It never fails to surprise me as to why I haven't written a review for this beast of an album yet when the irony is I heard about it for the first time when I happened to open up an old Kerrang issue which spoke about some of the good old years of heavy metal.
As we all know Flotsam and Jetsam
is very widely recognized as the band where Jason Newsted
got his start, and boy did this album blow or what? Released in the same year as when the hugely overrated big four of thrash metal were basically the talk everywhere in the metal scene and also when Dark Angel
released their pounder "Darkness
Descends", it's not hard to imagine why this album never got listed on the best debuts of all the time when the fact is it had all the ingredients of being a heavy metal masterpiece. Call it poor marketing by Metal
blade or the lack of interest in the masses who only dreamed of the more commercial bands.
The album starts with one of the band's more popular songs, Hammerhead
. Starts off with a solid riff followed by a healthy dose of speed and then comes in the vocals of A.K Knutson screaming away "Hello how are you, waiting tonight" which basically signified just one thing. Flotsam and Jetsam
had arrived on the scene. A Great kicker of a song to start an album with. Next
up is Iron Tears
with those insane banshee wails and proceeds into a neat little thrash metaller. The show has just begun. We then have the mighty Desecrator
and holy cow, this can easily win the maximum votes for being the ultimate thrash metal song of all time, alongside Holy Moses
’ Current of Death
or even Exumer
. The riffing, soloing, speed, lyrics and above all the vocals are absolutely explosive. The next song is Fade to Black which can easily be confused with the song of Metallica
off their magnum opus Ride the Lightning
, but it’s not. This one's faster, shorter and can be headbanged to.
This finally brings us to 2 epic metal monsters. One is the title track followed by Metal Shock
. These songs very well proved that although these guys were young, their songwriting skills were absolutely top tier. Unlike those long drawn epics which can practically give the same effect as a dose of sleeping pills these songs would make you crave for more. Both
are timeless absolute classics. Now we have a little tribute to the axe murderess Lizzy Borden
called She took an axe which begins with one of the best intro riffs you can ever hear with some superb solos and insanely High
pitched wails of A.K. Had Lizzy Borden
been alive she would have made this her wake up alarm tune for sure.
up is U.L.S.W which has some splendid riffs and soloing but doesn't do much to grab a lot of attention. A good song but not a great one. Next
up is a little trip back in memory lane right to the time of World War
2, Der Fuhrer. Starts off with a neat little intro and then comes the magical riff. The chorus is absolutely haunting "Zeig Hail
, All Hail
". This is easily the most captivating song on the album.
The album comes to an end with a sick instrumental called Flotzilla
. The song title could sound a little cheesy at times but trust me, this song can rank as one of the best metal instrumental songs ever written. I would go as far to compare it with the likes of Agent Steel
's "The day at Guyana" or even Death Angel
Overall a splendid album which should have grabbed everyone by the throat but unfortunately never could make that big an impact. If I were to choose the best songs on the album I would stick with Hammerhead
, She took an Axe
, the title track and Der Fuhrer.