Flotsam And Jetsam
Vermillion Days, Infest, Pathetic Project
Eightball Club, Thessaloniki, Greece
Starting this in pure sense of thought, that was the best metal live ever to have took place in Eightball Club. Easily. It was a proof that while others try to keep up with their continuous effort to be commercial, some others mature through rough experiences during their whole career and they just know how to offer something honest and full of quality. For the fans, for themselves, for their history and for metal music in general. Such is the case of Phoenix, Arizona thrash metal pioneers Flotsam And Jetsam who did us the honor and gave an astonishing live performance, which we will remember for many years.
Before we describe their unleashed attack, we should mention the support acts, with Infest being the first ones I witnessed live, as I arrived to the club a little late, due to traffic from the heavy rain (and as a guy told later, ”When such bands come to play, even the weather gets crazy”). They played some of their own songs, plus some covers of great groups, like ”Siege Of Power” by Napalm Death, or ”Hit The Lights” by Metallica on the encore, accompanied by ”Outbreak Of Evil” by Sodom. They had a good presence on the scene, making fun of the crowd and themselves and waving goodbye in all joy, despite the sound problems.
Vermillion Days who came next, are a band of teenagers who play like grown men, it’s really amazing how they can produce such professional and well played thrash metal, with the two guitar players building great riffs and solos, the drummer following their rhythm and bassist/vocalist having a suitable voice for the genre. Their love for Sepultura cannot be hidden, as they played two songs of them, ”Refuse/Resist” in the middle of their set and ”Inner Self” at the end, before they make room for what was next to come. Excellent band really, the future belongs to them, as soon as they keep up their great work.
The time was for Flotsam And Jetsam to enter the stage, which they did in the best possible way, with ”The Master Sleeps” from their their (and last glorious) album ”When The Storm Comes Down”. Excellent sound, the band in perfect shape and especially vocalist Eric ”A.K.” Knutson. One of the three best vocalists of all time in thrash metal, together with Joey Belladonna of Anthrax and Russ Andersson of Forbidden, he sounded even better than in the albums and proved that when you live something to the core, you can either enjoy it and be passionate about it.
Next was ”N.E. Terror” from second album ”No Place For Disgrace”, which was the one being represented the most with five songs, half of it that is. Followed by ”It’s On Me” from the album ”High”, the one that the band got more far from their nine studio works, as we didn’t listen something from their last three albums. For the fans, ”Hammerhead” was redemption, as many people have lived with the masterpiece called ”Doomsday For The Deceiver”, their first and most loved album, the crowd started moshpits, stagedives and crowdsurfs and the band didn’t seem to believe that great response they had.
Next to be represented was the album ”Cuatro” with ”Never To Reveal” and straight after that ”Natural Enemies”, just before Eightball suffered from the neutron bomb called ”Iron Tears”, also from the debut of the band. Outbursts of pleasure tore the air on this one, and also straight after that. Next were two tracks from ”No Place From Disgrace” with ”Hard On You” causing mass hysteria, and the legendary ”Escape From Within” making us all travel back in time, when we were younger and enjoyed all these tracks with ease. Thrashing is great, but it was time for things to ease a bit with ”Swatting At Flies” from ”Cuatro” again.
Next was another classic, ”I Live You Die” again from the second album. One of the best Flotsam songs ever, and the band still giving all it’s got, there sure was more to expect, and after that, it was time for ”Smoked Out” to be the only song from ”Drift” to be played. That was the end before the Flotzillas return for an encore that will always remain in our hearts and minds, with the title tracks from ”Doomsday For The Deceiver” and ”No Place For Disgrace”. Especially on that, Eric said ”we ain’t gonna leave if we don’t play this one”. That should be the end but there was a surprise.
For the end they kept the cover by Lads called ”Forkboy”, included on the ”High” album. All the band members had a great smile on their faces as soon as this was over, with the fans having witnesses one of the best experiences a metalhead can have. They promised us to come back again whenever possible and everyone left the place full and satisfied. Such bands gain and deserve our respect 100%, as they have kept the principles of their initial ideas and intentions up to today. Long live thrash metal. Our music can go on if the old bands are an inspiration to the new ones, and so is Flotsam And Jetsam.
Aggelos “Redneck” Katsouras.