Christofer Johnsson once said: “In a fair world they would be platinum selling”. Actually, he talked about Voivod, but this this statement can be easily attributed to Flotsam and Jetsam, for the length of service, at least. Since 1981 this band plays its signature mix of Thrash, Speed and Heavy metal, recorded 13 albums and just make good music without tons of crappy merchandise and public psychotherapy. But somehow, it’s still underrated. Nevertheless, nobody is going to give up, so in the beginning of 2019 the band released their 14-th album The End Of Chaos.
Flotsam and Jetsam are really worth admiration: with all their fails and line-up changes the band still plays. Just read the band’s history – it’s something interesting to think about. And maybe with some more luck “The Big Four” could be “The Big Five” easily. But as there are no ifs in history, let’s talk about an album itself.
Three pillars of The End Of Chaos are speed, heaviness and melody. Thrash Metal riffs, Michael Gilbert and Steve Conley‘s solo dueling (worth of classic tandem Ian Hill/K.K. Downing), crushing rhythm section and the band’s trademark, Eric “AK” Knutson‘s vocals. It really seems that AK didn’t get older; he still sings like there are 80s and there wasn’t a 30 years career.
Also, the main acquisition of the band to this day is a drummer Ken Mary, who worked with such bands like Accept, House Of Lords, Bonfire and Alice Cooper. His playing is amazing: power, speed and vigor – he gives all that need. In this case I want to highlight “Architects Of Hate”, “Survive” and the ending one “The End”: in these songs Ken shows all he’s got. Bassist Michael Spenser also did a great work in an album; his dense bass lines are quite impressive (“Prisoner Of Time”, “Slowly Insane”).
There are lots of catchy moments in an album too. The first single “Demolition Man” stuck in the brains of many metalheads, generating interest to an album. “Snake Eye”, “The End” and opener “Prisoner Of Time” are also catchy as well and they make you to press “repeat” button many times.
The only one quite controversial lack of The End Of Chaos is its tempo. From the very first song it takes fast pace and not reduce it till the end. Maybe an album should be diluted with middle-paced or even some slow songs, but personally I don’t see any problem with fast tempo during the whole record. That’s exactly what fans were expecting from the band, and Flotsam and Jetsam meet the expectations outweighed.
For the end: when Eric Knutson asked if this album can be construed title-wise as the end of Flotsam and Jetsam, he exclaimed: “Hell no!” So I really hope the band won’t rise hands for a long time, continuing to make a great music. And maybe someday they will get at least a part of what they really deserve.
The End Of Chaos was released on January, 18 via AFM Records.