Flotsam and Jetsam @ Baroeg, Rotterdam, 2 August 2019

Flotsam and Jetsam are an early thrash metal band from Arizona that have released two classic albums in the 1980s and a whole bunch of mediocre albums. The last couple of albums were a lot better again. They toured a bit through Europe this summer and played in a very hot, and packed Baroeg.

The touring package consisted of two support acts. Fun fact – all three bands have some link to Vicious Rumors. The first a relatively new band called Dark Sky Choir. Yet the band members are all veterans. Ira Black is now the guitarist after he quite the Morbid Angel spin-off I Am Morbid. Musically, it is not all that original, mostly thrashy, power metal I guess with mid-range vocals. The drummer works really hard on his kit which is interesting to watch. The drum solo was a bit unnecessary, especially with a short set that they played.

Helstar was the second band who also date back to the start of the 1980s. I had seen them before but never really got into them. Live it sounded all quite good. Some excellent guitar work there. The thrashy speed annex power metal may sound a bit dated at times, misses a bit of punch, particularly on the older songs but never the less it sounded cool. Singer james Rivera did his best but his vampire teeth and matching cape looked rather cheap. I am not a huge fan of his vocals but it sounded okay.

Flotsam and Jetsam were really having a lot of fun on stage; that much was obvious. They have yet another drummer since last time I saw them, but I liked his style, it suits the music quite well. The playing was tight and the newer songs fitted quite well between the classics. Singer Erik brought a bottle of Jack on stage. He drink a little too much himself, considering is faltering steps and it had noticeable effect on his singing too. He passed the bottle around the audience as well, so it was emptied quite quickly. Classics like Desecrator, She Took an Axe, Hammerhead and I Live you Die, stood the test of time. The song Iron Maiden played early in the set, sounds a bit like an Iron Maiden song but is an original. It’s a bit odd but over all well done. They mixed classics and newer songs throughout the set. The song from Drift was a bit unneeded, but Suffer the Masses was cool. I wish they’d play EMTEK once again. The set ended with both title tracks from their first two albums. Great gig.

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