‘Children Of The Dead’, a hectic ‘Polar Similar’ B-side.
In 2017, Norma Jean released inarguably one of their best records, the mighty ‘Polar Similar‘. It was a record that was almost too good for them, too good for the kind of music they make and for the scene that they exist within. Yet it’s an essential release, for new or old fans of the American group.
As 2019 kicks into high gear, however, the band have announced that a brand new full-length is on the horizon and that new material is being demoed next month. Sick! But before a new record cycle fully takes over, Norma Jean have one last parting gift to offer from the ‘Polar Similar‘ sessions, a killer new B-side titled ‘Children Of The Dead‘.
Originally released on the vinyl for their last album and now made available online for the first time, this is a riffy, dirty piece; one that’s burning with an older metalcore fire that wouldn’t have gone amiss on some of their earlier records. Starting off with wailing guitar feedback, hints of a traditional Norma Jean riff starts to slither in amongst the freakish noise. But before you even know it, the track suddenly explodes with chaotic rhythms, lashing guitars and Cory Brandan Putman’s fierce screams that could level entire buildings whole. Then, the way that the track’s filthy-as-hell outro slows down before an upheaving final breakdown drops is just so well done.
In just over three minutes, they show you exactly why they’ve survived this long. From it’s very beginning, the dissonant ‘Children Of The Dead‘ puts you in a stranglehold and only relinquishes once it knows that you’ve finally had enough. 18 years in and Norma Jean do not sound tired or jaded at all. I welcome new music from these guys them with open arms and you should too.