Flotsam and Jetsam - The End of Chaos
AFM Records
Power/Thrash Metal
12 songs (49:20)
Release year: 2019
Flotsam and Jetsam, AFM Records
Reviewed by Goat

An underappreciated mixture of metal genres fuels American veterans Flotsam and Jetsam, here on their thirteenth full-length, and although their quality level has ebbed and flowed over the years The End of Chaos is something of a high-water mark. It's a damn good album, having a sort of latter-day Anthrax vibe to the likes of catchy opening stomper Prisoner of Time that mixes various elements of the Flotsam and Jetsam sound together well and is not afraid to throw a little prog in too. The melodic guitars are the star feature, rarely too far from thrashy chugging but with plenty of power metal widdle as well, and vocalist Eric AK Knutson sounds terrific, hitting the notes well and with more than a touch of steel. There's a decent amount of variety in the songwriting too, the likes of the groovy Recover having a touch of prog metal to the riffs and epic heavy metal to the vocals and contrasting well with the following Prepare for Chaos' thrashier gallop. And although the lyrics can occasionally cross the line into daftness it's hardly out of the norm for metal, and Eric AK delivers them with believable intensity.

Really, that awful cover art aside, there's very little to criticise about The End of Chaos. Even the mix (courtesy of Pyramaze's Jacob Hansen, still missed from Anubis Gate's later output!) is superb, typically modern but with space left for each instrument, even Michael Spencer's bass loud and prominent. New drummer Ken Mary (Fifth Angel, ex-Alice Cooper and various others) is a more than solid replacement for Jason Bittner after he left to join Overkill, hitting hard and well and giving the likes of Snake Eye extra bite. The Americans have always had a knack for power metal, making it heavier and more powerful than the European variant and Flotsam and Jetsam are no exception, the heavy Good or Bad a late-album highlight with energetic building sections driven solely by drums and vocals. By the time the epic The End brings the album to a headbangable close it's hard not to restart it. Despite having been around since 1981 in some form or other, Flotsam and Jetsam sound young and fresh here, full of energy and still capable of writing a solid metal album. Perhaps knocking the lyrics was a little harsh, especially given:

Don't forget the golden rule is live and let
live your life without regret
Or be a prisoner in time

from Prisoner of Time struck a chord. An exceptional return to form from an underrated band.
Killing Songs :
Prisoner of Time, Recover, Architects of Hate, Good or Bad
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Flotsam and Jetsam that we have reviewed:
Flotsam and Jetsam - Flotsam and Jetsam reviewed by Joel and quoted 84 / 100
Flotsam and Jetsam - Dreams of Death reviewed by Cody and quoted 60 / 100
Flotsam and Jetsam - My god reviewed by Danny and quoted 70 / 100
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