A grinding and bashing metalcore/mathcore/post-metal (whatever you want to call it) onslaught, Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child is the noisy debut from Norma Jean. At the time, the band was fronted by Josh Scogin, who later left to form another hardcore outfit, the one and only The Chariot. Both bands that trace their roots to the Luti-Kriss have dished out great records over the years, but Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child is tie that binds. And boy, what a great record it is.
For starters, it has the unforgettable “Memphis Will Be Laid to Waste”, which is probably the greatest Norma Jean song ever. It has the infamous Norma Jean fury, and a sludgy, messy, wall of noise. Other highlights include “Face:Face” and “I Used Hate Cell Phones, but Now I Hate Car Accidents”. And the song “Pretty Soon, I Don’t Know What, But Something Is Going to Happen” which clocks in at 15 minutes, is a mini-epic.
Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child remains my favorite Norma Jean record to this day. Not that O God, The Aftermath, Redeemer, The Anti Mother and Meridional didn’t have their moments. And the band has a new record due out this summer, so the Norma Jean saga continues…
1. The Entire World Is Counting on Me, and They Don’t Even Know It
3. Memphis Will Be Laid to Waste
4. Creating Something Out of Nothing, Only to Destroy It
5. Pretty Soon, I Don’t Know What, But Something Is Going to Happen
6. The Shotgun Message
7. Sometimes It’s Our Greatest Mistakes That Make for the Greatest Ideas
8. I Used to Hate Cell Phones, but Now I Hate Car Accidents
9. It Was As If the Dead Man Stood Upon the Air
10. The Human Face, Divine
11. Organized Beyond Recognition