By Dave Synyard"We wanted a very powerful record, sonically powerful, a bombarding, massive amount of power. We also wanted a lot of melody and [to] expand our sound,” says vocalist Cory Brandan. The Anti-Mother is Norma Jean’s latest step in their journey through the world of noise-infested hardcore.
Change for Atlanta, Georgia’s Norma Jean has been a constant, both in line-up and sound. Drummer Chris Raines joins the roster this time out, leaving only guitarists Chris Day and Scottie Henry as founding members. After their earliest incarnation as a Christian mosh-metal band, sophomore album O’ God, The Aftermath (2005) brought forth a sonic force that played heavily on distorted high-end guitars, earth shaking drum lines and double entendre song titles like "Charactarantula” that displayed artistic vision outside of music. Its follow-up, 2006’s Redeemer, shifted their sound with more polish while retaining their doomsday sound and heaviness.
The Anti-Mother is one more step in a new direction. The band has retained Redeemer producer Ross Robinson (Limp Bizkit, Korn), who kept the shiny production, but lost some of the chaotic noise, and the final result is a pinnacle of power and melody, giving Norma Jean yet another new avenue. For the first time in the band’s history, Brandan finds himself singing throughout the album in a tasteful but raucous way.
"It’s definitely a powerful record and definitely heavy but there’s tons of melody too,” Brandan explains. "We don’t feel like there is a too far. I don’t think our fans would realize how bummed out they would be if we kept writing the same record over and over. We would definitely be unhappy and I don’t think we would be a band anymore. Change is good.”