Released: 2016, AFM Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Flotsam and Jetsam are timeless. Doesn’t matter the year, doesn’t matter the decade – the Arizona thrashers are always dependable. Celebrating three decades with their latest self-titled release, it’s comforting to know that not a damn thing has changed.
With a lineup that largely sources from various areas of the band’s lifespan, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM sounds immediately comfortable but without hedging on nostalgia niceties. The tempered, galloping riffs on “Seventh Seal” could’ve been pulled from anywhere in the band’s catalog, but they’re right where they need to be, tucked between Michael Gilbert and Steve Conley’s dueling licks and Jason Bittner’s (Shadows Fall) pounding skins. “Life Is A Mess” circle pits around old school riffs and Eric A.K.’s cocky, defiant vocal prowess, as do monsters like the insanely singable “Verge of Tragedy” and “Monkey Wrench”.
Can we take a moment to celebrate what a totally underrated vocal force Mr. Eric “A.K.” Knutson has been and continues to be? Dude is past a half century and still sounds like he’s 18 years old and equally as pissed off at the system. Suck it Mustaine.
The standout track on FLOTSAM AND JETSAM is without a doubt its first single, “Iron Maiden”. Lyrically fashioned around the historical torture device and religious significance, musically fashioned around the structure and format of a band bearing the same name, it’s the thrash metal single of the year. If this track doesn’t get your blood pumping and your fists pounding – you’re already dead. But as good as this song is, it’s sandwiched in between a body of equally energetic and heavy tunes that make for a collectively killer album.
I find myself tuning in to about every other Flotsam and Jetsam album, and I always end up kicking myself about why I’m not giving such an amazing band the attention they deserve. Don’t be like me – explore the entire Flotsam and Jetsam catalog – be it old or new, any time spent with a Flotsam and Jetsam album is generally time well spent. Most importantly though, check out the new self-titled album; it's an excellent slab of journeyman metal that stands confidently alongside the band's classic records.
There’s no place for disgrace – FLOTS TIL DEATH!