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FreaKings - Rise of Violence Award winner

FreaKings
Rise of Violence
by Gary Hernandez at 30 September 2019, 3:05 PM

FREAKINGS (FreaKings) is a Thrash Metal band out of Bubendorf, Switzerland. In late September this year they released their fourth full-length album, “Rise of Violence.”  They have no EPs or splits to their names, just LPs. It’s like everything this band does is all out or nothing, and that’s pretty much the essential vibe to their latest album. This band simply does not fool around. It’s both barrels all the time. “Rise of Violence” is eleven massive tracks — over forty minutes — of full throttle Thrash.

There are power trios and then there are mega-nuclear trios. FREAKINGS is the latter. Adding to their payload on this album are two formidable guest guitarists, Chasper Wanner (POLTERGEIST, KLAW) and Daniel Jerosch (RADWASTE), contributing solos on “Nuclear Attack” and “Brainwash,” respectively.

So I could provide a list here of expressive adjectives to describe the musicianship and heaviness of this band and the album, but I’m afraid it would seem like a blur of clichés. So what sets them apart?  Well, first the production levels are exceptional. You don’t get a mash of indecipherable noise cranked to such a level as to create a flat wall of sound. As heavy and fast as “Rise of Violence” bursts out of your poor, suffering speakers (your speakers are evil and must be punished, btw), you can make out every instrument separately and distinguish every lyric clearly. These lads don’t hide behind distortion. Second, although the band has obvious political leanings, they don’t deliver condescending lectures about it. When Brutschin shouts about “Psychedelic Warfare” you can easily let the ideology slide by and just enjoy the barrage of riffs. Third, did I mention how incredibly fast these they guys are? But despite the speed there is still rhythm and melody. Now, I’m not saying you’ll be hearing any of these songs at the local dance club, but there will be a definite groove to the mosh pit when it starts churning.

If I had to pick three favorite tracks, I would go with “King Reins,” “Dictator of Hate,” and “Wash me with Blood”: “Wash me with Blood” for Simon Straumann’s performance. It‘s just non-stop percussive explosions; “Dictator of Hate” for its rhythmic marching intro which quickly escalates into sheer, unrelenting fury; and “King Reins” because I think every album needs a solid closure and, at a scant 2:18, this songs is a searing blast of volume that says “and don’t get up.” If I had to pick the worst tracks, I would walk away. There are no bad tracks on this album.

I’m not saying the album is perfect . . . or maybe I am. Eleven awesome tracks and no regrets says something. People will make comparisons to any number of Thrash bands, old and new, but why? This band and this album are standalone testaments (no pun intended) to Thrash — no need to convolute the point with comparisons, just crank it up and enjoy.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. False Prophets
2. Rise Of Violence
3. Enemy Attack
4. Timebomb
5. Dictator of Hate
6. Wash Me with Blood
7. Brainwash
8. Nuclear Attack
9. Psychedelic Warfare
10. Time to Thrash
11. King Reigns
Lineup:
Jonathan Brutschin – Guitars and vocals
Toby Straumann – Bass
Simon Straumann – Drums
 
Record Label: New Heavy Sounds
     


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