Norma Jean should not be playing at Peabody's. You should be able see the group only on the Nature Channel; in person is damn near too dangerous. Why? Because the sound of Norma Jean's sophomore release, Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child
, can be described best as a hive full of angry bees. The album, produced by Adam Dutkiewicz (Killswitch Engage, Every Time I Die), shows off its hardcore and metal influences with a much heavier sound than the band's previous release, Throwing Myself
. And like worker bees, the band's 200-shows-a-year work ethic is unquestionable. Thanks in part to a new vocalist and bass player, Norma Jean's sound and songwriting have matured, and the result is something like a new subgenre of hardcore. "We feel like this album shows how we've grown in the past year in our songwriting," says drummer Daniel Davison. "Without revealing too much, we tried to make the lyrics personal but universal enough that anyone can relate to them."