#132 | Album Review | Norma Jean – All Hail

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Longtime veterans of the metalcore scene, Norma Jean have spent the last two decades exploring the far reaches of heavy music. Between an ever-rotating cast of contributors and a dedication to pushing the sonic envelope, the musical collective working under the Norma Jean moniker have continually recast their sound with each record, and their latest LP All Hail is no exception.

The eighth full-length to be released by this collective, All Hail is somehow both heavier and prettier than anything the band has written before. Infectious drum grooves and disgustingly low tunings create the gritty, shadow-laden backdrops for Cory Brandan’s searing vocal deliveries. Spacious acoustic snippets and schizophrenia-laced noise collages give the listener short breathers amid a relentless onslaught of crushing guitars, hectic time signature changes and caveman breakdowns. All Hail pays respects to the band’s past iterations while developing its own unique voice, mixing both brutal riffing and melodic elements to create yet another wholly novel Norma Jean listening experience.

On this podcast episode, Ryan, Connor and resident writer/Norma Jean acolyte Ryan Woody break down the intricacies of this monster release. They chart the band’s historical evolution from Christian nu-metal outfit to amorphous chaotic hardcore collective, delve into the clever lyrical and thematic threads woven into the fabric of All Hail, and discuss how the band’s music helped Ryan Woody kick an unhealthy obsession with ska. It’s a deep dive review that brings the very nature of our reality into question, and we sincerely hope you enjoy it.

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All Hail is out via Solid State Records; you can grab a physical copy from their website or stream the album on Spotify. For all things Norma Jean, follow their Facebook page or Instagram @normajeanband.

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