FLOTSAM AND JETSAM - DOOMSDAY FOR THE DECEIVER (Metal Blade Records)

 

                               (Review by Officer Nice)

Flotsam & Jetsam is by many known because of the fact Jason Newsted once was their bass player. He joined Metallica after the death of Cliff Burton, killed in a tour bus accident. Metallica was immense popular in 1987, had just released their masterpiece ''Master Of Puppets'' and they couldn't stop the action on their way to the top. Searching for a bass player with the right Metal roots it was pretty obvious Jason Newsted was transferred to Metallica. For Flotsam & Jetsam it became a stigma that lasts until today.

 

Nevertheless there's a lot to say about Flotsam & Jetsam too; it was an outstanding band in that era. This formation has its own history, more important than Jason Newsted's transfer. They have the right to belong amongst our 'classic ones'. Their debut album ''Doomsday For The Deceiver'' was pretty successful and encloses the status of being one of the best Thrash Metal records ever. People who know what Thrash Metal is about will absolutely rate it high...

 

In this particular Thrash Metal period a lot of bands chose for 'siren sounding' vocals and also Flotsam & Jetsam had its 'shrieker'...the first class singer Eric A.K.! From the very first moment I heard these guys I was fond of his timbre which is so clear and strong. The man perfectly knew when and how he had to scream a hole into the sky. A good example is the title track, the way Eric A.K. yells 'doomsdAAAYYYYY' is devastating, awesome, superb, magnificent! Back then we were used to this kind of vocals, I don't know why but we seldom hear it these days. In the Thrash Metal genre Eric A.K. belongs to the top of the best singers, don't you dare to doubt it. More famous bands like Metallica, Exodus, Slayer didn't contain a singer with the amount of skills as Flotsam did.

 

Musical wise Flotsam & Jetsam could easily compare with Metallica. In a similar style as ''Ride The Lightning'' and ''Master Of Puppets'' they wrote songs with a lot of variation, great compositions and plenty of awesome guitar riffs. A difference is that Flotsam & Jetsam added more traditional elements, looking back at it now the mid tempo songs can be called pure US Power Metal.

 

The reason why Jason Newsted was chosen as a member of one of the world's greatest bands can easily be heard on this CD. Some bass parts are really spectacular and through the entire album you can hear how strong his unique way of touching the strings was, adding more power into the music. Both guitar players also delivered a good quality, just listen to the crushing riffs and solos!

 

Listening to the re-release I must admit that the original LP had a much weaker production. This CD sounds polished and clear, back then it was less and the weaker production 'killed' a bit the overwhelming musical effect. Songs like 'Hammerhead', 'Iron Tears', 'Doomsday For The Deceiver', 'Metalshock' and the controversial 'Der Fürher' still deserve a lot of respect because the way they were performed. Maybe a better production could have lifted these lads from Arizona to a higher level.

 

In a period when they played the perfect style to become victorious the members of Flotsam & Jetsam became discrete 'Rock Stars'. Touring around the world, selling many LP's and receiving great reviews by the press was enough to give them the status of a band that helped to form the Thrash Metal scene. For a few years they hold the status and their second album ''No Place For Disgrace'' is another pearl but we will talk about it later. What we have to remember about this release is that Flotsam & Jetsam was more than a regular band. They contained great musicians and an extraordinary singer. For those who don’t know or own this CD I advise to buy the re-released version because it proves how strong these guys really were.

 

My Points: 96 / 100