REVIEW: FLOTSAM & JETSAM – “Flotsam & Jetsam”
From the scorching hot state of Arizona, old thrash metallers Flotsam and Jetsam are releasing a new self-titled album, and it’s great to know that thrash is alive and well here in this blazing desert. If you’re already a fan, you know of their amazing career over the years. Going way back to the 80’s, Flotsam and Jetsam have been around for many years, paving their way in the scene and leaving their mark in history. After countless albums and world tours, it’s safe to say they are not going anywhere. Their new self titled release is a jam-packed 12-track album which can be described as ‘a hint of thrash with a modern sound.’
The album kicks off with the first song “Seventh Seal,” and it has an upbeat tempo and great guitar riffs. What I really liked about this song were the lyrics because they told a story and had a very heroic feeling to it. It’s a bit different from the stereotypical subjects we can expect from a ‘thrash’ song. The guys really took it in a different direction than what some of us would expect.
Skipping to the 4th song “Iron Maiden” we can see this deeper lyrical concept appear again, which is really great because it adds more substance. When we hear the infamous words “The Iron Maiden” we think of the band but not the torture device from the 17th century. If you’re not familiar with this instrument of torture, it’s a coffin with nails sticking through the front of this casket. Once shut, you are trapped with nowhere to go, only to be pierced slowly by the sharp, rusty nails that dig into your body slowly and you die a slow, bloody, painful death. Definitely, a grim subject like this could be turned into such a killer song. All the elements really came together on the vocals, guitars & drums. It was very well put together and upheld the infamous name “Iron Maiden.”
“Time to Go” is a more classic sounding song on the album. Personally, it’s my favorite song off the whole album because of the chorus. There’s something about Eric ‘AK’ Knutson vocals on that part that sound mesmerizing accompanied with such a simple, pretty riff. This will definitely be a fan-favorite when played live. As the album comes to a close, we are left with the last track “Forbidden Territories.” It’s very heavy sounding and has a great opening bass-line right from the start. The song has a very dark feeling compared to the rest of the tracks. It was a great closer as it really tied everything together.
After going through the whole album I can’t deny that all the songs were excellent. You can really tell a lot of thought was put into the writing process as the album had good structure. Every song was placed in the proper order and had a great flow. I really enjoyed the lyrics as they were not what one might expect from a thrash band -it was a bit of a concept album and had a very archaic sound to it because of some of the subjects they used. The guys went in a different direction from their previous work, and it was a nice surprise that they broke their thrash boundaries and were not afraid to step out of the box. There were many are subtle details within every song as well as technical guitar rifts that added flare and created the unique sound they managed to create on this album. So the new Flotsam and Jetsam self-titled album is definitely their best!