Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Album Review: FLOTSAM AND JETSAM - The End Of Chaos

Flotsam and Jetsam - The End Of Chaos

01. Prisoner of Time
02. Control
03. Recover
04. Prepare for Chaos
05. Slowly Insane
06. Architects of Hate
07. Demolition Man
08. Unwelcome Surprise
09. Snake Eye
10. Survive
11. Good or Bad
12. The End


I'd heard a few really good things about this, Flotsam and Jetsam's thirteenth album, so I thought I'd check it out. Like many Metal fans, I initially had a listen to them because they were the band Jason Newstead played in before joining Metallica, but I must confess that I'm not that familiar with their back catalogue. In a way, that was a positive because I could listen to The End Of Chaos with fresh ears, and not pre-judge them based on line-up changes or any other baggage.

The first thing that struck me when I hit the play button on is just how good the production is. Every instrument is crisp, clear and immensely powerful. There are so many Thrash bands out there that just sound like a fucking mess on record because of a muggy and generally poor production, which is often passed off as being 'raw and authentic', and it just lets this style of music down as the technical precision of the musicianship is often lost. Not Flotsam and Jetsam though! These guys have really pushed the boat out, and the sound of this record is not only perfect for what they do, but stands up to any Thrash band on the planet.

Flotsam and Jetsam's key strength is their song-writing, and the musical ability to back this up with stellar performances. Lead singer Eric A.K. Knutson is absolutely awesome on this record, giving each track exactly what it needs, whether that be a savage delivery or something soaring, providing those massive choruses and making it sound effortless.

Opener Prisoner of Time really sets the tone for the album. It's heavy, 'Thrash-tastic', and boasts a huge anthemic chorus, worthy of early Anthrax. Other personal favourites include Control and Recover. The latter sounds a bit like Classic Queensr├┐che mixed with Thrash Metal! That's certainly a recipe that works for me.

Flotsam and Jetsam don't shy away from a little bit of cheesy silliness from time to time, most notably on Demolition Man and Architects of Hate. On the latter, Eric sings lines like "I drink the blood of every man" and "I need a Metal show today". Metal is often at its most awesome when it's a bit ridiculous, and that's exactly what these two songs are. They're also both undeniably awesome.

Don't be fooled by that terrible record cover, The End Of Chaos is very likely going to be the Thrash album of the year.

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