You can always count on Norma Jean to birth a beast. All Hail—the band’s 8th studio album—is beyond adequate; it’s pulverizing (que “Landslide Defeater” breakdown). Beginning with “Orphan Twin,” the record reminds us of the void we’ve suffered since Polar Similar (2016).
Though the band has done little to deviate from their tried-and-true formula, that doesn’t make it any less impactful. Listen to the barrage of ‘this is how it starts’ during “Full Circle In Under A Minute” if you have any doubt the band has dulled their edges with age.
They haven’t, and we’re beyond two decades at this point. Even if you don’t recognize anything prior to O’ God, the Aftermath (the record that really launched them), there’s still some15 years of powerhouse performances at your fingertips. This is a band that has returned time and time again to blow out your fucking speakers with their brand of technical chaos.
All Hail is just as earth-shattering as ever. “Trace Levels of Dystopia” sounds like a warrior’s cry in a crumbling world; “If [Loss] Than [Leader]” features moments of basement-like experimentation, as well as rare sequences of melody building to an overflow of riotous emotion, and interludes/exits like “Extra Dimensional Palate Cleanser” and “The Mirror and the Second Veil” actually support and strengthen the atmosphere rather than diminish it.
There’s never a dull moment with Norma Jean. All Hail is yet another momentous accomplishment on their part. Go now. Enjoy.