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For starters, this album is not revered as a brain pounding thrash classic like their first two albums were, that being said though, this is still a pretty decent thrash staple, which I think most certainly deserves just a little bit of respect.
Here's why! Take a leap back through time and take a look at the thrash metal community as it lay broken and battered at the hands of the music industry executives. bands such as Metallica and Megadeth had made safer sounding albums in both the Black Album as well as Countdown, which brought them both huge success both financially as well as commercially. Flotsam, being on a major label were pretty much forced to deliver the same sort of effort that was compiled by the aformentioned two. I firmly believe that at a time when grunge rock was the flavor of the week, the record industries wanted their minor leaguers such as Flotsam to sink or swim in terms of their album sales.
The band in my opinion was forced to somewhat compromise their style to some degree, yet I don't completely think that this album was a total failure. If anything, I'd have to go out on a limb here and say that production wise, this album totally destroys both the Black albuml, as well as Countdown. but hey, that's just my opinion. On another note, had Bill Metroyer been responsible for this albums's production, then I believe that the digits for my review could easily be reversed. In other words, the production on this album is absolutely stellar. Near perfect production all around with an equally great mix. Some of the novice listeners, who don't look beyond more than the mere music itself may overlook this part of the package, but you have to agree that if the music is not properly produced, then the album will suffer and the overall effect of the tracks will never be properly achived.
Song wise, this album is rather varied in its tempo's as well as its structures. Songs like Natural Enemies, Swatting At Flies, Are You Willing and Never To Reveal are straight forward thrash metal anthems that will appear to all the Flot's fans who worshipped the first tow albums. And on the the other hand, songs like Hypodermic Midnight Snack and Double Zero will show a somewhat more progressive approcah from the band, and in my humble opinion it works rather well. Lastly tracks such as Wading Through The Darkness I think are exceptionally well done, and Erik AK is most definately at the top of his game in the vocal department. Overall the music on this album is pretty competent in the sense that it is rather infectious in the riff department, and the bottom end of the bass and drums is absolutely stunning. Once again thanks to a proper mixing job by Neil Kernon.
In my opinion, this album is in Flotsam's top three greatest albums, the other two being Drift, and High. I say fuck the naysayers, and accept this album for what it is, and considering what was considered to be decent during this era, these guys certainly did not compromise beyond the realm of soul selling, I say Flot's Till Death!