REBELLION

Power Metal • Germany
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Rebellion are a heavy/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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Sagas Of Iceland: The History Of The Vikings - Volume 1Sagas Of Iceland: The History Of The Vikings - Volume 1
Massacre Records 2011
$15.99
$760.40 (used)
A Tragedy In Steel Part II: Shakespeare's King LearA Tragedy In Steel Part II: Shakespeare's King Lear
Massacre Records 2018
$12.49
$10.79 (used)
Miklagard: The History OMiklagard: The History O
Edge J26181 2007
$14.93
Wyrd Bið Ful Aræd - The History Of The SaxonsWyrd Bið Ful Aræd - The History Of The Saxons
MASSACRE RECORDS 2015
$11.01
$12.92 (used)
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Frank Zappa - Tinsel Town Rebellion ( CD - 1991 - France - Mint ) Frank Zappa - Tinsel Town Rebellion ( CD - 1991 - France - Mint ) USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2h 31m
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17h
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17h
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1 day
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1 day
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REBELLION Discography

REBELLION albums / top albums

REBELLION Shakespeare's MacBeth - A Tragedy of Steel album cover 3.50 | 5 ratings
Shakespeare's MacBeth - A Tragedy of Steel
Power Metal 2002
REBELLION Born a Rebel album cover 3.68 | 7 ratings
Born a Rebel
Power Metal 2003
REBELLION Sagas of Iceland - The History of the Vikings Volume I album cover 4.11 | 9 ratings
Sagas of Iceland - The History of the Vikings Volume I
Power Metal 2005
REBELLION Miklagard - The History of the Vikings Volume II album cover 4.36 | 13 ratings
Miklagard - The History of the Vikings Volume II
Power Metal 2007
REBELLION Arise: From Ginnungagap to Ragnarök - The History of the Vikings Volume III album cover 4.20 | 10 ratings
Arise: From Ginnungagap to Ragnarök - The History of the Vikings Volume III
Power Metal 2009
REBELLION Arminius: Furor Teutonicus album cover 4.31 | 7 ratings
Arminius: Furor Teutonicus
Power Metal 2012
REBELLION Wyrd Bið Ful Aræd – The History of the Saxons album cover 4.50 | 5 ratings
Wyrd Bið Ful Aræd – The History of the Saxons
Power Metal 2015
REBELLION A Tragedy in Steel Part II: Shakespeare's King Lear album cover 3.54 | 3 ratings
A Tragedy in Steel Part II: Shakespeare's King Lear
Power Metal 2018

REBELLION EPs & splits

REBELLION The Clans Are Marching album cover 4.38 | 4 ratings
The Clans Are Marching
Power Metal 2009

REBELLION live albums

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

REBELLION re-issues & compilations

REBELLION Shakespeare's Macbeth - A Tragedy In Steel/Born A Rebel album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Shakespeare's Macbeth - A Tragedy In Steel/Born A Rebel
Power Metal 2006
REBELLION The Best of Viking History 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 A Tragedy in Steel Part II: Shakespeare's King Lear

Album · 2018 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
I'm sure that I can't have been the only one surprised when German heavy/power metal act Rebellion revealed their eighth studio album. It's not that the band was in a situation where a new album was either unexpected or past due; it'd been three years since the release of Wyrd Bið Ful Aræd – The History of the Saxons (2015), their usual length between albums for a few releases now. No, it was the title. The album was revealed as A Tragedy in Steel Part II: Shakespeare's King Lear (2018). Shakespeare's MacBeth - A Tragedy of Steel (2002) was Rebellion's first album and who could have expected that after sixteen years the group would return to the works of Shakespeare?

I for one did not and I have to admit, the move made me a little apprehensive. After all, MacBeth is undoubtedly Rebellion's weakest album; the very textbook definition of a record where the artist is still finding their sound. But not only that, the flow of that record was really disrupted by heavy use of narration elements, which unlike on other albums that make use of such weren't separated into their own tracks but inserted into the actual songs of the album and not always at the beginning or end of a piece. Of course it's obvious given the subject matter why they'd do that – it adds a feel of the theatre to the album, but for me at least, it really didn't work.

As a band Rebellion has obviously come a long way since then, producing an incredible run of albums starting with Born a Rebel (2003), their only non-concept and/or theme album, and going right up to the most recent release Wyrd Bið Ful Aræd. But even so, it seemed a really odd move for them to make. So now comes the burning question: were my concerns justified?

Yes, I think they very much were.

But with that said, positives first: it isn't like King Lear is a total bust for Rebellion. They still have their signature sound intact, with lots of heavy and power metal riff work on display, along with Michael Seifert's distinctive sung yet harsh vocal style. The album even actually breaks the band a bit of unexpected new ground with several tracks, usually the more heavy metal based ones, displaying an undertone of traditional doom metal, something that can be clearly picked up upon as early as opener A Fool's Tale. It's just a bit of flavour rather than a overt change in direction, but it's enough to differentiate the album from the band's others.

