Flotsam And Jetsam - Flotsam And Jetsam

12 songs
55:31 minutes
***** ****


Even though Flotsam And Jetsamís classic debut album Doomsday For The Deceiver was only released in 1986, the band around Eric A.K. and Michael Gilbert has been around since 1981. They never made it among the Big Four of thrash metal, but they definitely have an all-time spot in the Top Ten, due to other great albums like their second LP No Place For Disgrace. In the mid-Nineties, one didnít hear so much from the band anymore, and the intervals between albums increased, but four years after Ugly Noise, they are now back with their already fourteenth album, simply titled Flotsam And Jetsam, because there are two new members with songwriting duties. So the band considers this something like a little new beginning.

It may very well be that the new musicians, both of them already in their Forties, have breathed new life into the band, because I havenít heard Flotsam And Jetsam in such a dynamic way in a very long time. The entire album offers a crunchy mix of thrash and power metal, and they are not afraid to occasionally flirt with more progressive structures. The second track Life Is A Mess is a wonderfully rhythmic and somewhat hectic track which takes no prisoners, and the following Taser shows an even wilder side of the band. I hardly remember hearing the band in such a violent way. The witty Iron Maiden is a tribute to the band that must have influenced each and every single metal musician. The dual guitar work is exquisite on this track. Less heavy, therefore more melodic and progressive is Verge Of Tragedy with its vast amount of variety. I could go on applauding the qualities of each and every song, but that would make this review just too long. Letís just mention Creeper which is a very old school track in the vein of late Eighties thrash metal. I am also surprised by Eric A.K.ís voice which hasnít suffered over the years and still sounds as vital and dynamic as thirty years ago.

I havenít enjoyed any Flotsam And Jetsam album as much as this one in about twenty years. Itís certainly not a classic as the bandís first two records were, but it might very well be their third best album in their extensive discography. This is a must-have for fans of quality thrash metal, or else they will miss out on a milestone of their favourite genre.

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