REBELLION
Power Metal • Germany

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Rebellion are a power metal band from Germany. They were formed in 2001 by ex-Grave Digger members Uwe Lulis (guitar) and Tomi Göttlich (bass). The original line up of the band saw them joined by Michael Seifert (vocals), Björn Eilen (guitar) and Randy Black (drums). The formation of the band caused a litigation with Grave Digger's Chris Boltendahl, as Uwe Lulis originally attempted to name this new band Grave Digger.

Their first album, Shakespeare's MacBeth - A Tragedy In Steel was a concept album about William Shakespeare's work Macbeth, and included spoken passages with members of the band and other people as the story's characters. It was released in 2002.

The second album called Born A Rebel involved more standard heavy-metal lyrics – about motorcycles, metal, war, etc. – and the music was somewhat rougher than on the debut. Born a Rebel is, to date, the only Rebellion album that is
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REBELLION Discography

REBELLION albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.52 | 3 ratings
Shakespeare's MacBeth - A Tragedy of Steel
Power Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 4.46 | 4 ratings
Born a Rebel
Power Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 4.26 | 5 ratings
Sagas of Iceland - The History of the Vikings Volume I
Power Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 4.46 | 9 ratings
Miklagard - The History of the Vikings Volume II
Power Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 4 ratings
Arise: From Ginnungagap to Ragnarök - The History of the Vikings Volume III
Power Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 3.99 | 4 ratings
Arminius: Furor Teutonicus
Power Metal 2012

REBELLION EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 4.48 | 3 ratings
The Clans Are Marching
Power Metal 2009

REBELLION live albums

REBELLION demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

REBELLION boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of Viking History
Power Metal 2012

REBELLION singles (1)

.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Miklagard
Power Metal 2006

REBELLION movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

REBELLION Reviews

REBELLION Arise: From Ginnungagap to Ragnarök - The History of the Vikings Volume III

Album · 2009 · Power Metal
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Warthur
The final entry in Rebellion's History of the Vikings trilogy turns its attentions to Viking mythology. This isn't exactly unexplored subject matter as far as metal goes, and on the whole I think Rebellion made the right call in saving it for the third album in the sequence: having covered historical tales of the Vikings' exploits at sea and on land in the previous two albums gives valuable context to the exploration of the Ragnarok myths presented here because it presents those legends as part of the culture of a real people with a genuine history which is much more diverse than the "seafaring raiders with horned helments" cartoon view of Vikings most of us have.

In terms of the actual music, it's another solid album in Rebellion's customary hard-edged low-cheese power metal style; if you've already heard the first two albums in the series, you know exactly what to expect here and they keep things fresh enough to make "more of the same" something to look forward to. Although I don't think any albums in the trilogy ascend to full-on classic status, I think the level of consistency Rebellion show over the course of the series has been impressive and I'll certainly be exploring more of their work.

REBELLION Miklagard - The History of the Vikings Volume II

Album · 2007 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
A solid followup to Sagas of Iceland, the second part of Rebellion's trilogy about Viking history focuses thematically on their adventures on land, ranging from Sweden to Rus to Byzantium (where a group of Vikings - the Varangian Guard - served as elite troops for the Emperors). Musically speaking, it's more of the same - good, solid power metal with minimal cheese and something of an Iron Maiden influence. They may not be technical showoffs, but Rebellion proved themselves with the previous albums to be a consistently entertaining metal powerhouse and this is one case where "more of the same" is exactly what you want.

REBELLION Arminius: Furor Teutonicus

Album · 2012 · Power Metal
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adg211288
Arminius: Furor Teutonicus (known herein as simply Arminius) is the sixth full-length album by German heavy/power metal act Rebellion. It was released in 2012. Rebellion have returned with this album with I guess odds stacked against them as on December 30th 2010 60% of the band’s line-up decided to leave the band to pursue other ventures, including co-founder and main music writer Uwe Lulis, leaving just bassist Tomi Göttlich and vocalist Michael Seifert to carry on the band. This could have easily been the end for Rebellion, but the two pressed on, and throughout 2011 new band members joined up and finally, three years since their last album, the mouthful that was Arise: From Ginnungagap to Ragnarok - History of the Vikings Volume III (2009), Rebellion is back, and they’re moving on from the Viking theme that drove their last three albums to the Romans.

But with their main music writer departed from the band it is fair to wonder if Arminius will still sound like Rebellion. Thankfully it does, although my initial thoughts were that the band has taken their music in a more traditional heavy metal direction rather than the power metal that they are most associated with. Kicking off the album is a rather slow-paced song, Rest in Peace, which is a rather different song for Rebellion. In some ways it’s very folk influenced, or at least the main melody is. Vae Victis, later in the album, also explores this influence to a much lesser extent. More notably though, the song doesn’t have a trace of power metal about it, although ultimately this is a good thing for the album, as the slower pace gives it a sort of building up feel to it, so by the time Ala Germanica kicks in with a more familiar Rebellion sound, it packs a serious punch, and it’s at this moment where there is no room to doubt it any longer, Rebellion is back and believe it or, even Uwe Lulis’ loss doesn’t seem to have really phased them.

My thoughts about the album’s genre aren’t entirely misplaced though. Arminius features a much more balanced heavy/power metal sound compared to the prior Arise album or even compared to Miklagard - The History of the Vikings Volume II (2007). This is nothing new to the band though. They have always been a heavy power metal band and indeed some of the older releases have seen much more a balance between the two styles, especially Shakespeare's MacBeth - A Tragedy in Steel (2002) and Sagas of Iceland - The History of the Vikings Volume I (2005). Compared to the increasing more power metal dominate direction they’d been taking though, Arminius is more like a return to their roots album, although it does still feature elements of the more aggressive sound featured on Arise, particularly the vocals by Michael Seifert.

