyphonous rollercoaster built upon mathcore virtuosities, metalcore grooves, post-hardcore pre-choruses, and melodic hardcore choruses. There’s no doubt in my mind this number will leave you speechless. Parallella comes right after this one, and it’s yet another short industrial ambient composition with synthy beats and catchy melodies. Norma Jean are good at sorting tracklists for their albums, and W W A V V E proves my point. If you thought things couldn’t sound heavier, this song proves you’re wrong. Norma Jean brings heavy artillery built upon fierce, fuzzy, dirty, gigantic riffs that open this track. W W A V V E is almost equally aggressive as Any%, but it has an entirely different ambiance. Also, that chorus is something special.

By far, you probably noticed Deathrattle Sing For Me is an enormously complex album, but Norma Jean are keeping it entertaining to the max. A Killing Word continues almost at the same pace as W A V V E, but this band never ceases to amaze with the number of ideas invested into a singular number. Once again, both guitar players are firing mindboggling scales, licks, and shreds while the rhythm section bursts with massive low-end tones and rhythmic maneuvers. Things become even heaver somewhere at the end, and A Killing Word moderately descends into sludgy post-hardcore waters. This overture provides adequate foundations for Penny Margs, another longevous metalcore banger decorated with the finest properties of djent, post-metal, black metal, and ambient. It’s a comprehensive amalgam of genres, but somehow it works to the advantage of this track. el-roi comes as a well-deserved break after all those virtuosities. I could imagine this track being a necessary interlude at Norma Jean’s gigs, so the crowd can catch a breath or maybe hydrate themselves. Sleeps Explosion indicates the near closure of the album, but the band gives its best to end this material with a bang. This number possesses all the qualities of the previous tracks but with even more sludge and post-hardcore maneuvers involved in the process. Heartache simultaneously serves as another demonstration of Norma Jean’s brilliance and closure that perfectly highlights the entire album.

Deathrattle Sing For Me unquestionably differs from their previous recordings, but the change is good and necessary if you want to remain at the top of this game. These guys combined their brilliant ideas, exceptional musicianship, and previous experiences, so this album could sound as good as it is. Don’t miss Deathrattle Sing For Me if you are into Norma Jean’s music for years. The album is coming out this Friday, so head to Solid State Records for more information about ordering.

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