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Flotsam and Jetsam: Flotsam and Jetsam

So far this year we have already seen new albums from Anthrax and Megadeth with Dark Angel and Testament to follow, and now it's Flotsam and Jetsam another thrash metal group with 80s origins who are releasing new material. The last time I experienced one of their albums was the very agreeable re-release of No Place for Disgrace and this their latest and self titled album is another with so many positives. Despite not enjoying the exposure of those mentioned this metal group from Phoenix, Arizona have been around for over thirty years, and it was 1986 when they debuted with Doomsday for The Deceiver. Two early members remain they are vocalist Eric AK Knutson and guitarist Michael Gilbert, with a welcome addition to Flotsam and Jetsam's line-up being drummer Jason Bittner (Shadows Fall) and he puts in the hard yards with a powerful and energetic performance.

It's old school time with Flotsam and Jetsam and the band impresses once again on the guitar front as they fire up for "Seventh Seal". Flotsam and Jetsam nailed it with the tempo shifters "Life Is A Mess" and especially "Taser", "Iron Maiden" is such a top track with many similarities to that very band adding to the variety on the album. Much like "Verge Of Sanity" another highlight, and the change in vocals style is very cool in a Nevermore kind of way. "Creeper" is so catchy the way the bass and drums lead the way you just know this is going to be so good, "L.O.T.D." is another fun old school thrash track with a cracking solo section. The band continues to power along impressively culminating with the excellent "Forbidden Territories" as Flotsam and Jetsam's talented lineup impress big time, if you have never heard this band then Flotsam and Jetsam is a great place to start.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!


Track Listing
1. Seventh Seal
2. Life Is A Mess
3. Taser
4. Iron Maiden
5. Verge Of Tragedy
6. Creeper
7. L.O.T.D. 08. The Incantation
9. Monkey Wrench
10. Time To Go
11. Smoking Gun
12. Forbidden Territories

Added: September 5th 2016
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
Score:
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Flotsam and Jetsam: Flotsam and Jetsam
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2016-09-05 16:55:05
My Score:

Even though their history stretches back over thirty years, Flotsam & Jetsam have always somehow been viewed as one of the second tier of thrash bands; the hierarchy of Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica untouchable for most. Something that, when you take into account the strength of the back catalogue of the likes of Metal Church, Exodus, Death Angel and of course Flotsam & Jetsam, isn't a theory that really stands up. All of these bands have, of course, over the years gone through numerous personnel changes and their ups and downs in quality control. However a band of this vintage having the confidence to go down the 'self titled' option so late in their career often reveals an outfit believing they've made a statement truly worthy of their name. And so Flotsam & Jetsam proves, the barking riffs and snarling vocals throughout this album as hungry and convincing as they've ever been. Singer Erik A.K. is on top form, his authoritative tones snapping you to attention, whereas the twin guitar assault from veteran Michael Gilbert and relative newcomer (2014) Steve Conley is as sharp and incisive as you could hope for.

Lyrically the band are also spreading their wings, comment on the modern world and the part religion plays in that never shied away from, while there's still room for some mystical metaphors. Unashamedly the track "Iron Maiden", while in its lyrics paying homage to the torture device that inspired the band of the same name, makes no bones about being the best slice of Piece Of Mind/Powerslave era Maiden metal that's come from possibly anyone since that time. However with the batter and smash of "Monkey Wrench", rapier sharp "Seventh Seal" and classic staccato stop start of "Verge Of Tragedy" all steeped in the classic F&J sound brutal yet controlled guitar, snare explosions (courtesy if Jason Bittner), booming bass (from Michael Spencer) and urgent vocals it's possible to suggest that this self titled effort is amongst Flotsam & Jetsam's best.

It's turning out to be something of a vintage year for classic US thrash and as is so often the case, Flotsam & Jetsam find themselves right at the forefront of that enduring movement.

Flotsam and Jetsam: Flotsam and Jetsam
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2016-06-02 07:50:45
My Score:

With 1986s Doomsday for the Deceive and 1988s No Place for Disgrace, Arizona's Flotsam and Jetsam made their presence known in the global thrash metal scene, and here we are 30 years later and they are still making some serious waves with their latest self-titled release for AFM Records. Truth be told, there have been a lot of recent albums coming from some of the premier thrash metal acts of that era, such as Megadeth, Metal Church, Death Angel, Destruction, and Anthrax, just to name a few, but Flotsam and Jetsam certainly more than saddles up next to any of them, and possibly even surpasses them. This album shows the Phoenix act at the top of their game, led as always by the superior vocals of Eric AK Knutson and the dazzling guitar chops of Michael Gilbert. The two are joined here by former Shadows Fall drummer Jason Bittner, bassist Michael Spencer, and guitarist Steve Conley. Throughout the album the band fires away with crisp, crunchy, and memorable riffs, lots of pummeling groove, and loads of attitude, with some highlights being the manic, old school "Life is a Mess", the heavy "Seventh Seal", and the raging numbers "Taser", "Monkey Wrench", and "Smoking Gun". Another real treat is "Iron Maiden", a galloping jaunt through NWOBHM goodness that of course is a tribute to the legendary British metal act. Knutson proves what an underrated metal vocalist he is throughout, singing as if it was 1986 all over again, and if the band were out to prove something here on this release, they most certainly have, as this will no doubt be one of 2016s highlights as far as thrash releases go. Highly recommended!



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