But the there's the issues with the album that put a real dampener on anything positive I can say about it. While it's not as extreme, the band did fall into exactly the same trap with the narrative elements on King Lear as they, way back when with a largely different line-up, did with MacBeth. Then there's the songs themselves. They're not bad and there is a few highlights to be had such as Dowerless Daughter, Storm and Tempest, and Battle Song, but there's an inescapable feeling that for the first time in a while Rebellion aren't coming close to knocking one out of the park and that despite those new doomy undertones, the album is very much Rebellion by numbers and that they went through the motions of getting an album out at the time they were expected to. As such it's difficult to really get invested in it as an album or get too excited by it.

It's still a solid enough release to avoid being considered bad, but there's no room for doubt in my mind that King Lear is the band's weakest album since MacBeth itself and I'm actually unsure which really deserves the dubious honour of being considered the actual weakest. I would say it's still worth picking up if you're a fan of the band and already have all their other work (and the price is right), but otherwise there's a choice of six other Rebellion albums out there that are considerably more powerful than this one that deserve your attention first. This one already feels like it's just there, a part of the band's discography that you're aware of and may listen to on occasion along with their other albums, but it won't ever be the one you reach for first.

REBELLION Wyrd Bið Ful Aræd – The History of the Saxons

Album · 2015 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
Wyrd Bið Ful Aræd – The History of the Saxons (2015) is the seventh full-length album by German power/heavy metal act Rebellion. The album continues the band's trend of making history themed concept albums; having already tackled the Vikings in a trilogy and the Romans on their previous effort Arminius: Furor Teutonicus (2012).

In many ways Wyrd Bið Ful Aræd is typical Rebellion but one thing I like about this band is that every release tends to have its own identity from the previous one. You had the debut album Shakespeare's Macbeth - A Tragedy in Steel (2002), a quite theatrical release rife with narration (admittedly not its strongest feature), which was followed by Born a Rebel (2003), their only non-concept album. Then there was the Viking Trilogy; Sagas of Iceland (2005), Miklagard (2007) and Arise: From Ginnungagap to Ragnarök (2009), each of them distinct from each other. If anything the shock exit of founder Uwe Lulis (who recently joined the legendary Accept) along with two other members of the band only serve to keep the band's music fresh with comeback Arminius: Furor Teutonicus. Wyrd Bið Ful Aræd is no exception to this trend; Rebellion are so far one of a rare breed of bands that have never disappointed me.

Though always at the more aggressive end of the power metal spectrum, I actually think that Wyrd Bið Ful Aræd is one of Rebellion's most aggressive releases yet. It's not quite up to the level of Arise: From Ginnungagap to Ragnarök, which is massively aggressive for a power metal album even by German standards, but it's close. The music is semi-thrashy in places even, but as always it's the voice of Michael Seifert that really gives the band their edge in a genre that is usually characterised by crystal clear voices. His voice is about as aggressive as a metal vocalist can get before going into death growls, though he's very capable of singing totally cleanly too. The band's riffs on the album do seem to diverge from the usual power metal standards more often this time, so it's probably not wrong to say that Wyrd Bið Ful Aræd draws elements from both the European and US power metal styles. Some might mistake this as a more heavy metal orientated offering from Rebellion, but I think this might be just a bit too heavy to honestly say it's a 'traditional' heavy metal album. But it oozes power in every department, and that's what power metal should always be about in my mind.

As is usual for a Rebellion album the songs maintain a high standard from start to finish. The use of narration in God of Mercy may initially set off a few warning bells as Shakespeare's Macbeth - A Tragedy in Steel's least interesting feature is instantly recalled, but fortunately it's just a feature of the one particular track and not something that recurs across the whole release as with the debut, something that actually makes the narration more effective and is an excellent track overall. A true early highlight for me though is the catchy Take to the Sea, which is one of the more typical European power metal style tracks on the album. The style harks backs to the Miklagard album to my ears, which coincidentally is my favourite release from Rebellion. The track the band used to promote the album before it was released directly follows. Hengist is quite different in style to Take to the Sea but no less addictive with it's equally catchy chorus. I'm also quite fond of the closing title track. It's an album though where I find it highly likely that every listener will have different favourites; the quality is consistent and each song flows well with the next to create an album that is very easy to listen to in a single sitting. I've come to expect nothing less of Rebellion.

Rebellion started life as a new band of a couple of former Grave Digger members and their music has always been in the same niche of power metal yet as much as I like the other band too and especially loved their quite recent Return of the Reaper (2014) album I can't help thinking with each new Rebellion album that they've long usurped Grave Digger as the kings of this kind of power metal sound. Well, at least in my mind anyway, I'm sure that Grave Digger remains the more popular artist. It's my hope that more people start waking up to Rebellion though. Wyrd Bið Ful Aræd is another excellent offering in their catalogue; high quality power metal with balls. 4.5 stars.

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
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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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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))

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