LIVE REVIEW: NORMA JEAN/THE CHARIOT

Norma Jean/The Chariot – Sheffield Corporation 2nd March
Reviewed by Adam Smith

The first band I see tonight in the endearingly murky Sheffield Corporation is Dead and Divine who, despite their competent display of aggressive post-hardcore, simply cannot captivate the crowd. 
 
They tick all of their genre’s boxes, with scathing riffs, abrupt breakdowns and guttural screams reverberating throughout the Corporation during their set. It’s just a shame that they come across as a bargain bucket version of Every Time I Die.
 
Dead and Divine may have languished in mediocrity during their set, but the same certainly cannot be said for The Chariot.
 
Upping the tempo instantly with “Evan Perks”, the hardcore noise merchants roll through a frenetic set, sparking chaos in the pit and exerting energy that is incomparable to any of the other bands in their scene.
Impressively, their frenzied performance does not see Josh Scogin miss a line, while the other band members manage to throw themselves around the stage without forsaking a note.
 
The set is littered with songs from their back catalogue, encompassing their most recent release “Long Live” as well as ferocious tracks from the vault such as the explosive “Daggers”.
 
They even break into an electrifying rendition of The Who’s “My Generation” before wrapping things up, leaving Norma Jean with an incredibly tough act to follow.
 
Unfortunately for Norma Jean, the weight of following such an uncompromising performance is too much to handle.
With a setlist that spans their entire career, on any other tour, tonight could have been a triumph. However, The Chariot seem to have sapped all the energy from the crowd, meaning that the atmosphere seems undoubtedly deflated in comparison to an hour earlier.
 
That’s not to say that Norma Jean aren’t on form, as “Leaderless and Self Enlisted” sounds absolutely titanic, while all material from “Bless The Martyr And Kiss The Child” is greeted with euphoria from pockets of the crowd.
Nonetheless, by the time that The Chariot’s Josh Scogin appears to sing on the chaotic “Memphis Will Be Laid To Waste”, it’s obvious that Norma Jean were outdone by their former singer’s band tonight.
 
4/5
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