FLOTSAM AND JETSAM — Unnatural Selection (review)

FLOTSAM AND JETSAM — Unnatural Selection album cover Album · 1999 · Groove Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
UMUR
"Unnatural Selection" is the seventh full-length studio album by US thrash/heavy metal act Flotsam and Jetsam. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in January 1999. It´s the successor to "High" from 1997 and features a couple of lineup changes since the predecessor as guitarist Mike Gilbert has been replaced by Mark Simpson and drummer Kelly Smith has been replaced by Craig Nielsen. The new lineup toured Europe with Anvil and Exciter before entering the studio to record the material for "Unnatural Selection".

Stylistically the material on "Unnatural Selection" are generally a little more dark and heavy, and occasionally also more groove oriented compared to the slightly more sophisticated heavy metal sound on the two direct predecessors ("Drift (1995)" and "High (1997)"). In some ways I´d even call some of the tracks a bit brute (take a listen to "F**kers"), which isn´t how I´d normally describe the music of Flotsam and Jetsam. Flotsam and Jetsam are as well playing as ever and lead vocalist Eric A.K. is as always a singer extraordinaire, but even his performance isn´t quite up to par with his regular high level delivery.

Maybe the relatively abrasive and poor sounding production job has something to do with "Unnatural Selection" not being the best quality release by the band, but some of the fault definitely lies there. I´d usually go a long way defending Flotsam and Jetsam as they are an underrated act who have continuously released good quality thrash/heavy metal, but this one is a slight mistep in my book. It´s not terrible and there are still plenty of quality elements featured on the album, but overall it lacks sophistication and standout moments. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.
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