There's quite a devout following for a little band known as Norma Jean; and when vocalist Josh Scogin made his premature departure, a public outcry resounded from all hardcore circles. But rejoice! The voice that defined Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child is back, this time fronting the loud and raucous The Chariot.
In Norma Jean tradition, the song titles of Everything Is Alive, Everything Is Breathing, Nothing Is Dead and Nothing Is Bleeding are long and complex. From "The Bullet Never Lies, and Time will Prove all Things. (An Allegory of Unfaithful Jerusalem)" to "If Wishes Were Horses, More Beggars Would Ride Them," the titles convey messages just as much as the lyrics themselves do. Ironically, the shortest song on the disc is titled "Some day in the event that man kind actually figures out what it is that this world revolves around, thousands of people are going to be shocked and perplexed to find out that it was not them. Sometimes this includes me."
And speaking of length, this is a fairly short disc, clocking in at just under twenty-eight minutes. But for the short time that this album is given, it rages with crushing guitar, beating drums, and, of course, Scogin's signature screams and growls that defined Norma Jean.
Fans of Norma, and hardcore fans in general, will embrace The Chariot with open arms. Their energy and emotionally charged "take no prisoners" persona should make them a favorite on the growing Solid State roster. Keep an eye on The Chariot. Their future looks bright.- Review date: 11/14/04, written by Josh Taylor
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