Proud in their old school thrash instincts and inspirations, Swiss metallers Freakings continue their prowess at unleashing imposingly tenacious and compelling thrash furies with their new album. Their third full-length, Toxic End is a tempest of openly familiar and rousing textures, a proposal bold in its recognisable breeding. This though does not make for something lacking a fresh and compelling character, in fact within Freakings finest offering yet, it all goes to offer one mouth-watering, energy sapping, and fiercely enjoyable assault.
Formed in 2008, the Basel hailing trio of vocalist/guitarist Jonathan Brutschin alongside the brothers Toby Straumann on bass and drummer Simon, Freakings nudged broader attention from their already local success with 2011 debut album No Way Out. In turn, its successor Gladiator only brought new hungry ears and richer praise the way of the band three years later. Toxic End will simply inspire another wave of support and acclaim, its raw virulence and old school seeding raw magnetism.
Opener Hell On Earth courts ears and instincts for voracious metal within seconds, riffs and rhythms a hellacious onslaught breeding carnally catchy tendencies in the respective grooves and swinging antics which follow as vocals, singular and united roar. There is no escaping Slayer/Exodus bred influences or the severely infectious surge running through the song’s core, lures helping forge a thrilling start to the album quickly supported by the snarling assault of Future Vision. Rawer in air, arguably even more imposing in nature than its predecessor, the song brawls with the senses whilst uncaging its own venomously enslaving sonic bait. As the first and many of those to follow, it is hard to say there are major surprises involved yet the track just grabs ears and thickly satisfies with forceful ease.
Violent Disaster is a matching success, its antagonistic rhythmic trespass bone snapping and waspish grooves addictive as Brutschin’s vocals brawl with the listener. It is a torrent of wiry riffs, bass predation, and scything beats blended with undisguised belligerence and anthemic instincts; every element leaving thick marks on its victims before TxWxNxD sets loose its brutal rock ‘n’ roll. Though offering a few strains seemingly reaped from tracks before it, the song is a thrash anthem to lose inhibitions and swiftly pledge allegiance to, especially once it hits it’s ridiculously infectious swinging stride.
The album’s title track follows, rampaging with ill-intent devouring all before with hostile rhythmic rapacity and the cyclonic dexterity of Brutschin’s guitar. Simultaneously corrosive and catchy, it is an infestation of ears and spirit accentuated further by the ravenous rabidity and predatory charge of Friendly Fire, its body entwined in toxic enterprise flaming out of the guitar. As much as it is an infernal roar, the song has the hips grooving with its seductive swing, a dual invasive tempting impossible to evade.
Through the caustic sonic tirade and rhythmic pillaging of Brain Dead and the vehement siege of the senses that is Price Of Freedom, with its own crippling volley of incendiary beats, band and album savage and bludgeon leaving nothing less than major pleasure behind. Wave Of Pain straight after is similarly satisfying, its barbarous nature and air a close match to the song before but soon unfurling an individual web of melodic enticement and sonic ire.
The album finishes with arguably its fiercest offerings, and in the case of first up Beer Attack, its most breath-taking raid. Never relenting in its acrimonious blunt trauma causing incitement, the track leaves the senses reeling, prime meat for the final vindictive menacing of No More Excuses which also punishes as it thrills; the body broken and elated in its wake.
Toxic End makes it very easy to find real pleasure in its storm. Certainly there is an element of similarity between some tracks or definitely specific elements making up their tempests but little to deter a lust loaded appetite growing with each and every listen. There is something particular about old school thrash which never relinquishes its potency and Freakings exploits it to the full.
Toxic End is out now digitally as well as on CD and vinyl.
Pete RingMaster 14/03/2017
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