AFM Records [Release date 20.05.16]
Flotsam and Jetsam are band I have had mixed feelings about over the years. Having been a huge thrash fan most of my life, and a huge fan of Metallica back in the day, there was no avoiding checking these guys out. Their first two albums, ‘Doomsday For the Deceiver’ and ‘No Place For Disgrace’, remained staples for me back then, but after that they lost me. A lot had to do with their shift in style than anything else.
The band have released a number of albums over the years, with several line-up changes and periods of dormancy. ‘Ugly Noise’ was the last album I heard that gave me moments of interest in them again, but it still never lived up to their potential, even if that potential has been more or less invisible for a few decades. With the release of their latest s/t album, I figured I’d give them one more chance before I totally wrote them off.
Flotsam and Jetsam the album is a return to what made them so great back in the day, playing very heavy and intricate thrash metal. Finally the band seems to be back on track with a more honest and organic sound than trying to remain current.
Not to say that their sound is stilted and locked in the 80′s; on the contrary the band sounds more current staying true to their roots than they ever did chasing a trend. Songs like “Iron Maiden,” “Seventh Seal,” “Creeper,” “Time To Go,” and “LOTD” are brash, in your face, aggressive, and instant heavy metal classics. The band seems to have a renewed vigor for their music, and this whole album is the best thing they have done in many decades, if not ever.
I was expecting to walk away hating this album, and nearly passed on it with the disappointment I felt for their last one. I’m glad I gave them one more chance. Flotsam and Jetsam, band and album alike, are finally reaching their potential all these years later.
As the saying goes, “Better late than never,” couldn’t be more true to this album. It’s as if they heard what I said in my review of Ugly Noise and corrected everything I had issue with. I’m sure that’s not the case, but whatever it is that enabled them to create this magnificent album, I hope they keep it going. ****1/2
Review by Chris Martin
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