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On disc: Freak Of Nature

- Gathering Of Freaks - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Gathering Of Freaks

Gathering Of Freaks
(Music For Nations - 1994)

This is the second release of Mike Tramp's Freak Of Nature, most will know singer and mainman Mike Tramp from his former band White Lion. But don't expect the same kind of music! If you know their debut, you'll know what to expect. If not... I'll try to give you a clue what it's all about. The first track The Gathering Of Freaks starts slowly with acoustic guitars and melancholy words then it speeds up a little before it ends with a powerful riff. The next track Enemy is more a typical track for Mr. Tramp and his mates. An mid-tempo track with heavy guitar riffs, a catchy hook line, but one thing all tracks have in common... The melancholy voice of Mike Tramp makes them vivid. On Enemy he sounds angry... Upset, but still the song has a positive vibe. Interesting is the unusual drum beat and partly guitar parts the Freaks use. The rhythm section is on drums Johnny Haro and on bass Jerry Best joined on guitars by Dennis Chick (ex-House of Lords) and Kenny Korade. On Stand Back the band sounds heavy, but with a groovy bass line and an interesting drum beat. And that's what gives Freak Of Nature their uniqueness, they play not the typical metal! They use influences from other musical genres and involve them into their metal sound, beside that everyone in the band is quite talented. But they not just heavy, they have a more emotional side which they show in tracks like Need, Candle, a beautiful, powerful ballad and Raping The Cradle, even if that one just starts balladesque (has breaks and slower parts later) and got real heavy.
Lyrically Raping The Cradle fits to the more emotional side, coz it deals with child abuse! On Need the words tell about another abuse - drug abuse. But not all songs have such critical lyrics. But for Mike Tramp the years of unpretending, simple lyrics are over, even if in White Lion he sometimes had the chance to touch more serious topics.
Produced is The Gathering Of Freaks by the band and Phil Kaffel who also did the engineering. I think that was a good idea, coz Mr. Trempenau is experienced enough through the years with White Lion that he knows how to do and he also knows which sound fits to the FREAKs. Playing a lot live, doing it the old way they made a lot of new friends and with this album they are on their way. Can't wait to see them live again!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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