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Flotzam & Jetsam – Flotzilla
The hilariously titled Flotzilla takes it’s title from the bands equally ridiculous moniker, which was a poor choice. The lameness of their name belies the supreme quality of their thrash metal attack however though – as they were consistently excellent in this early period. Interestingly, Flotzilla contains a song each from their two seminal first albums ‘No Place For Disgrace’ and ‘Doomsday for the Deciever’, with the former probably being an earlier number that didn’t make the final cut of their fantastic debut. Flotsam has a progressively tinged impact-heavy brand of US thrash metal that is well sampled in this little snack.
The title track is an galloping affair – an instrumental number – and a damn epic one at that at. What I pick up in this song is plenty of Iron Maiden; particularly for a thrash band. This is due to guitar arrangements that remind me of passages in ‘Piece of Mind’ as well as your very rumbling bass that will always remind you of Steve Harris. Anyway, I really like the passage around 1: 50, where they start adding great melodic guitar touches. This epic instrumental piece is as enjoyable as any classic metal attempt and dare I say better than ‘Losfer Words’ by the aforementioned? The guitar approach of Carlson/Gilbert seems passionate and well worked out – as usual, bringing to life a song which has some haunting guitar touches and a definite horror sound due to the minor stuff that’s found. A thrilling instrumental that’s interesting on the ear, and proves for an interesting choice in single. Some people might find the minor riff sections repetitive, but I find em mesmerising and distinctive.
‘I Live, You Die’ is a confrontational thrash piece with some technical fortitude. A gutsy number which finally gives us a sampling of the incredible power of legendary vocalist Eric Knutson – particularly his great Halford-esque screams, and the erotic passion in which he delivers the end words on the verse vocals. This one’s a battle-hymn with epic imagery speaking of battles and history long past. References to the grim reaper work well when juxtaposed with evil sounding, technical riff work that is well harmonised between these excellent axemen. The scream that Knutson does at around the 3: 20 mark is pretty jizz-worthy, being a clear nod to the Metal God Halford. This track is another long one, making for a considerable degree of variation to be attempted – perhaps even more than the instrumental number. Flotsam creates an atmospheric, chilling feel with the subject matter and mathematic approach to guitars that is typical of their work.
This single contains two great numbers – both long ones too, which is an awesome wee touch. The b-side is your aggressive thrash number, making use of shouted gang sloganry yet formatted with the melodic, almost progressive touches of guitar typical of this band. Your instrumental is a scary, horror themed number that’s interesting and passionate. Really a strong release by these pieces of marine debris – strong effort and good choice of songs.