Sure Norma Jean take some big steps on this latest offering, but perhaps the biggest one of all was that of teaming up with producer Ross Robinson to record it. Robinson may have set the guidelines for nu-metal in his earlier years; but he also produced albums from the likes of Glassjaw, At The Drive-In and The Cure - all of which flourished from his very distinct production style.
"Reedemer" is no different and Norma Jean may very well not have been able to pull off the angular approach they take here without his guidance. The album has a warm analog feel as traces of groups like Every Time I Die, and at times, even the manic melodic energy of At The Drive-In are feverishly smashed together. While a caustic affair for the most part, there are tangents of foreboding harmonizing that often see the band splintering off from their antagonistically corrosive onslaught.
Unlike their past efforts these moments are also given time to develop and establish themselves rather than becoming a disjointed sideshow of metalcore ferocity. This greatly helps remove the band from the standard-fare metalsnore pile, even as the music remains as chaotic as ever. Although the staggered riffing and dizzying feats accomplished here do tend to be a bit too disjointed and the album falls a tad short of breaking new ground; "Redeemer" still makes up for many of their past sins.
(3.5 / 5)