(8/10) The release of a new Flotsam And Jetsam album is always a good moment in time, at least it is again a good moment. I'm fan of the Phoenix, Arizona based quintet since the very early days. As I wrote in a previous album review, it has been two songs that blew me away when I heard those in a Swiss radio show. "Iron Tears" and "Hammerhead" from the band's debut opened a new world of metal for me. Those songs have been harder and heavier than most of the things I heard at that time.
But maybe success came too early or it was because of bass player Jason Newsted leaving the band for joining Metallica that resulted, after two great albums, in a constant way downwards, with a negative peak called "Dreams of Death". But there is one thing I have to grant the band, they never gave up.
After such a period of suffering as a Flotsam And Jetsam fan, it was more than a relief when the guys release the dark but well-done "The Cold" album. It felt all of a sudden that the band was back and found their old strength.
From this moment on Flotsam And Jetsam release well-crafted thrash record and they went into a kind of indian summer.
The newest kid in metal town is simply called "Flotsam & Jetsam". Twelve new songs have been recorded and each of them is a true Jetsam song. Maybe there is one exemption. The guys placed a track on the album that's called "Iron Maiden", a number that was also chosen to be the first video release. And no, it's not a Maiden cover version. It's a tribute to one of the most influential metal bands on earth. From vocal lines to the galloping rhythm, all the Maiden-trademarks are in place. The song also shows how good Eric AK is a singer. Sometimes he almost sounds like Dickinson's little brother.
Furthermore there are true Jetsam anthems on the album too. The fast "L.O.T.D." is one of those pushing songs the guys are famous for. It could come right from the "No Place for Disgrace" session since it combines old school with a more modern sound.
Also the opening of "Flotsam And Jetsam" doesn't lead to any complaints. It's a more oriental guitar line that kicks off the album before the mid pace "Seventh Seal" marks the first highlight on the album.
"Verge of Tragedy" instead has a pretty dark vibe and could be from the "The Cold" session while "Creeper" is a more unconventional Flotsam And Jetsam track. It's very rhythm based, has an interesting set-up and sounds a bit scattered. It is not the best number on the new album, but it grows over time.
"The Incarnation" is an instrumental that sound quite good without being a real smasher and "Smoking Gun" is a merciless headbanger that shows a party new Flotsam facet.
"Forbidden Territories" sounds the bell for the last round. It's a good ending since we are talking about another six minutes long Flotsam And Jetsam track that contains all trademarks.
"Flotsam And Jetsam" isn't only from a naming point of view a reversion to the band's roots. Each of the songs reflects the strength of the guys from Phoenix which is uncompromising thrash metal tracks that are vital and dynamic, with a well embedded share of melody.
- Seventh Seal
- Life is a Mass
- Iron Maiden
- Verge of Tragedy
- The Incarnation
- Monkey Wrench
- Time to Go
- Smoking Gun
- Forbidden Territories
Genre: Thrash Metal
Release Date EU: May 20th, 2016