Flotsam and Jetsam
The Cold


4.0
excellent

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
September 17th, 2010 | 38 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Flotsam and Jetsam recover from a thirteen-year slump with a surprisingly heavy and modern sounding album.

Most people recognize Flotsam and Jetsam for one reason – Jason Newsted. Despite the fact that he hasn’t been with them since 1986, it seems to be the only thing that people can remember. It’s a shame because Flotsam and Jetsam have done plenty since his departure. They’ve released a string of great metal/thrash releases, most notably No Place For Disgrace, and they broke into the mainstream with Cuatro. Upon the release of Cuatro it seemed like the band were finally going to receive the recognition that they deserved, but it didn’t happen. Like most metal bands, alt rock forced them back underground and eventually back to their original label, Metal Blade Records. Those late nineties Metal Blade albums spark many fan debates, but the general consensus seems to be that they were a result of the band’s disillusionment with the music business. With the band releasing no-frills thrash that felt very uninspired, it seemed like only a matter of time before they quit. Instead, Flotsam and Jetsam is back with their tenth album, The Cold, and it is easily their best release since Cuatro in 1992.

The Cold is the sound of a band that is totally reinvigorated and ready to push the boundaries of their sound again. Songs such as “Hypocrite” with its keyboard intro and huge opening solo show that the band are through rehashing the same tired thrash clichés and ready to do something exciting again. That excitement begins with some of the heaviest, most aggressive riffs that the band has ever played. The Cold is full of huge whirlwind riffs that share time with crunchy grooves and a thrashy undercurrent that holds the whole thing together. Layered within a lot of these songs are also some of the most melodic passages of the band’s career and they contrast nicely with the heavier sections. Songs such as the title track benefit from the mellower verses by causing the huge crushing chorus to sound even heavier than it would have if the whole song had been aggressive. The band also makes use of the additional melody to compliment the heavier riffs and it gives them a progressive angle that they’ve never really had before.

The varying styles wouldn’t work nearly as well if the vocals weren’t up to the task, but thankfully the band still have original vocalist, Eric Knutson, belting out the lyrics like he hasn’t done in years. A comparison to Warrel Dane of Nevermore would be a good place to start for those unfamiliar with this band, but know that Eric Knutson is the stronger vocalist. His melodic vocals are as powerful as the gruff shout that he also makes use of, and he pushes songs like “Better off Dead” to levels that they couldn’t achieve without him. The fact of the matter is that there isn’t a single aspect of this album that feels uninspired. The band shred through songs like “Falling Short” with a reckless abandon and pinpoint focus that they have been missing for quite a few years. This renewed vigor has definitely lead to the band’s best album in almost twenty years, but for the older fans they may even insist that it’s their best since No Place For Disgrace in 1988.

That statement shouldn’t be taken to mean that Flotsam and Jetsam have “returned to their roots,” because they haven’t. The Cold is a very modern take on no-frills metal that can’t help but carry forward some of the band’s early thrash sound. There are obviously other albums in Flotsam and Jetsam’s discography that do certain things better – No Place for Disgrace is easily more thrashy and unrelenting and Cuatro is more polished and refined – but none of their albums are as consistent as The Cold. With The Cold Flotsam and Jetsam sound rejuvenated and ready to prove that they still have what it takes with some of the heaviest riffs and strongest songs of their career.



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user ratings (35)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
September 17th 2010


15981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Stream 4 songs here at Sputnik:

http://sputnikmusic.com/blog/?p=3968

If you like the bands in the recommended by reviewer section, check this out.

Digging: Necropoli - I

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 17th 2010


6114 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Kudos for reviewing this Trey.

Well written as always.

Except from the first two albums, I like Cuatro and High a lot.

I think Drift should be good too, although i didn't listen to it.

If this sounds as a more inspired version of Cuatro, i'm definitely picking this up.



Digging: Disasterhate - Sacrifice To Eclipse

Willie
Moderator
September 17th 2010


15981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is like a modern mix of When the Storm Comes Down-style experimentation with Cuatro's strong songwriting, but heavier than either album.

Edit: If you like Cuatro it's almost guaranteed that you'll like Drift too.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 17th 2010


6114 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Well in that case, i'm completely sold.

I would appreciate it if you could write a review for Drift sometime.

I heard that is great.

edit: You got me Trey about Drift, thanx.

Phrike
September 17th 2010


1691 Comments


Doomsday rules will check this out

Willie
Moderator
September 17th 2010


15981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Give me a few hours and I'll have some songs streaming here (on the Sputnik Blog).

Edit: It's hard to write reviews for older albums these days... I never have time.

Willie
Moderator
September 17th 2010


15981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Song streams are up:

http://sputnikmusic.com/blog/?p=3968

RippingCorpse
September 17th 2010


1086 Comments


yeah so this will be one of the years best thrash albums

and im not just saying that cos a good thrash album is a rarity nowadays

Phrike
September 17th 2010


1691 Comments


sodom will be THE best

RippingCorpse
September 17th 2010


1086 Comments


shit forgot about that is there a release date

Willie
Moderator
September 17th 2010


15981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah so this will be one of the years best thrash albums

and im not just saying that cos a good thrash album is a rarity nowadays
This easily beats out most of the thrash/metal stuff I've heard this year. Especially Nevermore's last album.

sodom will be THE best
Is it out yet?

Phrike
September 17th 2010


1691 Comments


"The album will be released worldwide on November 22"

fuck yea m///

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 18th 2010


6114 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Edit: If you like Cuatro it's almost guaranteed that you'll like Drift too.

i got Drift today.

You are right Trey, this is very good.

Willie
Moderator
September 18th 2010


15981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Told you ;) Did you listen to the songs from this album that we're streaming on the site?

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 18th 2010


6114 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

yes.

The Cold is very good too.

It is the album that Flotsam should had released after High.

I like the way drums are played on this, except from the guitars.

And Erik AK has tremendous potential.

I think their next album will be even better.

Willie
Moderator
September 18th 2010


15981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah. Hopefully this is a new start for them. They just keep pushing along.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 18th 2010


6114 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Flotsam and Jetsam was one of the first metal bands i ever listened to as a metal fan.

Those videos from "Wading Darkness" and "Swatting at Flies" had tremendous airplay on the European MTV's Headbangers' Ball show.

Unfortunately, European metal fans got hooked with the first two albums and regarded the band's later efforts as sell-outs.

Of course, this is completely wrong.

LepreCon
September 18th 2010


4098 Comments


Band is criminally underrated

Phrike
September 19th 2010


1691 Comments


this sounds good

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2010


6114 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Did you listen to the album?



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