Flotsam & Jetsam
Flotsam & Jetsam
Release Date: May 20, 2016
Flotsam & Jetsam are considered one of the most criminally underrated bands of their generation. From major labels to indie releases to reissues, the band has done just about everything there is to do, which makes it all the more surprising that they are still kicking out classic album after classic album. For their twelfth studio album, the band have been noticeably influenced by the remake of their seminal No Place for Disgrace album. The thoughtful hard rock of The Cold and Ugly Noise, as well as the experimentation of Cuatro, have all been set aside in favor of the Progressive Thrash sound that put the band on the map way back when.
“Seventh Seal” and “Iron Maiden” are the most notably bombastic. Both songs have dual leads, a fast-pace, and a very traditional Metal approach that features musical melodies and soaring vocals. It certainly brings to mind the band’s original connection with fans of bands like Iron Maiden, Metal Church, and Annihilator. “L.O.T.D.” is another Thrash throwback that sounds like a band re-embracing their roots with its breakneck verses and groove-oriented bridges.
“Smoking Gun” spotlights the band’s more technical side really well and is one of the album highlights in my opinion. It features a sinister vocal and some spectacular guitar work, the kind that pushes the song forward without overshadowing everything else. “Taser” is another tune that blends the band’s rediscovered ancestry with the technical prowess that has been missing from the band’s last few albums. This new lineup feels like they are out to prove a point.
As a big fan of Ugly Noise, I was pretty shocked that the band stepped backwards in a lot of ways for this self-titled release. After repeated listens it’s hard to deny how great this is though. I mean, this is classic sounding Flotsam & Jetsam with a lot more skill behind it. The new members are beasts and Eric ‘AK’ Knutson’s vocals are career-defining. The band sound 25 years younger on Flotsam & Jetsam and metal fans would do well to rediscover these sleeping giants.
Reviewed by mark1340