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Flotsam & Jetsam – Iron Tears & Metal Shock Award winner

Flotsam & Jetsam
Iron Tears & Metal Shock
by Metal Wim at 13 March 2022, 3:07 PM

I have always had a soft spot for the band FLOTSAM & JETSAM. They came to the forefront of Thrash Metal a little later than most big bands of the time, but still knew how to enchant the listeners. Their debut album is a real gem. If you don’t know the album “Doomsday For The Deceiver”, you are missing a vital piece of history in your education of Heavy and/or Thrash Metal. For me it is still the best one they ever did. The line-up then was impressive, and everybody reading this will know that after this album was released bassist Jason Newsted went on and joined METALLICA. he was the replacement for Cliff Burton, who tragically died in a bus crash when touring in Sweden. If this chain of events is news for you, you are either very young or very ignorant.

Thankfully Vic Records thought it would be nice to release the two demo’s that led to the band being signed to Metal Blade Records as to record their debut album “Doomsday For The Deceiver”. It’s very obvious that they have actually used real cassette tapes as the base for it all, as you can hear the sound fading here and there, as will happen when you play a cassette tape too often.

First off you get the demos, and it becomes clear very fast that the songs on them are very, very strong indeed, warranting them being given a record deal in the first place. The sound is quite good, but you can hear that we are talking demo material here. The tunes still need to mature a little more. Classics like “Iron Tears”, “Hammerhead” and “Metal Shock” made it onto that illusive debut, while with a song like “I Live You Die” we had to wait until their second (brilliant) album “No Place For Disgrace” before it was available to the general public.

The last three songs on the album are live ones. What is especially enthralling is that the live version of “Iron Tears” was actually recorded in Jason Newsted’s apartment. I just hope he had very understanding neighbours. The other two showcase how much heavier the band was when they played live, something that was thankfully captured in the recordings of their early albums. Especially “Hammerhead”, which sounds a bit hesitant on the demo, really comes to life in this live recording, as does “She Took An Axe”. Another brilliant example of a song that landed onto the debut album. All together I can say that those real fans who haven’t been able to get hold of the old demos and/or live recordings will be quite thrilled with this release. I know I am.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Iron Tears (Iron Tears demo 1985)
2. I Live You Die (Iron Tears demo 1985)
3. Hammerhead (Metal Shock demo 1985)
4. The Evil Sheikh (Metal Shock demo 1985)
5. I Live You Die (Metal Shock demo 1985)
6. The Beast Within (Metal Shock demo 1985)
7. Iron Tears (live 1984)
8. Hammerhead (live 1985)
9. She Took An Axe (live 1985)
Lineup:
Eric A.K. – Lead Vocals
Michael Gilbert - Guitars / Backing Vocals
Edward Carlson - Guitars / Backing Vocals
Jason Newsted - Bass / Vocals
Kelly David-Smith – Drums / Vocals
Record Label: Vic Records
     


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