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A goddamned masterpiece! - 98%

Wra1th1s, March 24th, 2008

To be honest I had never heard of Flotsam and Jetsam before. Unlike many people I didn't know what band Jasonic was in before Metallica and quite frankly I thought he was useless (don't blame me, blame Jaymz Hetfield and Lar$ Ulrich for making him play suck-ass basslines in 'tallica). I first heard of Flotsam and Jetsam from the UK mag Metal Hammer, which is kind of embarrassing really but since I was new to metal back then (circa 2006-early 2007) I just had to pick up a magazine with Mustaine on the cover proclaiming THRASH IS BACK!!1!eleventyhundred! and whatnot. With that mag came a thrash CD that had some damn fine songs: Pleasure to Kill, Deathrider, Enter the Grave, Mad Butcher are all songs I play constantly to the ire of my parents. Among those songs was Iron Tears.

Flash forward to late 2007 when I discovered MA. Now after reading up on thrash I decided to give ol' Flots a try. Well the rest is just plain, as the previous reviewer said, auditory orgasm. The album is just fuckin' killer and I wondered why Flotsam and Jetsam are not METAL GODS! Yes that's right they're of the same caliber, actually better than, Metallica! Oh and FUCK YOU METALLICA! For squandering Jason's talents cause this album shows that he is more talented than your entire post-Black album career!

But this is a review, and review I shall. The album starts with "Hammerhead" that has an opening that's similar to "Darkness Descends" but without the distortion part, after that the drums kick into high gear and then comes the bass. MY GOD! THE BASS! Clearly this is why Newsted was chosen to replace Cliff, but why the hell did the haze him by mixing his bass out? It doesn't make any sort of sense! Then the guitars, Messrs. Gilbert and Carlson play chords before evolving to absolute god-like riffs! But wait! There's more! They unleash fast, melodic leads until Eric A.K. Knutson takes charge. "Hello! How are you? Ready tonight?/ I'm here to show you" You just have to listen to the man! He, along with Belladonna and Rivera, is one of the few thrashers that can SING! The chorus is so goddamned infectious that I FUCKING DARE YOU NOT TO SING ALONG! Just when you think this song couldn't be more awesometastic(tm) the solos, them beautiful solos, come in and lead you to the direction thrash should have gone in the 90s. None of that groove bullshit, where the music is no more than a tool for Neanderthals to beat their chests to (Vulgar Display of Power my ass!). Then Knutson comes back for the bridge to scream a falsetto Rob "Metal God" Halford would be proud of. One of my absolute favorite openers and a damn fine thrasher.

Then comes "Iron Tears", a song about love or something, and Knutson's falsetto starts the show. You can see why a young metalhead such as I was put-off by this track at first, he is just so over the top! The leads and riffs are again a highlight (love the verse riff). The chorus is also catchier than AIDS and more fun than AIDS. Honestly, why aren't they bigger than Jesus? or at least every damn -core band in existence? This song is another highlight.

After "Iron Tears" comes "Desecrator", not as great as the previous two but not bad either. The drums kind of remind me of "Death is Certain, Life is Not" at times, especially the chorus or thereabouts. Then, WHAT!? A METALLICA SONG? Nay! Although it shares the same title, "Fade to Black" is as different to that as day is to night. This track has more of Knutson's falsettos but it's short. But these guys give you two epics back to back! The title track and "Metal Shock" both clocking in at above eight minutes yet they don't put you to sleep, unlike what this OTHER "thrash" band is writing at the same time (hint: this band had rejects from Metal Church and Exodus *cough*Metallica*cough*). The title track, in particular, is a showcase for Mr. Knutson's vocal gymnastics.

Then comes "She Took An Axe", apparently it's about Lizzy Borden, hmm...imagine that, a song about murderer gee...I don't think it's going to be anything other than brutal thrash. Well you're wrong it's another melodic thrashterpiece which is quickly followed by "U.L.S.W.". No idea what it stands for but it's more thrash! Good god this band can do no wrong! At least for this and their next album.

Then, ZIEG HEIL! ALL HAIL! "Der Fuhrer" ist hier! It's another thrash song about Nazis following in the footsteps of "The Enemy" and "Angel of Death" but this song has what they lack, fantastic leads (Alright "Angel of Death" has a legendary solo but I like this better!) and gang vox that will make you salute like the damn fascist you are! Then comes the "Flotzilla" the only song that doesn't have Mr. Knutson on vox 'cuz it's instrumental. Ah well, it's still a damn good song.

In short: This album has riffs that you can bang-your-head-to-as-if-up-from-the-dead! Leads you can air guitar too and something modern guitarists should learn from (I'm taking notes, you should bloody well do so too!). Vocals that makes you think that a modern day castrati is fronting this band (that's always a plus in my book). Fantastic bass runs. And most importantly, an overall enjoyable listening experience!

Minus points come from the drums. They're just kind of there, but they're solid and don't overwank like Pete Sandoval. Also the vox may not appeal to everybody, but if it ain't you thing then stay away from speed/thrash in general. Plus, the cover art blows it's kind of rough and cartoonish.

There's a reason why there's a ridiculously large re-release package. You only need to read the glowing reviews to see why. BUY IT YE BASTARDS!