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This review is from: The Cold (Audio CD)
Having been brought up with the original thrash metal scene, Flotsam and Jetsam were always a band prominent in my consciousness, and despite losing touch with their output somewhat, I was delighted to see they had released a new album to [some] rave reviews. So I made the purchase - so does 'The Cold' live up to the rave reviews? Er... sort of.
'Doomsday for the Deceiver' aside, one of the banes of F and J's career has been inconsistency. Many of their tracks have hit insane heights that none others can reach, but have been surrounded by filler material with weak or patchy song-writing. 'The Cold' is no different.
Opener 'Hypocrite' is a shocker. A monotone riff with an ill-fitting vocal line and a chorus that consists of 'Hypocrite' shouted four times. Not good enough. Alarm bells were ringing. But following this are 'Take' and 'The Cold' - two of the best darn tracks that will be produced this year. 'The Cold' in particular is a stunning, rousing power ballad with a blitzing vocal performance from Eric.
The up-down feel continues all the way through ('Better off dead': good, 'Black Cloud', 'KYA': duff). Many of the tracks - frustratingly - suffer from weak writing in the guitar department - too many riffs are monotone in nature and rely on Eric's vocal line to carry the song.
The reason for four stars in a somewhat negative review is the stunning vocal performance by Eric AK - is he the best singer in modern day thrash metal? Maybe - or maybe second only to 'Blitz' from Overkill. Rousing, technically perfect and passionate, he frequently turns good songs into great, and rescues many of the tracks that suffer from the aforementioned weak songwriting.
Overall, a solid, occasionally brilliant but otherwise inconsistent release - this will please many, but after 25 years you wonder how much mileage adjectives like 'solid' and inconsistent' will afford.