Freakings – Toxic End

Freakings cover

Freakings – Toxic End

Running Time 36:39

Independently released on 6 March 2017

7/10 – 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!!

Freakings

Track List –

  • 1 Hell On Earth
  • 2 Future Vision
  • 3 Violent Disaster
  • 4 TxWxNxD
  • 5 Toxic End
  • 6 Friendly Fire
  • 7 Brain Dead
  • 8 Price Of Freedom
  • 9 Wave Of Pain
  • 10 Beer Attack
  • 11 No More Excuses

Stand out track: Violent Disaster

Links –

 

Disclaimer:  This review is the sole property of Dawn King and Ever Metal.  It is strictly forbidden to reproduce any part of this review, unless you have the explicit permission of both parties; failure to comply will be treated as plagiarism and reported to the relevant authorities.

Gaskin – Edge of Madness

Gaskin - Edge of MAdness

Gaskin – Edge Of Madness

Running Time 41:27

Released 2012 on High Roller Records

8/10 – Review By Rick Tilley

THIS REVIEW WAS WRITTEN AND FIRST PUBLISHED IN 2014

If you read my recent review of Gaskin’s gig at The Rock Den last month, then you’ll know how impressed I was with them and how much of a pleasure it was to finally see them live after so many years. Meeting with Paul Gaskin after the gig, he was kind enough to give me a copy of Gaskin’s most recently released studio album ‘Edge Of Madness’ (2012) and here is my review!

Gaskin arrived on the UK Metal scene in 1980 and were squarely lumped in with the NWOBHM movement at that time. They released two very good albums ‘End Of The World’ (1981) and ‘No Way Out’ (1982) and then, as so many bands did, faded away! I didn’t get into Rock & Metal until very late in 1982 so, even then, I was already a little late for the Gaskin party but I got hold of both albums in 1983 and still cherish them. I always felt, as many people did, that there was more to Gaskin then pure NWOBHM. They could certainly thump out the metal when they wanted to but Paul’s influences in Blues & Heavy Rock meant they were always a more melodic prospect than many of their peers and I personally thought they were very underrated! They returned in 2000 with third album ‘Stand Or Fall’ and after many ups and downs have thankfully been a more regular band on the circuit again since 2010!

And now we come almost up to date with fourth album ‘Edge Of Madness’ which is the best sounding Gaskin release to date, thanks to a fine production from drummer David John Norman, and an album that sees the band do what they do best which is give us eight full and two short instrumental tracks full of the trademark Gaskin sound! They know exactly what works for them and write the songs they love playing so there is no point expecting anything modern or original. This is a good hard rock album and if you have an ear for melody, some great guitar playing and fairly dark lyrics then you’ll really enjoy this. I certainly do!

What I am going to say is that one track doesn’t work so well for me and that’s ‘Wake Up Dead’ Now lyrically it’s a very personal, emotional and dark song, dealing with Paul’s descent into depression and drugs at a low point in his life and they are an engaging listen, but musically I find the track pedestrian and plodding, especially at over six minutes. However, Gaskin more than make up for it with opener ‘Damnation’, which has a very mid-paced sounding Saxon riff and is a good way to start the album, ‘Heart Like Thunder’, ‘Bedlam’, The title track and the barn storming and brilliant ‘The Contract’.

Apart from Saxon, there are elements of Diamond Head, Ozzy Osbourne, Rainbow and even a couple of instances that reminded me of classic UK Melodic Rock greats FM! Paul’s voice has stayed intact over the years, although he comes across more powerfully live and his guitar work is lovely, with a certain Ritchie Blackmore feel in places. Fellow guitarist Andrew Solomon is an excellent soloist and the aforementioned Norman on drums and bassist Mick Cross make a very solid rhythmic team. We also get a couple of guest appearances from Emma Hudson on backing vocals and Hawkwind’s Nik Turner who turns in a nice saxophone solo on the track ‘Mans’ World’

I’m not going to suggest that Gaskin have released an album of the year contender, but you also know what else I’m going to say if you are a regular reader. If it’s played with passion and emotion and nearly all the songs rock your boat then it doesn’t matter. Edge Of Madness is a good album and it’s by Gaskin. That I’m still saying that band name in the year 2014 means a lot because they, along with Saxon, Motorhead, Priest, Rush, Magnum, Demon and UFO were one of the bands that set me off on my long rock journey over thirty years ago and they deserve their moment in the spotlight! Come on Paul, I want album number five!!

Gaskin band pic

Track List –

  • 01. Just Before Dawn
  • 02. Damnation 04:36
  • 03. Heart Like Thunder
  • 04. Man’s World
  • 05. Wake Up Dead
  • 06. Lost & Lonely
  • 07. The Contract
  • 08. Bedlam
  • 09. Te Amavi
  • 10. Edge of Madness

Links –

Reproduced with the kind permission of Brutiful Metal Radio

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley and Ever Metal.  It is strictly forbidden to reproduce and part of this review, unless you have the explicit permission of both parties; failure to comply will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.