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The last remains of thrash metal had vanished. Whereas ‘When The Storm Comes Down’ did still have some thrashing and raging moments, Flotsam and Jetsam had now finally left that style behind. Soundwise (production) ‘Quatro’ was a huge improvement compared to its predecessor and also Erik AK sang a lot better this time. But neither of these elements were enough to save this album.
There are but a few moments the tempo increases on ‘Quatro’. But Flotsam and Jetsam started to suffer from the ‘Independent’ disease (Sacred Reich). Namely writing a tiny amount of up tempo material that is based more upon hardcore punk crossover than old school thrash and filling the rest of the album with rhythmical modern groove metal (Sepultura did the same on Chaos AD). Of course there is nothing wrong with that style, but it always made someone frown when a former thrash band did that. They all started sounding so incredibly desperate! The times were changing however and thrash metal was losing popularity.
Alright, the 4 good songs I’m talking about are these: ‘Natural Enemies’. The only song on which the tempo and riffs at times refer to thrash metal. With the exception of the rather dull chorus this is quite an enjoyable song. ‘Hypodermic Midnight Snack’ is a very dynamic and slightly funny tune (Annihilators Kraf Dinner pops too mind without the thrash)
‘Never to Reveal’ and ‘Are You Willing’ are the best examples of the new up tempo crossover approach. These songs are actually very good, catchy and have great up tempo moments. Guitar wise these songs are true crossover with some old school chuggah chuggah moments.
All the other songs have never convinced me. I’m not saying these compositions only suck because they’re not up tempo but Flotsam & Jetsam didn’t really master this new style of songwriting and songs sounded contrived, uninspired and at times even desperate in the same way all the slower songs on Sacred Reichs ‘Independent’ did. Check out the horrible cheesy chorus of ‘Cradle Me Now’ for instance and you’ll know what I mean.
Therefore: get your hands on ‘Natural Enemies’, ‘Never To Reveal’, ‘Hypodermic Midnight Snack’, and ‘Are You Willing’ if you want some energetic crossover metal. If you want some thrash, check out their first two albums. And if you want some quality nineties mid tempo metal, check out the Anthrax album ‘Sound Of white Noise’
Verdict: 4 good songs out of 12: 33 points. Extra credit for the sound and vocal performance by Eric. Total score 40 points