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Multiple auditory orgasms - 100%

BastardHead, March 23rd, 2008

Just like Diamond Head, Flotsam and Jetsam is a top notch band destined to forever play second fiddle to the media behemoths, Metallica. Diamond Head is sadly remembered as the band that Metallica covered, and Flotsam and Jetsam will forever be known as the band that Jason Newsted played in before joining Metallica after the death of previous bassist Cliff Burton. This wouldn't be so frustrating if both of these bands weren't amazing bands to start with. If it was a couple of half decent bands stuck in the shadow, it wouldn't be nearly as bad. Imagine Judas Priest constantly being overshadowed by Black Sabbath... kind of like that.

Anyways, historical rant aside, Flotsam and Jetsam's earth shattering debut, Doomsday for the Deceiver, ranks as one of the top thrash records of all time. Don't argue with me, I understand the other elements at work, but this is fucking thrash at its finest. It's definitely different compared to Pleasure to Kill or Reign in Blood or other big name releases in the year 1986, but I personally hold this in higher regard than any of the "Unholy Trinity of 1986". But that's also kind of like comparing guavas and electricity, F&J is simply a different style and really shouldn't be compared in the first place.

Doomsday for the Deceiver (henceforth referred to as "Doomsday", to quell the problem of having to write that damn four word name too often) is a blistering, high octane ride through the pits of hell, the apocalypse, your mother's bedroom and back. The riffs are all extremely fast, the only time the album slows down are during the two epics, the title track and Metalshock, and it's because of acoustic passages, which don't necessarily qualify as riffs. The bass is audible, which I always find to be a plus, as it either adds heaviness or excellent counter melodies, depending on the genre. The drumming solid, nothing to toss yourself off about, but not shitty, so that's good.

The real standout, is the vocals. A.K. Knutson has a set of pipes that I would murder to possess. The screeches on the title track just blow my mind. When he's not ripping out powerful falsettos that would make King Diamond blush, he's putting his melodic midrange voice to good use.

In all honesty, this album is perfect. I can't find a single flaw throughout the entire thing. I just sat here for an hour, listening to the whole thing, trying my damnedest to find something wrong, anything at all, and came up short. I had the most negative mindset I could, hell bent on finding any one thing that would warrant me knocking it down a percent or two, just so I wouldn't hand out my third perfect score. But you know what? It's a flawless record. If I ever found myself thinking "this riff might get stale if it is repeated one more time", it fucking changes before I can finish my thought (and for the record, the only time I ever thought that was during the instrumental closer, and the riff changed halfway through my thought). The album never gets boring, it just rips face from start to finish, then afterwards pisses on your corpse. If there is any one thing that I could understand criticism for, it'd be that the intro to the title track takes a little bit of a long while to really pick up. But it develops so well you'd have to have the IQ of broccoli and/or the musical taste equivalent to that of a crippled weasel with Down Syndrome to say that it isn't pure auditory perfection.

I'll cut this here before I gush so much I drown. The vocals are some of the best in the high register I've ever heard, I'm willing to say he may actually put more power behind his voice than King Diamond or Harry Conklin. The riffs are fast and thrashy throughout, and the songwriting is amazing. This record is the equivalent of waking up in a mansion, with Leslie Nielson as your butler, and Euronymous is hanging at the bar with Lemmy, Dio is engaging in a game of basketball against Hervé Villechaize, and all the Playboy Bunnies are in their prime..... in your pool.... naked. To simplify, absolute paradise.

An absolute must hear, and a classic worthy of everybody's ears.