Flotsam And Jetsam - The End of Chaos

Flotsam And Jetsam The End of Chaos cover
Flotsam And Jetsam
The End of Chaos
AFM Records
2019
9
Flotsam And Jetsam have been around for almost 35 years and they got the scars and the albums to show for it… and while they never were able to break into the mainstream in a big way, they more than one gave up musicians that joined the likes of other larger thrash bands, with Jason Newsted, who jumped over to join the good ship Metallica, before it started sucking, being the primary example. Unfortunately they now have lost drummer Jason Bittner to New Jersey metallers Overkill. So be it.
 
After managing to clean the slate following a number of so-so albums, with their eponymous 2016 opus, The Flotz are back with an album that one ups it. The band tapped Ken Mary (yeah the one of House Of Lords fame) to fill the drum throne for last year’s tour and he’s actually been promoted to a full time member. He just blasts away like nobody’s business and no disrespect to Bittner, who’s a fine player, but I think Mary’s playing is a little more nuanced and complex especially his cymbal work is a lot more imaginative. The band themselves have maybe gone a step more towards classic metal, a bit more melodic, but they don’t seem to lose their thrashy edge, for any reason.
 
“Prisoner of Time” has a pretty riveting melody in the chorus that hits you hard along with its sweeping guitar waves.
 
It however feels tame compared to the all-out attack of “Control” that while felling calculated and controlled, both grooves nicely while feeling pretty “unhinged” at the same time. Mary here proves to be a beast behind the kit, which reminds me hearing a funny as heck quote, after some friend and I had seen him perform for House Of Lords many years ago… that’s the best set of legs that don’t belong to a woman, mate…was his quite funny one liner!
 
“Recover” is more reserved, but it’s heavy and tasty slightly eastern riff, imbues it with character and makes it a sleeper hit, as it’s undercurrent is strong...
 
“Prepare for Chaos” is a motherf#cking statement of intend, with a titanic sized riff and clenched fists. It’s one hell of a heavy hitting number that doesn’t forget to be sufficiently melodic in its verses, reminiscent of some of the better and heavier tracks of Anthrax, only a bit more vitriolic in places.
 
“Slowly Insane” is anything but slow… think one part Anthrax one part Slayer and chop in a bit of Annihilator, like before they became boring (JC era and before)… it mixes up some pretty cool drumming with haunting howls and insane ripping guitars in a wild ride...
 
“Architects of Hate” is another gem, with it’s incredible drum work hitting you like a gauntlet that repeatedly hits your face 200 times a minute or so (!), till you feel very dazed and confused, if not toothless. Then it sort of lets you take a breather, only to continue its rhythmical beatdown with no mercy! Super! I was thinking this sounds like a somewhat tamer Zetro fronted Exodus, but… better?!
 
“Demolition Man” is a little more rhythmical in a slightly more “modern way”, but it doesn’t stray too much from the old school ethos of the rest of the album; actually it might just be a good thing that it sort of just takes a backroad, since it still manages to arrive at the same destination – even if it’s taken the less scenic route.
 
“Unwelcome Surprise” just grabs you but the collar and beats you up and down repeatedly until you’re beaten into submission and say thanks! It’s actually the best mix of merciless high energy thrash with classic melodic metal you could think of and like its predecessor has something of an Anthrax like air… only in this case heavier.
 
“Snake Eye” is full of the complex percussive work, but it decides to pass the focus at times on the vocals at times on the drums and at times on the guitars, without ever getting the balance over-tipped.
 
Survive” is again passionate and maybe a bit more dramatic, with EK giving one of his best performances on the album. He might not have the extreme rages of a few other people, but damn it… if he doesn’t do wonders with what he’s got. And all these years later…
 
“Good or Bad” begins with a panning barrage of drums and a riff that almost feels like it came from a videogame. EK’s wailing sounds near apocalyptic and the song keeps going on the somewhat eastern winds that fill its sails to prepare the listener for…
 
“The End” that whirlwinds in and in a way fulfills the promise that “Good Or Bad” might have planted by going full apocalyptic.
 
A masterful album that really has no bad tracks, with a modern clean and powerful production that however doesn’t sound “fake” and doesn’t need fake bravado to feel all important… (yeah you curly mustachio’d butty boy from the garden state). A new drummer that practically f@cking slays… and makes the band sound a lot more intense than ever before. The “End of Chaos” feels more like a new beginning for the Phoenix boys! Reborn and out for blood, with one of the clear contenders for best album of 2019 coming really early on in the year. Massive!