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Flotzilla Feasts on Raptors: Flotsam & Jetsam in Toronto

Review by: Tony Rachtman
Photos by: Nessa EJ
Spanish version here

This past Monday, a small yet strong crowd filled The Garrison in downtown Toronto for what can only be described as one of Toronto’s best club metal shows so far this year. Arizona speed metal legends Flotsam & Jetsam made their way back to Toronto after the Herculean task of playing Toronto on the same day as Slayer almost a year ago to the day. With the newly found success of their latest release “The End of Chaos”, Flotsam & Jetsam seems eager to take their place amongst the best of their old school metal peers, with new fans, bigger crowds, more tour dates and increasingly well-received releases in tow. 

Flotsam & Jetsam could not have had a better local supporting act than Toronto’s own Ammo, whose furious thrashing chops and dual soaring vocal ranges were the perfect primer for a long awaited Flotsam & Jetsam headlining gig. After a single, dynamite opening act, Toronto’s crowd was full of energy and feeling good without being too hammered to rock to what many of them had waited years to see.

When the lights dimmed, Flotsam & Jetsam wasted no time jumping right into their newest banger “Prisoner of Time”. Once they had their perfect sound figured out, there was no denying, this is one of the best sounding bands of their time still out there playing. Whether its the ageless pipes of frontman Eric “AK” Knutson, the crushing tandem of guitarists Michael Gilbert and Steve Conley, the bass and backing vocals of Michael Spencer, or the thundering drums of seasoned legend Ken Mary, this is a band that has yet to see tits best days if they can keep this lineup going forward. The night’s setlist was a perfect balance of new and old, with classic bangers like Hammerhead, the mid-paced groove of the former MTV staple Suffer The Masses, and newer favourites, like Iron Maiden, Control, and the crowd rallying Demolition Man. Eric AK is frontman of seemingly unlimited stamina, who gave the fans nothing less than perfection. As the night came to a close, Flotsam & Jetsam unleashed their magnum opus track, No Place For Disgrace” on a blindsided Toronto crowd that was hungry for more.

Flotsam & Jetsam has all the right pieces to be spoken of in the same breath as the rest of the best in the genre. With a new 21st century music industry that has revived the careers of so many bands who, while rich with talent and work ethic, faced struggles with the industry in the past, Flotsam & Jetsam can and will melt faces while ascending to new heights in their notoriety and collective musical career. Make no mistake, this is one of the best bands out there, and they give every show all they have, while appearing to do it with relative ease. Go and see Flotsam & Jetsam. These guys are and have always been the real deal, and are, without a doubt, a significant cut above many of their counterparts.

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