Flotsam And Jetsam - 'The Cold' (Nuclear Blast) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Ross Welford   
Monday, 10 January 2011 05:00

flotsam_coldTimes may have changed but one thing remains true - great music is still great music.


Flotsam And Jetsam have never been away and yet have never really been mentioned since their 1988 epic 'No Place For Disgrace', certainly not in terms of the UK media and its fans. They were there at the start, recorded arguably two of the best thrash albums from that era and then Jason Newsted got poached to go and play for Metallica - many fans seemed to follow like sheep and forget them. Maybe that held them back? Some may say that just gave them extra exposure? Record label problems, lack of European touring and the changing face of metal are all reasons fans may have overlooked this Phoenix band since those heady times but whatever your opinions, they stayed true to what they believed in and have recorded some great songs since those times.

Now, on their tenth album 'The Cold', they have produced a crisp, confident, consistent set of songs that deserve a listen and a re-evaluation of this band.


Opening with a keyboard intro, they soon blast into opener 'Hypocrite' and you realise that this is a band fresh and seemingly reinvigorated. 'Take' is as good a melodic and heavy a song as Megadeth have recorded in years. The title track is a near 8 minute slice of heavy beats interweaved with intricate breaks and guitar work, with the ever brilliant Eric A.K. putting in a vocal performance that deserves to be heard. 23 years since 'No Place....' and you'll be surprised at how fresh and modern sounding an album this is. They're not resting on their laurels, not rehashing the same sound and trying to con the fans. This is the real deal.
'Black Cloud' will keep the old skool fans happy with straight-up, heads-down thrash, similarly 'Blackened Eyes Staring' and 'Always' is Flotsam in full force, yet always they seem aware they've got a vocalist who can actually sing. 'Better Off Dead' is a case in point where anyone else at the mic stand would be a waste. Final track 'Secret Life' shows how much they've grown yet remained true to their melodic/thrash roots. A great song that just makes you want to listen to the whole album again instantly.


You want me to find fault to even things up? I'll have to be picky but on track nine, 'K.Y.A.', the lyrics are poor, or maybe just too simple? As if an argument was had on the way to the studio and the result is a sound of frustration boiling over in the mind before fists start flying - a shame because it's a great song with guitar work that shreds hard and deserves better.


That's all I got.


Let's face some facts, the so called Big Four have been inconsistent over the years and recorded some shit, yet still sold millions and people still hold out for all of them to get back to what made them so special in the first place without any proof that they can achieve it.


Flotsam And Jetsam are no exception in their recordings but I'm here to tell you that these 10 tracks will make you realise how good this band actually are and that, all these years later, they've achieved it with their best work for decades.


If Nuclear Blast can push this and get them a UK/European tour, they might just be able to pullapproved_image_lrg off the biggest resurrection of a career since some bearded bloke..........