Day 267 – #259. Norma Jean – Redeemer

Norma Jean - Redeemer Album Review

James 3:5-12. The inspiration for Norma Jean’s “A Small Spark vs. A Great Forest.”

5. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.
6. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind,
8. but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.
10. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.
11. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?
12. My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

The song comes from Redeemer, the group’s 2006 release on Solid State/Tooth & Nail. While I don’t personally identify with Christianity anymore, I think that in any major book of any major religion, there is something to be gleaned. I still respect the bible. It’s tough reading, certainly, but there’s no reason those who identify with other faiths (or no faith at all) shouldn’t read it.

It’s like that phrase: “You kiss your mother with that mouth?” Though informal and ultimately doesn’t hit on its intended message, it proves a point. The same tool used for exalting and praise is used to reduce others to their weakest point.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about lexical gaps, and how difficult it is sometimes to put what we feel into actual words. This video does a better job of explaining some of these words than I ever could.

One in particular is the word ‘qualia,’ which refers to an individual’s instances of subjective, conscious experience. Like getting passed at your bus stop, or being nostalgic in advance of an opportunity that is coming to an end a long time from the present.

How does this relate to Redeemer? Not sure entirely, just some things I’ve been ruminating on the past few days. What does it even mean to be a fan of a band? What about the abrasion of a such a loud band like Norma Jean is appealing? That’s the ‘qualia’-factor.

As the follow-up to O God, The Aftermath, which was the first Norma Jean album to feature new vocalist Cory Brandan, the shift is on with Redeemer. It’s a record that has a lot of promise, like on the Tim McTague co-written cut “Songs Sound Much Sadder,” which is sick.

It’s still a transitive record though, as the new band doesn’t hit their stride until 2008’s The Anti-Mother.
Worth a spin though. Sweet Hitchcockian cover, too.

From Norma Jean’s Redeemer, this is “Songs Sound Much Sadder” –

Standout tracks: That trio of “Blueprints for Future Homes,” “A Small Spark vs. A Great Forest” and “A Temperamental Widower” is pretty disgusting.
Weakest track: “Cemetery Like a Stage”

RIYL: Christ-core, hardcore, metalcore. August Burns Red, Botch, Dillinger, Converge.



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