There's no denying that I love Flotsam and Jetsam. This is a band that captured my attention with their incredible debut and kept giving quality metal for many years to come. Yet, theirs has been the case of a band being at the wrong place at the wrong time. After 5 years from their previous album, Dreams of Death, they are back with their 10th release, The Cold. With their last few albums I kept getting mixed feelings with each release and The Cold is no exception... More than ever, I feel with this release that ominous feeling that the potential is there but it's not able to fully develop. Opener "Hipocrisy" has good moments but also very simplistic and dull moments that create a dichotomy that makes me want to like only parts of the song instead of the whole thing. "Take" makes things better but the problem is the lack of something memorable throughout the song. The keys in the main riff in the middle are interesting and show me that the band still has a few ideas up their sleeve yet they cannot deliver a consistent product. I get the same feeling of inconsistency in the title cut, Black cloud, Blackened Eyes Staring and Secret Life. What's worse is that there is some real filler here in the likes of K.Y.A. (talk about really dumb lyrics) Falling Short and Always. That leaves Better Off Dead and wow...this slow number it's actually my favorite track of the whole lot. Eric A.K. brings the song to life with some really bleak lyrics and a truly inspiring performance. The guy is one of the key elements of the band and without him that song just couldn't reach that level of emotion and power. On the positive side of things the band has done one of their better production jobs and it blows away their previous record in that department. The playing of the recently departed Ed Carlsson and Mark is phenomenal and is another highlight. Erick AK sings like there's no tomorrow and gives out a superb performance. So, the pieces are in place but the final product leaves me frustrated not because it's awfully bad but because it could have been so much more. Still give it a spin or two, you may be able to find something here to your liking. I would hate to see that the lyrics for Better Off Dead are prophetic as far as the future of the band is concerned. Still...Flots 'till death.