freaKINGS are thrashing back with their fourth album, Rise of Violence, and show no signs at all of letting up on the intensity.
Back in 2011 in Switzerland, freaKINGS released their first album No Way Out and haven’t looked back since. The three piece thrash outfit who call Basel home borrow from bands like Vengeance Rising, Mortification, and Deliverance and all the other thrash outfits one can think of and combine it all into their blend. The previous albums I can speak to, Gladiator and Toxic End were both top picks for me and showcase the band’s unrelenting assault.
If it’s classic thrash you’re looking for, freaKINGS is the band for you and Rise of Violence is as good a place to start as any. Not to mention that the album is 11 songs and 40 minutes in length, which means for a band playing at normal speed, this would likely have ended up on a couple cd’s. How three people can make so much noise with vocals is simply amazing. The songs are all played at breakneck speed with vocals barked over the top punctuated by gang vocals here and there for emphasis. Production is insanely clean, allowing all the instruments and vocals to come through cleanly.
Now on my third freaKINGS album review, the overall novelty of their brand of thrash has worn off a bit and honestly, when listening to the album, I struggle to differentiate the songs. The riffs are similar as are the drum patterns and while both are ridiculously fast and delivered with authority, there is some sameness in the songs. I started to hear it the more I listened to their previous album Toxic End, and it became more apparent to me on even the first listen of Rise of Violence. One thing that does save the songs are the great guitar solos, which may have been largely from guest artists if the band took the same approach as for Toxic End, but there’s nothing wrong with that, especially considering they are just a three piece. Performances on the album are strong and if nothing else, I think the band managed to find another gear on a couple of songs, like the end of “Wash Me with Blood”. where they seem to go into overdrive.
That freaKINGS deliver the thrash is indisputable, and Rise of Violence shows a band that not only is at the top of its game for their latest album but a band that has consistently delivered awe-inspiring thrash for all four of their albums with no signs of letting up.
Written by John Jackson
1. False Prophets
2. Rise of Violence
3. Enemy Attack
5. Dictator of Hate
6. Wash Me With Blood
8. Nuclear Attack
9. Psychedelic Warfare
10. Time to Thrash
11. King Reigns
Simon Straumann – Drums
Toby Straumann – Bass
Jonathan Brutschin – Guitar, vocals
Release Date: Sept. 26th. 2019
Record Label: Independent
Lyric video for ‘Psychedelic Warfare’