FreaKings: Fast Old School Thrash Without Compromises
Written by Brett Kihlmire
Thrash continues to shred on in Europe with all the attitude and aggressive flare that made the style famous in the 1980’s. One band helping keep the thrash bonfire burning is FreaKings, a thrash metal trio from Switzerland.
The origins of FreaKings goes back to 1996 when Toby Straumann (bass), Simon Straumann (drums) and Jonathan Brutschin (guitar and vocals) first came together with a passion for heavy metal, especially the works of thrash kings, Slayer. Though the trio didn’t form the band at this time and went their separate ways, they ultimately came back together to form FreaKings in 2008.
Armed with an arsenal of thrash metal albums and years of experience, FreaKings got to work right away on establishing their own style while staying true to the thrash metal sound they wished to carry on. By 2011 the band independently released their debut full length album, No Way Out!
Rocking the club and festival scene, FreaKings kept a steady lineup and built their fanbase before releasing their sophomore effort, Gladiator, in 2014, which was followed by their recently released Toxic End in March 2017.
“While writing the songs we try to make them feel and sound different while still being true to our roots,“ says Simon. “This leads to extended time used for the songwriting.“
With three years between each album, Simon Straumann admits the band has always struggled time management, thus explaining the length of time between album. Fortunately, the band has never suffered a lineup challenge.
Thanks to retaining their lineup since formation, the band has remained consistent in both sound and lyrical content. Though the band’s drummer Simon writes the lyrics and takes inspiration from real life and personal events.
“My main inspiration for our lyrics are current affairs like war, murder, terror and natural disasters,“ Simon explains. “Our songs are my way of coming to terms with these horrible events.”
With Toxic End, the band carried on their signature thrash style but with a more refined sound. And though the band has no plans to tour right now, Simon says the band always tries to match the sound and spirit of the albums, which he describes as “fast thrash with no compromises.“
With so much time and energy put into their music Simon says that the band finds great joy in hearing the reaction of the fans and meeting them person. As a result, they have one wish before sitting down to write album four:
“We want to play as many concerts as possible to show the public what we’ve got and for our album to be known across the world!”