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Norma Jean

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There is nothing fluffy to be said about the sixth and upcoming new studio album from American metalcore veterans Norma Jean – it’s simply straight-up, almost radio-friendly metalcore that will not be remembered by posterity. “If You Got It At Five, You Got It At Fifty”, the second track off the new record and the first to be released in its entirety on YouTube, is an accurate representation of the record in general: it’s fast, it’s kinda noise-rocky, it has breakdowns, and there are only hoarse screams for vocals. Nothing surprising or aurally breath-taking here.

The mighty Norma Jean is back with their sixth full-length release, Wrongdoers. I am a huge fan of the band and after a significant lineup change was not sure what to expect from this new effort. Thankfully the first track, “Hive Minds,” immediately put me at ease. A brief intro gives way to a catchy, groovy guitar riff that is topped off by Cory Brandan Putman’s unique, signature rasp. From then onwards the listener is off to the races, once again traversing the noisy, heavy, experimental landscape that is Norma Jean.

The video for “Bastardizer,” the second single off Norma Jean’s critically acclaimed album ‘Meridional’ will exclusively debut today, May 2nd on Alternative Press. The video was directed by Brooks Jones and shot at the band’s rehearsal space in Atlanta with additional footage shot in New York City. “Matt Mitchell [cinematographer] and I drove 15 hours from New York to Atlanta,” said Jones. “We’ve been Norma Jean fans for years, so the opportunity to direct a video for a song like “Bastardizer” was a dream come true.”

Well here we are again mere weeks after the end of another year. It’s the time of year when everybody and their brother compiles a list of the best and the worst of just about everything. I’ve always enjoyed these sorts of lists and this year I thought I’d try my hand at it as well. So as the title implies, the following albums were my absolute favorite releases of 2010.