Flotsam and Jetsam
The End of Chaos


3.5
great

Review

by Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (281 Reviews)
January 28th, 2019 | 31 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A reminder that Flotsam and Jetsam can still bring their A game when they have the right people and enough eagerness to do so.

Flotsam and Jetsam have always stood out like a sore thumb amongst their peers. Never "thrashy" enough to turn the heads of Slayer die-hards, not quite as fun as Anthrax's tongue-in-cheek youthful exuberance in the 80s, and let's be honest, Flotsam and Jetsam didn't write music tailor-made for arenas witnessed by thousands of attendees. None of this matters when you take a minute to ponder just how creative and intricate the band's songwriting has been however. I'm not just talking about Doomsday for the Deceiver and No Place for Disgrace either. Scoping out the bigger picture will reveal to you that, in all honesty, this band's foundations and career trajectory over the last few decades has succeeded on a willingness to be as consistent as possible, and whilst it hasn't always worked (every band has a bit of a slump at some point, it's inevitable), you can safely say that Flotsam and Jetsam will never lose their devotees-or, indeed, their communal spirit.

Let's get straight to the point: This year's The End of Chaos sees Flotsam and Jetsam finding themselves in a strong albeit eager position, a world in which their creative well of inspiration perfectly matches the enthusiasm they have for writing and performing a style of metal which has worked for them since virtually day one. No, you won't get lengthy epics which explore and show off the band's instrumental prowess. Instead, you'll discover songs which last half as long as you'd expect and include all of the above. Opener "Prisoner of Time" embarks on a vigorous journey through some of the band's most memorable riffs yet. Basslines mould into harder-hitting drum blasts, and the unsurprisingly spot-on vocal delivery courtesy of Eric A.K. drives the song into overdrive, which is in similar fashion to most of the album itself. "Control" and "Architect of Hate" clearly open their arms to inspiration dragged from the heart of 80s power metal, whereas A.K. sneers his way through the more menacing likes of "Prepare for Chaos" and "Slowly Insane" as some of the heaviest riffs known in Flotsam and Jetsam's back catalogue unfold. Sure, there's nothing here that was written or performed with the sole intent of gaining a hefty amount of new(er) fans or indeed getting the band's name into the charts, but you can feel the eagerness oozing in pretty much every aspect.

The End of Chaos does have a few moments where the band like to step out of their comfort zone. The aforementioned "Slowly Insane" for example offers nothing you haven't heard before in its predictable albeit satisfying first half. Then, all of a sudden, the halfway point turns on the limelight and you're thrown into this epic composition where A.K.'s vocals get doubled up, Wagnerian solo work unfolds and the atmosphere becomes ever denser, showcasing the band's progressive tendencies just when you least expect it. Alas, this is a good thing, especially for those who were expecting an album similar in fashion to the ambitious nature of No Place for Disgrace. Similarly, there's a lot of flair to be found in certain songs, particularly the solo sections. "Unwelcome Surprise" explodes with ferocity as Gilbert's note-perfect guitar work wails alongside newcomer Ken Mary's fitting drum rhythms. "Control" matches A.K.'s passionate vocal performance with an equally as exhilarating mid-section where the victorious spirit is maintained through the instrumentation's on-point speed and precision.

The End of Chaos doesn't render Flotsam and Jetsam in a state of superstardom, nor does it match the immediacy of the band's 80s heyday. It does however mark a stronger position for the band to be in for quite some while, and whilst this sense of resurgence was arguably set in stone by previous album Flotsam and Jetsam, here it's obvious that the band are feeling content with the end product and enthusiastic for what may come in the future.



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user ratings (52)
Chart.
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2019


2602 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

c/c welcome as always

Digging: Motanka - Motanka

vermillionZ
January 28th 2019


233 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Album is super fun. Just very catchy and not as angry sounding as most other thrash records these days.

While the highlights on their self-titled album (LOTD comes to mind) were better than anything on this one, I feel like overall this is the better album.

Papa Universe
January 28th 2019


22176 Comments


and the award for the worst album cover of the year that didn't even last a month goes to...

SlaveLabor
January 28th 2019


480 Comments


I saw these guys in 83 at the roxy.

bloc
January 28th 2019


56367 Comments


These guys have always had garbage album art tbh

Digging: UNKLE - Psyence Fiction

vermillionZ
January 28th 2019


233 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

The Artwork for "The Cold" was pretty neat imo

But in general, yeah bad Cover art kinda is a tradition for them.

TheNotrap
January 28th 2019


11385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The previous is more interesting, in my opinion, but the album is quite solid.



Erik is the man, great vocals.

Digging: Disentomb - The Decaying Light

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 28th 2019


8372 Comments


^^Agreed, some ideas from the previous album are heard here too, but production is better here, it’s a trade off.

And yeah, Erik is the man.

Digging: Norman Shores - De L'Ombre Surgit La Lumičre

StrikeOfTheBeast
January 28th 2019


7949 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Erik might actually sound a bit better here than the s/t tbh. Album rules ahrd \m/

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2019


16286 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

What I heard off this was good, veering towards okish, probably not gonna check it in full, just not in the mood for now.

Digging: Paranoid Void - Literary Math

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 29th 2019


31459 Comments


Good write-up! It's been nice to see you banging out reviews for new (or new-ish) releases like this. If I might make one general suggestion, I'd say aim for concise language. Even when you say "Let's get straight to the point", it's followed by a 50-word sentence that reads a little bloated aloud. Again, the prose is fine and there's nothing grammatically incorrect, I'd just cut down on excess descriptors like "however", "either", etc if they don't add anything to the sentence. I always used to over-describe as well, and still tend to (case-in-point: now), but it will read so much easier if you make a push for refined language.

Also, have a feature! :-)

Digging: Bad Books - III

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
January 29th 2019


2602 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers dude. Yeah I do have a tendency to ramble on, it's great that it's getting noticed as far as constructive criticism is concerned. Something to focus on for the future certainly.

ChaoticVortex
January 29th 2019


803 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The singles leading up to this were all very solid, and Flotsam itself seems to have found the key in their songwriting on how to bring their past and present together. It's also pretty crazy how good Eric A.K. sounds after 30+ years.

BledWh1te
January 29th 2019


25 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This has some great riffs, glad I checked this out

StrikeOfTheBeast
January 29th 2019


7949 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

fuckin ahrd \m/

ProjectFreak
January 30th 2019


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I enjoy this, particularly the closer but it has basically no substance, 3.2



edit: got over myself, it's fun enough for a slight bump

CaptainDooRight
February 1st 2019


4091 Comments


zzzzzzzzz

Lord(e)Po)))ts
February 1st 2019


43287 Comments


So thats what the michael bay TMNT's look like out of their shell

StrikeOfTheBeast
February 1st 2019


7949 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

lol That's one way to put it.

ChaoticVortex
February 2nd 2019


803 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Solid af. No big tricks, just well-executed old-school thrash.



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