Scraping Genius Off The Wheel


  • Gary Suarez

With a provocative song title like “Deathbed Atheist,” there ought to be no doubt that Norma Jean have zero intention of abandoning their religious beliefs as their popularity surges. Taken from their phenomenal new record Meridional, the track churns with the darkness of Undertow-era Tool and confrontational yet personal lyrics like “Bury your hands in the sand / You’ll never use them on me again.” The title is an obvious reference to the Christian notion that, at the end of their lives, many atheists convert and accept God. Critics such as Richard Dawkins have had harsh and dismissive words for that idea, and substantiation of so-called deathbed conversions is admittedly hard to come by.

So taking all that into account you’d think that the new Norma Jean video would at least attempt to dramatize or allude to the idea. And you’d be wrong. Instead, we get another minimal, stylized, CGI-lite video with some bizarre symbols (bugs, nails, mirrors) that don’t exactly make sense. Perhaps my lack of familiarity with scripture is keeping me from “getting it,” but until I learn otherwise I’m just going to assume this is another ordinary promo video. Still, it’s one hell of a track.


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