You cannot comprehend how much this warms my heart. Flotsam And Jetsam was one of first thrash or speed metal bands I listened to when I was a budding metal fan. The band's debut from 1986, 'Doomsday for the Deceiver', was fresh and raw, but nothing compared to 1988's 'No Place for Disgrace', which for me counts as one of the best thrash albums of the 80s - fully on par with the output of Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth during that period.
This might sound odd, but the Flots is one of those bands that I always wanted the best for - with every album I wanted them to blow us all away. They haven't always done so. 'When the Storm Comes Down' was a bit weird after 'No Place...'. 'Cuatro' and 'Drift' from the mid-nineties I listened quite a lot to and they are probably the best post-'No Place' albums. 'High' was alright, but not exceptional, 'Unnatural Selection' and 'My God' I can't even remember any songs from. 'Dreams of Death' from 2005 was a sort of comeback album, and I liked it a lot when it came out. Seen in retrospect, it is most certainly not the Arizonians' strongest album either.
This finally leads me to what I have to say about 'The Cold'. The short version: It is easily the best Flots album since 'No Place...'!
It is a pleasure to hear Flotsam And Jetsam more alive and kicking than they have been for a long, long time. More nuanced, more experimenting, multi-layered, the album draws upon all the strengths of this band. The thrash parts are many and have lots of bite. The melodic, mellow parts are also there, and as one would expect, Eric A.K. who to this day remains one of the best voices of metal, excels with his strong vocal performance in these. There is more emotion in this man than in a hundred emo bands - whether it be anguish, sadness or rage - he masters them all.
This album, ladies and gentlemen, is a lesson in thrash metal with melody. It is a lesson in old-school metal played by old-school musicians, yet, with a modern sound and a freshness that many young bands can't even dream of.
Let this be the first in a series of great releases from the Flots and the path to the broader recognition this band always deserved!