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Flotsam & Jetsam - The Cold

Flotsam & Jetsam
The Cold
by Erika Wallberg at 19 October 2010, 9:10 PM

Well, talk about mixed feelings. Ok, FLOTSAM & JETSAM always has been triggering mixed feelings for me but not that much at this short time. Ok, the album is a decent piece of music, for a record quite some time but in the long run that is…

I really love the opening of the album, the breathing and sighs really made the hair in my neck stand straight up and during the second part of the song intro to “Hypocrite” I was ready to dub this album of the year. I took the latter statement back just as fast though. The rest of the song is a quite mean Thrash anthem with a catchy chorus line but not that special. But the feeling put into those few first seconds, the frustration and anxiety runs like a red thread throughout the album. Both lyrically and mentally, these dark, critical and angry lyrics are written with an amazing grace. Sure, the verbal flood isn’t unusual for FLOTSAM & JETSAM but on “The Cold” it’s really possible to feel what’s been said in the lyrics.

Second song “Take” feels very modern and the drums got the blame for that, almost brush-up towards NU-Metal. There’s nothing really NU about it though more than the production and especially the drum sound though. The song is actually really good, excellent guitar-work and a superb effort from Eric “A.K” Knutson. The album continues in the same vein, with really respectable music. Really, looking at the whole album it is pretty much as FLOTSAM & JETSAM has always been, a bit diverge but without loosing the thread completely.

The production holds extreme high quality the separation between the instruments is perfect and the dynamics is wonderful. The sound is very modern and that perhaps make some of the riffs and parts turn over to NU-Metal, rather than what this band normally sounds like. Even if the sound is crisp and clear it is not overly triggered or compressed and most important, everything sounds alive. There’s such a punch in it, like it’s meant to play extremely loud.

The absolute highlight of the album comes in the middle with “Blackened Eyes Staring” and “Better Off Dead”. When the lyrics started to fall into place for the first of the two (“Wreath of dead roses, wrapped around her head…”), in combination with the exceptional vocal effort from Eric, the heavy and very driven riff, the production…. Then I’m back at dubbing “The Cold” album of the year again. The latter is a beautiful ballad, passionate melodic minor but the lyrics are a bit disturbing. “Better Of Dead”, directly pointing back to the one delivering them with such conviction it’s scary. I had no idea Eric could sing like this, on this album he’s absolutely outstanding. There’s not much to complain about on earlier albums but the difference from before to this is huge.

It’s really fascinating what happen to bands every now and then, FLOTSAM & JETSAM has never really gotten even half the credits they deserve for their records. Sure, they demand effort from the receiver to get into it, so did “The Cold” but the more I listen to it, the more convinced I get that hit bulls-eye with this record. Unfortunately people tend to give up fast due to minor disturbances. However, since this album is both classic and modern and includes a lot of really strong songs I’ll be damned if they will shake up the old fans and gain a lot of new ones.

4 Star Rating

  1. Hypocrite
  2. Take
  3. The Cold
  4. Black Cloud
  5. Blackened Eyes Staring
  6. Better Off Dead
  7. Falling Short
  8. Always
  9. K.Y.A.
  10. Secret Life
Eric "A.K." Knutson - Vocals
Edward Carlson - Guitar
Mark Simpson - Guitar
Jason Ward - Bass
Craig Nielsen - Drums
Record Label: Driven Music Group


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Edited 05 December 2022

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