Freakings – Toxic End
Running Time: 36:39
Review by Dawn King
I must admit that I was a virgin where Freakings are concerned, having never heard of them before being assigned their new album “Toxic End” to review. Thinking they were a new band on the scene, you can imagine my surprise when I discovered during my research that they already have two albums under their belt, and that this was, in fact, their third full length release.
Formed in Basel, Switzerland, in 2008, the band is made up of axemen/speedfreak/shouter Jonathan Brutschin, and brothers, Toby Straumann on the bass and Simon Straumann on the drums, and thrash metal is the last genre of music that you would expect to come out of this county.
But, Freakings “whip up the eardrums with ecstatic, wild, damn precise thrash metal” and are proud to be old school to the bone.
Influenced by bands such as Deliverance, Tourniquet, Vengeance Rising, Mortification and Violator, they spent the first three years of their career working hard and eventually found their own style. Their debut album “No Way Out” was released in 2011 and was based on the Sodom / Venom style of slower, heavier thrash with growling vocals.
By the time their second album “Gladiator” was released in 2014, they had adopted a more vigorous, Slayer-esque sound, which has been retained in this new album, albeit, it is heavier, and the riffs are more dominant.
There is only one way to describe this album really and that is this….
If the world was coming to an end and Armageddon was a foregone conclusion, then THIS is the soundtrack you want playing.
Raw, powerful, fast and heavy modern thrash! I say modern, it harks back to the sound of the mid 2000’s but then compared to the origins of thrash metal, this is modern.
This album has everything that a modern-day thrash album needs, lightning speed strumming, break neck drumming and the dirty vocals to go over the top. The guitar solos are solid, and the drumming is crisp, my two favourite elements of thrash, and it is relentless from start to finish. This is full on pedal to the metal stuff that doesn’t give you time to breathe, let alone do anything else!
This is a brief yet full on thrash attack and I am surprised these guys are still an independent with two albums already to their name and awesome production on this, their third. They have little regard for musicianship, opting for power and noise but to play at the speed they do takes some energy and stamina, so commitment to their art is not a problem.
The stand out song for me is “Violent Disaster”, where the pulsing drums slow to half pace while the guitars remain at rocket speed, before quickening back up again. Definitely a highlight of the album for me.
This album doesn’t bring anything new to the genre and can sound a bit ‘samey’ with each track sounding much like the previous, but I think all thrash metal sounds like this at first! But it is a fun album and at just 36 minutes long, anyone can cope with thrash for that amount of time.
I will certainly go and check out their previous offerings and will be keeping an eye out for any gigs they might do.
I am a thrash girl through and through and in the words of track number four “TxWxNxD” – THRASH WILL NEVER DIE!!
Stand out track: Violent Disaster
01. Hell On Earth
02. Future Vision
03. Violent Disaster
05. Toxic End
06. Friendly Fire
07. Brain Dead
08. Price Of Freedom
09. Wave Of Pain
10. Beer Attack
11. No More Excuses
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