• 7.2/10
    FLOTSAM AND JETSAM - Blood In The Water - 7.2/10


AFM Records
Release date: June 4, 2021

User Review
8.5/10 (1 vote)

2021 marks 35 years since the debut record by the US Metallers Flotsam and Jetsam saw the daylight. Since then, the band has got 14 albums done, the most recent one still awaiting official release. Those who dabble in conspiracy theories and like to pay attention to small details may have noticed that 35 and 14 are both multiplications of 7, so perhaps the new album Flotsam and Jetsam has to offer is going to be something truly sensational? It is titled Blood in the Water and it sure is something to look forward to for everyone being into all things heavy, fast and anything but simple.

To start off, Flotsam and Jetsam is one of the most important acts in the history of Thrash/Speed Metal. Those who only care about famous bands may associate it with one of its founding members Jason Newsted who left them in order to join forces with Metallica shortly after the debut release Doomsday for the Deceiver and that’s as far as it goes. But those who don’t care about the band’s recognition and YouTube statistics have no reason not to dig Flotsam and Jetsam. The band is simply too good to be despised.

Considering the fact Flotsam and Jetsam have been through numerous lineup changes, it is worth mentioning that Blood in the Water is the band’s first album to feature Bill Bodily on bass. Although it is unknown how many other bassists tried to get in the band, he definitely was a good choice. It is mostly the first half of the album where some first class bass lines can be heard, like in the second track titled “Burn the Sky”. It might seem like the bass is doing its own thing in the intro riff, and yet the perfect harmony is there. Another good example is the following track “Brace for Impact” – one might wonder if Overkill’s D.D. Verni is one of the new Flotsam and Jetsam bassist’s bass heroes.

Overall, the album is full of finesse solos and guitar harmonies. The deepest and most sophisticated solo might be the one from “Walls” which is the track number 5. The opening composition being also the title track features a truly powerful yet so catchy chorus that could be described as “where Technical Thrash meets Power Metal”. Power Metal as it was in the 80s, that is. Perhaps even those who don’t like Metal at all would appreciate that song. It is interesting how this album does not sound like any of the absolute top Thrash bands, including the Big Four. There may be a bit of a Testament sound to it, but it would look better on the same shelf with such bands as Vektor, Exhorder or Dream Theater. Gritty technical riffs and beats combined with decent melodies. That definitely is something one might want to just stand in the crowd and appreciate rather than do circle pits and walls of death to it. Unless Eric A. K. tells them to do otherwise.

The nearer the end Blood in the Water is getting, the more of an East Coast Thrash sound some of the songs seem to have. One of those compositions is definitely the ninth track titled “Dragon” which is also packed with pinch harmonics Dimebag himself would surely have approved of. It’s also interesting how the final track “7 Seconds” has a nice synth breakdown towards the end which makes a perfect conclusion for this fat Thrash Metal album.

It’s nice to see the guys at Flotsam and Jetsam keep the Metal scene alive. Hopefully some great shows can be on the cards once the pandemic is history.


  • Miłosz Mikołaj Nizioł

    Miłosz is a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He was born somewhere in Europe and now lives elsewhere in Europe. Miłosz is a writer and it has always been his passion. Aside from that, Miłosz is also a bass player - back in his UK days he played in various bands, some of which made it to have their place in the history of Metal; this includes an English high speed Thrash Metal act Rager that got mentioned in Contract in Blood: A History Of UK Thrash Metal (Glasper, I., 2018).   When enjoying live music as a member of the audience, Milosz never says no to circle pits and a good wall of death. Besides Metal, Milosz has a very wide range of interests that don't need to be specified here since they're not about Metal. One of them can be, actually: Milosz LOVES coming up with parodies of various songs lyrics.   Milosz's Top 25 bands (in the following order) are: The Beatles Deep Purple & Black Sabbath Queen ]v[ E G A D E T ]-[ (until 24.05.2021, but still) Judas Priest Iron Maiden (first three albums mostly) Twisted Sister Mötley Crüe KISS (preferably with Ace and Peter) Exodus Overkill Pantera Rainbow (and DIO of course) Savatage Running Wild Testament Pink Floyd ABBA Red Hot Chili Peppers Death Dire Straits Alestorm Motörhead

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