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Flotsam And Jetsam - Blood In The Water (AFM Records) Album Review

    Horace Cordier
    Senior Member

  • Flotsam And Jetsam - Blood In The Water (AFM Records) Album Review

    Released by: AFM Records
    Released on: June 4th, 2021.
    Purchase From Amazon

    FLOTSAM AND JETSAM have been at this since the early 1980s and are probably best remembered for giving bassist Jason Newstead to METALLICA. Their first two records - Doomsday For The Deceiver and No Place For Disgrace are considered classics of the thrash metal genre but like many other acts that started strong on an indie label and wound up on a major label during the thrash signing boom of the late 80s/early 90s, the band went through a series of increasingly more uneven albums often chasing then-trendy musical movements.

    So where are the band now in 2021 with their new album Blood In The Water?

    The answer is in a surprisingly strong place that sees the band cementing the strong streak that their last album The End Of Chaos displayed. Guitarist Michael Gilbert and vocalist Eric A.K. are the longest serving FLOTS members and are the lynchpins of the record. This is well-crafted and powerful melodic thrash with solid songwriting and some excellent lead guitar playing. Eric was well known for his high-pitched screams and with age he's had to adjust that technique but he still sounds very good on this record. What makes this album really enjoyable is the catchy riffs and energetic drumming. The JAWS themed title track is a prime example.

    Highlights? “Grey Dragon” has a terrific stomping intro with thunderous galloping drums and some tasty twin lead “death from above” axework. The moody “Too Many Lives” shows some nice atmosphere and band chops and “The Walls” is a good showcase for Eric's vocals with strong lyrics. “Reagression” harkens back to old school epic thrash with its staccato pacing breaking into a cool almost prog metal musical interlude in the middle before ending with pure aggression.

    One of the strongest features of this record is the effective use of pacing and melody which are often things not in huge supply in the thrash genre. Sometimes writing about albums like this aren't easy because dependable and rock solid aren't too sexy. However, to fans of this band and of this genre this is a very strong record and a great example of the kind of quality material that some veteran acts are delivering today.


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