| August 13, 2002|
13 August 2002
Solid State Records
| April 15 – May 5, 2002, at Zing Studio, Westfield, Massachusetts|
O God, the Aftermath
Norma Jean albums, Mathcore albums, Other albums
Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child is the debut album by American metalcore band Norma Jean, released on August 13, 2002 by Solid State Records. This album was the band's only one to feature bassist Joshua Doolittle and vocalist Josh Scogin, the latter of which later became the lead vocalist of The Chariot.
The band previously released a studio album, Throwing Myself, under the name of Luti-Kriss. The band changed their name due to keyboardist Mick Bailey and bassist Josh Swafford leaving and also wanted to go in a different musical direction (the band played a nu metal/metalcore hybrid).
Older recordings of the songs "I Used to Hate Cellphones, But Now I Hate Car Accidents" and "The Shotgun Message" were released on a split album with mewithoutYou.
The entire album was recorded live with very few overdubs. The booklet insert claims that the CD was produced entirely without the use of computers.
On the Limited Edition, the song "Pretty Soon, I Don't Know What, but Something Is Going to Happen" features a sample from the 1998 film π, directed by Darren Aronofsky. The song "Face:Face" draws inspiration from Proverbs 30.
The album was released on August 13, 2002 through Solid State Records. Music videos were released for the songs "Memphis Will Be Laid to Waste" and "Face:Face". In the music video for "Memphis Will Be Laid to Waste" it featured touring vocalist Brad Norris and new bassist Jake Schultz instead of Scogin and Doolittle, who had already left the band. Aaron Weiss of mewithoutYou appears on the track "Memphis Will be Laid to Waste" courtesy of Tooth & Nail Records. "Memphis..." had a music video featuring a curious story concept featuring subtitles. It aired on Uranium and Headbangers Ball upon its release.
Since its release, Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child has received critical acclaim and is often regarded a landmark in the metalcore genre. Jason D. Taylor of Allmusic awarded the album 4 out of 5 stars. Taylor praised the band's "blast of macabre hardcore/metal" and the production by Adam Dutkiewicz. Mike Rimmer of Cross Rhythms gave the album 9 out of 10, saying it was "an hour of unrelenting guitar noise". Greg Pratt of Exclaim! compared Norma Jean to the likes of Zao and Living Sacrifice, while praising the progressive metalcore sound of the album and said the album is a must for anyone who is a fan of heavy music. Jesusfreakhideout's Andy Kelly said the album signaled "the hardcore revolution" with a "technically and musically astounding offering". Kelly concluded his review by stating "hardcore just does not get much better than this."
All lyrics written by Josh Scogin; all music composed by Norma Jean.Norma Jean
Josh Scogin – Lead vocals
Christopher Day – Guitar
Scottie Henry – Guitar, backing vocals
Joshua Doolittle – Bass
Daniel Davison – Drums
Produced by Adam Dutkiewicz and Norma Jean
Mastered by Alan Douches
Additional vocals, Piano and tambourine by Aaron Johnathan Weiss
A&R by Roy Culver
Photography by David Stuart
- "Memphis Will Be Laid to Waste" 
- "Face:Face" 
1The Entire World Is Counting on Me - and They Don't Even Know It3:10Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child Wikipedia
3Memphis Will Be Laid to Waste4:56