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I have to confess that I've always heard everybody talking about the magnificence of Flotsam & Jetsam's debut album, "Doomsday for the Deceiver", and I really think that this fact is mostly motivated by Jason Newsted's pressence on that recording. It's obvious that "Doomsday..." is a basic album in the history of Thrash Metal, but I've always thought that "No Place for Disgrace" was even better.
From the beginning this album totally impressed me with the huge demonstration of musical skills, smart songwriting and controlled speed that shows a fantastic song as the title track. It's obvious that it's an excellent opener. With an epic beginning starts a cazy race for speed metal, with an awesome melodic interlude in the middle of the song, to finish exactly as everything began, "fast as a shark"!.
Then, Erik A.K.'s vocals, without any doubt one of the best singers in the 80's Thrash Metal scene. I''m been a big fan of the typical growling singers, as I'm one of them, but I have to confess that I've always loved this kind of high pitched vocalists in Speed/Thrash Metal bands, as David Wayne (Metal Church), Joey Belladona (do I need to say where you can hear Joey's vokills?), or obviously Erik A.K. For some people more used to hear brutal vocals would be more difficult to get acostumed to Erik's voice, but for all the other people that comes from Heavy Metal (as I do), listening a singer as him in a Speed-Thrash album is a fucking pleasure.
On the bad side I havve to say that I think that the band never recovered from Jason Newsted's departure because, although they demonstrated that they could create really excellent music without him, I suppose that his influence was bigger that just in the songwriting, and they lost a big personallity with his departure to Metallica (hugh!). However we have to recognise that some of the best songs in the album are co-written by Jason Newsted ("No Place for Disgrace", "I Live You Die",..). It's a pitty that Hetfield and Ulrich never used Jason's talent to write music, 'cause I think that Metallica would have had some more quallity music after his incorporation to the band. Hehe, in fact I really think that "No Place for Disgrace" is much better that any Metallica album.
Between the Highlights I will obviously detach the opening track, with its Progressive and Epic feeling between the Thrash Metal madness, the emotion contained in a huge piece as "Escape from Within", the Iron Maiden influences of "I live you Die", "Misguided Fortune" with a similar structure as the title track or "P.A.A.B.", following the traditional use of acronyms in the Thrash Metal titles. But all songs are really excellent. If I even like the cover of Elton John's "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting".
Unfortunately I think that Flotsam & Jetsam was one of the most damaged bands by the music revolution of the early 90's, and they were practically erased from earth's surface by the new trends of the past decade (the same as most of the Thrash Metal bands). But it's obvious that these two albums, specially the one that I'm reviewing right now, will remain as one of the most pure and perfect albums of the late 80's Thrash Metal explotion. I think that they should belong between acclaimed recordings as "Peace Sells...", "Rust in Peace", "The Legacy", "The New Order", "Among the Living", "Bonded By Blood", "Reign in Blood",... and all the Thrash Metal albums that are now considered classics, because they really deserve it. If you like 80's Speed Thrash Metal, don't miss this excellent band.