Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child

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Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child
Norma Jean BLM Cover.jpg
Studio album by Norma Jean
Released August 13, 2002
Recorded April 15 – May 5, 2002, at Zing Studio, Westfield, Massachusetts
Length 58:25
Label Solid State
Producer Adam Dutkiewicz
Norma Jean[2]
Norma Jean chronology
Throwing Myself
(as Luti-Kriss)
Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child
O God, the Aftermath

Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child is the debut album by American metalcore band Norma Jean, released on August 13, 2002[3] 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.[1]


The band previously released a studio album, Throwing Myself, under the name of Luti-Kriss.[4] 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[5]).

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.[6]

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.[7] The song "Face:Face" draws inspiration from Proverbs 30.[8]


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.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars link
Cross Rhythms 9/10 stars link
Exclaim! Highly favorable link
Jesusfreakhideout 4.5/5 stars link
MusicOMH Highly favorable link
The Phantom Tollbooth 4/5 stars link 4.5/5 stars link
Today's Christian Music B link

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.[9] Mike Rimmer of Cross Rhythms gave the album 9 out of 10, saying it was "an hour of unrelenting guitar noise".[10] 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.[11] 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."[8]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Josh Scogin; all music composed by Norma Jean.

No. Title Length
1. "The Entire World Is Counting On Me, and They Don't Even Know It" 3:10
2. "Face:Face" 3:31
3. "Memphis Will Be Laid to Waste" (feat. Aaron Weiss) 4:56
4. "Creating Something Out of Nothing, Only to Destroy It" 6:22
5. "Pretty Soon, I Don't Know What, But Something Is Going to Happen" 15:49
6. "The Shotgun Message" 1:37
7. "Sometimes It's Our Mistakes That Make for the Greatest Ideas" 3:15
8. "I Used to Hate Cell Phones, But Now I Hate Car Accidents" 5:02
9. "It Was As If the Dead Man Stood Upon the Air" 1:30
10. "The Human Face, Divine" 5:41
11. "Organized Beyond Recognition" 7:28
Total length: 58:25


Norma Jean
  • Josh Scogin – Lead vocals
  • Christopher Day – Guitar
  • Scottie Henry – Guitar, backing vocals
  • Joshua Doolittle – Bass
  • Daniel Davison – Drums
Additional personnel
  • 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


  1. "Memphis Will Be Laid to Waste" [1]
  2. "Face:Face" [2]


  1. ^ a b "33. Norma Jean - Bless The Martyr and Kiss the Child - The One Hundred". Retrieved February 23, 2014. 
  2. ^ Jason, Jason D. "Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child - Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved February 23, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Bless the Martyrs and Kiss the Child by Norma Jean". MTV. Retrieved February 23, 2014. 
  4. ^ Frias, Sherwin (October 7, 2006). "Throwing Myself Review on Jesusfreakhideout". Jesusfreakhideout. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  5. ^ Taylor, Jason D. "Throwing Myself Review on AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Norma Jean - Mewithoutyou (Split)". Spirit of Metal. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Pretty Soon, I Don't Know What, But Something Is Going To Happen (Limited Edition)". YouTube. November 17, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Kelly, Andrew (February 11, 2003). "Jesusfreakhideout Review". Jesusfreakhideout. Retrieved February 23, 2014. 
  9. ^ Taylor, Jason D. "Allmusic Review". Allmusic. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  10. ^ Rimmer, Mike (September 9, 2002). "Cross Rhythms Review". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  11. ^ Pratt, Greg (December 2002). "Exclaim! Review". Exclaim!. Retrieved March 15, 2014.