Michael Seifert I must say excels on this album. He’s long been a personal favourite of mine among power metal vocalists for his much more aggressive style than most use for the genre, while remaining very much a ‘clean’ vocalist even from Arise onwards where some of his lines approached growling. On Arminius though he delivers arguably his best performance yet, because it generally has everything he’s capable of. The roughest, near growling vocals, the powerful yet still clean vocals, and, during the surprising closing ballad of the album, Requiem, purely melodic vocals which show a whole different depth to the guy that you don’t normally hear.

If anything Arminius is a step down for the band compared to the last couple of albums, but since those last couple of albums were both masterpieces the fact that Arminius isn’t quite as good as them isn’t really an issue for me and honestly all things considered it is actually much better than expected since I was worried that the loss of Uwe Lulis would affect them. Clearly though, it hasn’t, as Arminius not only continues the band’s run of high quality albums, but as tracks like the aforementioned Rest in Peace and Requiem show, it breaks the band some new ground, while also delivering storming heavy/power anthems such as Ala Germanica, Breeding Hate, Prince of the Cheruscer and Ghost of Freedom of the like that their fans expect to hear.

Arminius is actually a lot more varied compared to Arise, so those that like albums to chop and change between ideas may actually prefer what Arminius has to offer, while those who liked the more single-minded focus on power metal and aggressiveness of Arise may not like it so much. Personally I think Rebellion are a band that excels at both approaches, and Arminius is yet another testament to the band’s abilities. It’s also ultimately a good thing that they don’t make their albums sound exactly the same every time. An exceptional grade rating is deserved.

93/100

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))

REBELLION Sagas of Iceland - The History of the Vikings Volume I

Album · 2005 · Power Metal
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Warthur
Existing right at the cusp of traditional heavy metal and power metal - the backing vocals and repeated sing-along refrains are pure power metal, but the rest of the sound draws a lot on Iron Maiden - Rebellion's first entry in their gargantuan Viking-themed trilogy is a real winner. Between the concept and the occasional over-serious narration the album is often in danger of becoming seriously cheesy, but by and large it's saved from this fate by the aggressive, strident tone of many of the tracks, so this is a good pick for those who, like me, tend to prefer their power metal darker and more thunderous than the typical "We are fighting the dragons in the Sun, ooooh-AAAAH-ooooooh!" fare many bands offer up.

REBELLION Shakespeare's MacBeth - A Tragedy of Steel

Album · 2002 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
Shakespeare's MacBeth - A Tragedy in Steel (herein referred to as just ‘MacBeth’) is the debut album from German Power Metal band Rebellion which was released in 2002. As I’m sure you can deduce from the name it’s a metal adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic MacBeth. For me at least this is the only way I can tolerate Shakespeare. The band, for those unaware, was formed by ex-Grave Digger members Uwe Lulis (guitar) and Tomi Göttlich (bass).

Speaking as someone familiar with the band’s entire discography to date, MacBeth does stand as their weakest album. The album is difficult to get into due to the presence of a lot of narration, which instead of appearing in a bunch of transitional tracks often turns up within the actual songs, which ruins the impact that those songs can have, which is a shame because although Rebellion would go on to write much more powerful material, when they get going the album is generally strong in its own right, although Rebellion would go on to write much more coherent albums. The sound here I would described as Theatrical Power Metal, and I’m confident in my belief that depending on your disposition to theatre (and Shakespeare in particular), that the theatrics will be a make a break thing for you as far as this album is concerned.

Since I’m a major fan of these guys, I can honestly say that I enjoy this album much more than I think a newcomer to the band will. I cannot in any way recommend this as a starting point for this great band, in fact I will always have MacBeth down as the album to come to last. Any of the four following full-lengths will serve much better as an introduction, because here we have what is best described as a band still finding their sound. The album still has many praiseworthy attributes though, and just because the album is difficult, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t unrewarding for those with a bit of perseverance.

The vocals of singer Michael Seifert (Black Destiny, Xiron, Wolfchant) are, as always, a particular treat as he’s one of a handful of singers in a European power metal band that I know that has a rougher aggressive edge to his voice. I know I draw this comparison way too often to the point that I must sound like a broken record but if you imagine the vocals of Matt Barlow (ex-Iced Earth, ex-Pyramaze) and then add an extra layer of metal aggression then Michael Seifert is what you get. Needless to say this, backed by the heavy guitars and the fact that the band does not rely on keyboards in their power metal sound, makes Rebellion in my mind one power metal act from Europe that I feel will appeal more to USPM fans.

I do enjoy MacBeth a lot despite the negative moments I felt I had to put into this review. But even as a fan of the band it took me several listens to really get into it. The narration, while understandably needed for the concept, is generally a hindrance to enjoying otherwise awesome songs such as the thirteen minute beast Husbandry in Heaven. It nearly always comes as a kick in the teeth just when the songs seem to be getting epic. In general as well this album does feature the weaker Rebellion material, though that’s understandable since this is their debut. The best song would have to be the early Disdaining Fortune.

This is one case where I have to be honest, the score I give it is going to be different based on whether I rate the album from an objective or subjective point of view. Personally despite some quibbles I do think the album is solid enough to warrant a score of around 8/10, but objectively that seems too high and a 6/10 would be more appropriate so I’m going to the next best thing and go straight down the middle of those two. This is a shaky but decent enough first offering, but it is generally avoidable for anyone but the band’s biggest fans like myself.

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven, scoring 7.0/10)

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