FLOTSAM & JETSAM have been one of those underrated Thrash acts whose revitalization has proven to be a fairly solid one. Although not garnering near the amount of praise they should have past their debut, but not nearing the pivotal sound that many of their peers used to launch themselves into the next level, FLOTSAM & JETSAM stagnated. Their album “Dreams Of Death” was a pleasant modernization for the band and “The Cold” continues in this trend.
“The Cold” benefits from its blending of old and new. The new, crisper production and slightly more modern sound and structuring for the band certainly adds a flair to the record, yet the band still has a distinct older Thrash tendency that reminds us of their days as the underground band they succeeded as. This combination works for this record and makes it another solid release.
Using punchy rhythms to counterbalance their classic almost Power Metal like melodic spurts and vocal wails, “The Cold” brings this band to a new age. The riffs pump out some catchy foundations, while a basic drum and bass undercarriage work for a standard modern sound with a bit of Hard Rock edge. The melodic tendencies of the band (mostly with their lead guitars and vocals) catch some of the hook that made FLOTSAM & JETSAM a fun band to listen to. “Hypocrite” uses the modern lead and Groove punch in full advantage and songs like “Take” and “Falling Short” really embrace the melodies.
Despite all of the good things that FLOTSAM & JETSAM display on “The Cold”, the album does fall prey to sounding a bit too much of the same by the end. Songs blend together and many of the catchier parts almost try too hard to be memorable. The band swirls into some mediocrity in the latter part of the record and it can never recover from there (except when they try something a bit more aggressive like “Black Cloud”).
“The Cold” is a refreshing modern move for the classic Thrashers that certainly updates their melodic sound, but it never kicks it up to the next level that even their previous album touched on. It falls apart towards the end and loses some momentum, leaving FLOTSAM & JETSAM as a band that remains a great underground act – but not one on the brink of making it to the next level.
Songs to check out: “Hypocrite”, “Black Cloud”, “Take”.
(Online January 9, 2012)