Album Review

Norma Jean - Wrondoers

Released August 6, 2013
Lisa Sanchez
Norma Jean's newest album Wrongdoers is the band's testament to what they have to offer the metal community. With some less-than-riveting releases in the last few years, Wrongdoers captures what made Norma Jean burst onto the scene in the early 2000s; relentless guitar, impressive vocals, and the assurance that Christian bands know how to party (check out the band's video for their single "If You Got it at Five, You Got it at Fifty").

Vocalist Cory Brandon Putnam delivers on a lot of different levels with Wrongdoers. The singer demonstrates a wide range of bellows and cries, but also features his clean vocals in a few tracks on the album. It's surprising to hear Putnam's voice cut through the sludgy beginning of "Sword In Mouth, Fire Eyes", but it makes the song more powerful and poignant, especially considering the rest of the album's heavy-hitter songs.

The powerful and poignant aside, there are moments on Wrongdoers that simply fill me with pure head-banger joy. Most of Wrongdoers sounds like Norma Jean went to fantasy camp for metal kids. All of the songs are clean and exciting, full of mosh-pit exciting fervor. It's hard to narrow down, but "The Potter Has No Hands" and "Neck In the Hemp" have to be the most explosive songs on the album. Not to mention my favorite, grindcore-length, over-a-minute track, "The Lash Whistled Like A Singing Wind".

Norma Jean has an audible passion on Wrongdoers that is unprecedented and unheard in any previous metal release this year. Overall, the album is totally solid, with a great arrangement of songs, and persistent and brutal vocals. Wrongdoers is a much needed reawakening for the band and gives a whole new life and perception to Norma Jean.