F U L L . R E V I E W S



Flotsam And Jetsam
Ugly Noise

Company: Metal Blade
Release: 2013
Genre: Thrash
Reviewer: EC

  • Sees the band capturing prior magic



  • These long time thrashers have been improving lately, recalling the late 80s to mid 90s era of the band. The group have always had the admiration and respect from the metal loyalists but few people you talk to play much Flotsam. I have every album and only play a select few songs. It is one of those projects that I have on my plate, analyzing each album and culling for a giant playlist. Given eleven albums in the band's history it does make for a difficult task.

    "Ugly Noise" has been created using Pledge Music, basically fans contribute money for the album to be made in turn for the band to contribute funds received from the sales to charity. The record actually was released by the band themselves in late 2012 but the "official" release is in spring 2013 via longtime partner Metal Blade. We have a few reunions this go around, this is the first Metal Blade release for the band since 2001 and a reunion pairing of the same lineup that recorded "Cuatro", "Drift" and "High" representing the 1992-1997 period. Also co-credit is given to ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted, a one time member of the band's first line-up.

    The new record smokes from beginning to end and definitely sees the band capturing prior magic. The band sounds more enthusiastic and motivated with this recording, something that has been missing for some time now. The album starts with moody opener "Ugly Noise", a tongue in groove pounder that is enhanced with some piano parts. I love the mid-tempo "Play Your Part" with Eric's voice sounding as strong as ever. The band still lights up the thrash with monster mosh on "Machine Gun" and the Annihilator like "To Be Free".

    The songs that make up this album are stripped down in the way there isn't a whole lot of high notes or recurring melody in the material. They are all bruisers with quick and dry riffing that is beefed up and down tuned heavy. I think this is the best Flotsam in twenty years due to great songs that don't re-invent the wheel necessarily but are played with conviction and a time honored tradition to heavy music. Good things come to those who wait and "Ugly Noise" is a prime example.



    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: FLOTSAM & JETSAM
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Dreams Of DeathFlotsam & Jetsam
    2005
    Stygian Steel10/14/2005
    Live In JapanFlotsam & Jetsam
    2006
    Eric Compton3/15/2006
    No Place For DisgraceFlotsam & Jetsam
    1988
    Eric Compton9/30/2005
    Ugly NoiseFlotsam & Jetsam
    2013
    Eric Compton3/13/2013


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: FLOTSAM & JETSAM

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: FLOTSAM & JETSAM
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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