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Flotsam & Jetsam: Blood In The Water

Strike while the iron is hot they say and if 2016’s self-titled effort and its 2019 follow-up, The End Of Chaos, were anything to go by, Flotsam & Jetsam have been on fire for a good five years now. Blood In The Water doesn’t muck about in confirming that the American trad-metallers are still gunning on every single cylinder they have, the twin guitar onslaught of Michael Gilbert and Steve Conley taking no prisoners as they hammer out the frantic riffs of the opening trio, “Blood In The Water”, “Burn The Sky” and the stupendously catchy “Brace For Impact”. In truth though the pair don’t put a foot wrong across this entire album, singer Eric ‘AK’ Knutson given a tremendous platform from which to launch his vocal volleys, which really couldn’t be any more imbued with believability or forcefulness. It’s a mighty combination but arguably the secret weapon here as we traverse the romp of “A Place To Die”, the urgency of “Wicked” and the no compromise “Reaggression”, is the rhythm section keeping it all in place. The bass work from Bill Bodily - making his debut here after the departure of Michael Spencer - really quite something, but then, the contributions from veteran drummer Ken Mary (Alice Cooper/House Of Lords and many more) are simply off the charts.

From “Walls”, to the Maiden-esque “Undone”, via the thoroughly uncompromising “7 Seconds”, not one ounce of fat has been left on these lean and bloody well mean examples of US metal at its best. Flotsam & Jetsam really are right at the top of their game and arguably, producing better results now than at any other time in their lengthy career.

Track Listing
1. Blood In The Water  
2. Burn The Sky  
3. Brace For Impact  
4. A Place To Die  
5. The Walls  
6. Cry For The Dead  
7. The Wicked Hour  
8. Too Many Lives  
9. Grey Dragon
10. Reaggression
11. Undone
12. Seven Seconds ‘Til The End Of The World

Added: June 16th 2021
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Flotsam & Jetsam online
Hits: 849
Language: english

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Flotsam & Jetsam: Blood In The Water
Posted by James Mannion, SoT Staff Writer on 2021-07-09 11:34:39
My Score:

U.S Power/Thrash quintet Flotsam and Jetsam arise from the red depths below to release a brand new offering, only just two years after the launch of the well received record 'The End of Chaos' Back in 2019.

I have always known about this well known veteran elite, hailing from Phoenix in Arizona, but regrettingly I have never actually got around to check out their material and back catalogue. So, my very first proper taste of the outfit was an enjoyable one to say the least and it is delivered as fast paced modern era sounding Anthrax affair that should have some affect on those who really love to headbang.

On the whole, there is plenty of material to get on with during the playtime of 'Blood in the Water' and the more you listen the more and more the tracks will click insode your mind. From the power sliding Trash Metal to the soaring vocals and onto the pacey U.S Power Metal trademark, evidently these guys have produced a stupendously good album indeed.

For the duration, I would say there are no fillers showing up here amongst the tracks and I personally think that there are elements of repetition present at times, in regards to there being nothing new in the bulk of the musicality here, however this does not mean that there are no fresher aspects to shout home about.

From the passionate drum introduction from Ken Mary that conjures up the epic in-your-face title track 'Blood in the Water' to the Classic Heavy Metal stylised power on the chain breaking track 'The Walls' and to the Primal Fear sounding crunch on the brilliant 'Too Many Lives'; gracefully there is just so much to dive into right from the very beginning and it ticks all the boxes remarkably well.

With a muscular rhythm section linked alongside some mind-blowing riffs, convincingly Flotsam and Jetsam try to aim high especially with the face melting episode containing the brawny riffage on the amazing 'The Wicked Hour' that reminds me of Threshold to a degree and additionally, in the faster side of the road Jetsam break the speed limit through the Overkill influenced single 'Reaggression'.

All-inclusively, I need to get myself into gear and check out more music from the United States five piece and I would strongly recommend if you have never done so too then I would advise to follow suit. Throughout Flotsam and Jetsam sound like they are on top form and they mean business this time around.

In my opinion, these Thrash pioneers are here to stay for many many years to come and they will keep on releasing quality material to this standard consistently through time.

Anyway, 'Blood in the Water' is worth all its time for a Heavy Metal fan and it should not be overlooked by any means at all for those that especially love their music speedily heavy.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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