December 28, 2008


Flotsam and Jetsam
Doomsday for the Deceiver

Flotsam and Jetsam's debut album is top-notch thrash, bolstered by the involvement of Jason Newstead, who not only played bass here but also wrote a good chunk of the songs, lyrics and all. Of course, he would leave shortly after for bigger and better things, and the band's sound never recovered. Their second album is good enough, but what should've been their breakthrough, 1990's When the Storm Comes Down was marred by terrible production and an all-to-serious tone. From then on, it was cult status at best, and like so many other bands from this era, they struggled to find their voice during the darkness of the 90s. I will hand it to them, though; they're one of the few thrash band outside the big four that never split up (Overkill's another one, fyi). There were a few multi-year gaps between albums, but they've been at it in one form or another the entire time.

But anyway, Doomsday is their debut, and it's chock full of speedy rhythms, killer riffage, and Eric AK's oddly clear vocals. I suspect his voice is one of the things that turned a lot of people off from these guys, but it sounds great on this record, where a little cheesy squealing fits in just fine. If "Hammerhead" doesn't knock your socks off, then, man, I don't know what to tell you. Oh, and notice how the beginning of the title track sounds strikingly similar to Motley Crue's "God Bless the Children of the Beast". I'm not making accusations, just an observation.

I bought this on cassette when I was in 7th or 8th grade, and my mom, ever concerned about the influence this stuff was having on me, insisted we listen to it in the car on the ride home. I was sweating bullets, but thankfully there were no obvious references to satan, sex, or dirty words. I lived to head-bang another day, and Flotsam and Jetsam survived the mom test.

This record is essential.

Doomsday for the Deceiver

Oh, and by the way, this is the 20th anniversary remastered version (and it sounds *fantastic*) which features one of the band's demos tacked on at the end.

1 comment:

maulmatt! said...

i too had this tape and red flotsam and jetsam t-shirt!