Flotsam And Jetsam - Blood In The Water review
|Band:||Flotsam And Jetsam|
|Album:||Blood In The Water|
|Release date:||June 2021|
01. Blood In The Water
02. Burn The Sky
03. Brace For Impact
04. A Place To Die
05. The Walls
06. Cry For The Dead
07. The Wicked Hour
08. Too Many Lives
09. Grey Dragon
12. Seven Seconds 'Til The End Of The World
Out For Blood.
Having survived what can now best be described as a mid-career lull, Flotsam And Jetsam have in recent years had a latter-day resurgence that has seen them reach heights not seen since the band's heyday in the '80's. While old-school thrash bands are often written off as living off former glories, Flotsam And Jetsam have by now made a long case of being a going concern going forward, producing a run of quality albums that exceeds what they accomplished during their heyday and one that warrants that listeners give this album more than a cursory listen. Blood In The Water shows that while other bands have long been content with circling their prey, Flotsam And Jetsam go in for the kill.
Doing what they do best, Flotsam And Jetsam produce another record of high-octane thrash with a slight bent towards power metal (soaring vocals and choruses that will have you wailing along once you've sunk a few beers) and this formula is not deviated from here. On the contrary, the band embrace this formula and continually seek to refine it as they go forward; while tracks like "Burn The Sky" or "Brace For Impact" may sound like more of the same, they manage to breathe new life into these tracks to make them feel as vital as if they were released in 1986.
While the spine of the band has remained intact since 2014, the band have had a rotating cast of members switch in and out on each subsequent release, and Blood In The Water is no different, with Bill Bodily taking over from Spencer on bass. Bodily's transition into the band is seamless and he upholds the band's strong low end (check out "Grey Dragon" for a solid performance) that anchors their sound ever since the days of Jason Newsted. Gilbert, Conley and Eric A.K. continue the partnership that has provided the fuel for their recent uptick in form, showing no signs of slowing down nor of dwindling returns with performances such as those on "Reaggression" and "Blood In The Water".
The returning Jacob Hansen ensures Blood In The Water not only has a solid hand behind the production desk but also an extra ear from someone who understands what the band needs. The production work on tracks like "The Walls" and "Seven Seconds 'Til The End Of The World" not only gives the album a common thread but also balances the need of each song perfectly, leaning on the melody of a song when required or putting the foot to the floor when the band want to go all guns blazing.
The highlight of the album has to be "The Wicked Hour", a song that combines all the different elements that went into Blood In The Water into one continuously oscillating package that will keep you paying attention. The aforementioned "Reaggression" and "A Place To Die" are the other highlights that I found myself returning to when listening to this album; the former has a great riff and a chorus that you can't help but scream along to like a wailing dog, while the latter has a rhythm that will have your head and feet moving like a metronome.
The only real misstep the band take is with "Cry For The Dead"; on paper the song looks good, but it is too stop-start in its execution to gather any real momentum, and rather than coming off as majestic and epic, it instead sounds clunky. With "Too Many Lives" being one of the weaker tracks solely because it overdoes the message somewhat and sounds like the band are reading off a cheesy wishlist rather than a list of grievances, then you know the band don't fumble the ball once they have a solid grip on it.
With the exception of Overkill, Flotsam And Jetsam have had perhaps one of the better later career arcs of all the thrash bands from the '80's, with fans and the band able to point to Blood In The Water as solid evidence of this. Sleep on this release at your own risk because you are sorely missing out.
||Written on 10.06.2021 by|
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