Flotsam & Jetsam Dreams of Death

Flotsam and Jetsam’s 1986 debut Doomsday for the Deceiver is an absolute thrash classic, a manic and frantic affair that still sounds super. The follow-up, No Place for Disgrace, was no slouch either (despite the Elton John cover). But after that the band wallowed in the land where many thrash bands go once they mature a bit: the land of mid-tempo soul-searching, which is also the land of boredom and suicidal despair. And so it’s been for a long time now, with the band pumping out an album every few years with a few rockers, a lot of near-ballads and mainly a group of songs that no one could ever recall hearing after the album’s over. With Dreams of Death, the band’s first for Crash, it’s more of the same. Lead-off track "Straight To Hell” is an impressive enough thrasher, but there’s something inherent in this equation that is troubling: is it possible that bands just can’t create good thrash as they grow up? Even the groups who do (Slayer, Megadeth with their last one) are still lacking something. And Flotsam lack that youthful energy in a big way here, with much of this album tiring me out more than it should. Bad lyrics all around, but I must admit some of the ballads are more like sombre dirges and sound pretty good; it’s just that a lot of this sounds like the local bar band, and considering how much I really do like Flotsam, that’s a troubling thought. (Crash)