BravePicks 2019 - FLOTSAM AND JETSAM's The End Of Chaos #8
December 24, 2019, 2 months ago
As Dark Angel famously said, “Time Does Not Heal”, but it certainly moves fast and here we are again, staring at our annual BravePicks countdown where the devout scribes at BraveWords get to stand up and shout! 2019, yet another banner year for extreme music, whether you call it heavy metal or not. We do, cuz we wear it on our sleeves! So the votes are in and the compiling is complete! It's time to crown the winners and put the noose around the bands that truly let us down.
So who will be our #1? You’ll find out as we count down the BravePick Of 2019 each day in December!
Everybody has an opinion and it’s time for ours! And stay tuned in January for the writers’ individual Top 20s (new studio albums ONLY), Top 5 Brave Embarrassments (a fan favorite!), Top 3 Concerts, What/Who Needs To Stop In 2019? and Metal Predictions For 2020. All will be showcased come the New Year!
So let’s commence the good, bad and ugly of 2019! First up, the Top 30 releases of 2019!
8) FLOTSAM AND JETSAM – The End Of Chaos (AFM)
2019 has been a lightning rod of classic thrash metal as legends Overkill and Death Angel have graced our list, but none has struck our heart more than Flotsam And Jetsam’s The End Of Chaos. The Phoenix natives let loose a pulverizing devastation of fury with awe-inspiring vocals from Eric A.K. and punishing riffs and tempos laid down by crushing guitar tandem of Michael Gilbert and Steve Conley along with bassist Michael Spencer and drummer Ken Mary. The End Of Chaos is a grandiose effort that shows the Flots still has something to prove and that metalheads should take notice and stop overlooking this criminally underrated act. The End Of Chaos roars its way to #8!
Scribe Carl Begai breaks down the masterpiece in his review: “Where to start? One would guess lead-off track ‘Prisoner Of Time’ sets the tone for the record, which it does.... for about 40 seconds before warping itself into a mid-tempo Megadeth vibe. It makes for an easy flow into a true realm of sonic violence that begins with ‘Control’, which is all about breakneck speed, almighty riffs, ridiculously tight drums (courtesy of royalty Ken Mary), and a truckload of guitar leads that carry the song from beginning to end. It's a formula that plays out over the course of the record at varying speeds, with ‘Slowly Insane’ lumbering in with some of the meatiest 1984 thrash riffs and leads on this side of the turn of the century (Metallica should be jealous). Said song - and the schizophrenic ‘Recover’ even moreso - pays tribute the ‘progressive’ stamp Flotsam & Jetsam have been wearing long before people had even decided what it meant in metal terms. The musicianship on The End Of Chaos falls between incredible to mindblowing depending on the song, with ‘Good Or Bad’, ‘Snake Eye’, ‘The End’ and ‘Slowly Insane’ changing places at the top of the list depending on my day. Steve Conley and Michael Gilbert are officially the most underrated guitar team on the planet.
“In all honesty, given the high quality thrash that has been unleashed over the past year, enjoying The End Of Chaos this much was unexpected. Then again, that's usually the case when one (re)discovers a diamond in the rough.”
BravePicks 2019 Top 30
8) FLOTSAM AND JETSAM - The End Of Chaos (AFM)
9) RIOT CITY - Burn The Night
10) THE LORD WEIRD SLOUGH FEG - New Organon (Cruz Del Sur)
11) WEDNESDAY 13 - Necrophaze (Nuclear Blast)
12) NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THE DEAD THINK - No One Knows What The Dead Think (Willowtip)
13) OVERKILL - The Wings Of War (Nuclear Blast)
14) CANDLEMASS - The Door To Doom (Napalm)
15) MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST - Revelation (Nuclear Blast)
16) QUEENSRŸCHE - The Verdict (Century Media)
17) SABATON - The Great War (Nuclear Blast)
18) WHITESNAKE - Flesh & Blood (Frontiers)
19) GATECREEPER - Deserted (Relapse)
20) GRAND MAGUS - Wolf God (Nuclear Blast)
21) DESTRUCTION - Born To Perish (Nuclear Blast)
22) TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION - High In The Saddle (eOne)
23) EXHUMED - Horror (Relapse)
24) DEATH ANGEL - Humanicide (Nuclear Blast)
25) BEAST IN BLACK - From Hell With Love (Nuclear Blast)
26) D-A-D - A Prayer For The Loud (AFM)
27) IDLE HANDS - Mana (Eisenwald)
28) HELL FIRE - Mania (Riding Easy)
29) SOILWORK - Verkligheten (Nuclear Blast)
30) MEMORIAM – Requiem For Mankind (Nuclear Blast)