REBELLION — Miklagard - The History of the Vikings Volume II

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REBELLION - Miklagard - The History of the Vikings Volume II cover
4.36 | 13 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2007

Filed under Power Metal
By REBELLION

Tracklist

1. Vi Seglar Mot Miklagard (1:49)
2. Sweden (4:23)
3. Free (5:04)
4. On the Edge of Life (6:00)
5. Ulfberth (4:42)
6. The Rus (4:07)
7. Kiew (4:32)
8. Aifur (4:09)
9. Taste of Steel (3:27)
10. God of Thunder (5:23)
11. Our Back to the Wind (5:26)
12. Miklagard (4:34)
13. The Uprising (7:07)

Total Time: 60:43

Line-up/Musicians

- Michael Seifert / vocals
- Uwe Lulis / guitar
- Simone Wenzel / guitar
- Tomi Göttlich / bass guitar
- Gerd Lücking / drums

Guest/Session Musicians:

- Charles Rytkönen / vocals on Vi Seglar Mot Miklagard

About this release

Release by Massacre Records, February 23rd, 2007.

There exists a special edition with a holographic slipcase.

Produced by Uwe Lulis & Gerd Lücking.

Thanks to adg211288 for the updates

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REBELLION MIKLAGARD - THE HISTORY OF THE VIKINGS VOLUME II reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

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.
adg211288
Miklagard – The History of the Vikings – Volume II is, as the name suggests, the second part of a trilogy of concept albums. Overall it is the band’s fourth album. Despite being a European band (German), their power metal sound is much closer to what is commonly known as US styled power metal, much more guitar driven and no keyboardist in the band. Michael Seifert’s vocals are much rougher in their delivery than much power metal, so readers of this review can rest assured that this is no Dragonforce but something much more extreme. I’d go as far to say that power metal doesn’t get more extreme than this.

The album has an intro track, Vi seglar mot Miklagard, but it’s actually a proper song. Sung in Swedish, (title translation: We’re Sailing to Miklagard) and by a guest vocalist, Morgana Lefay’s Charles Rytkönen (who also wrote the lyrics), it is the album’s lightest moment, after this the album goes at speed for most of its length. The album’s concept follows a storyline, which I won’t go into detail here but it is basically a journey which begins in Sweden (also the name of the second track), and ends in Miklagard (modern day Istanbul), with each song detailing a chapter of the journey.

With an album such as Miklagard it is difficult to separate any highlights because the album is one of those records that says consistent throughout. There’s not a bad track on here and for those that are into this style of metal it’s not a difficult album to get into either. Best that I can do here is to name drop my personal favourites, but the other songs are just as good. My first highlight is On the Edge of Life. It’s one of the longest tracks on the album at six minutes, starting with some synth for the intro what makes this song great is the vocal delivery in the chorus, Michael sings more cleanly in it than he does in the verses and it’s even more epic when the gets to its bridge. Rebellion really knows how to do a great chorus and this is just one great example, the others songs do it just as well.

Other highlights for me include Kiew, and Taste of Steel. The latter especially, the aggression in the vocals portrays the song’s lyrics and mood perfectly. The Vikings are fighting, they’re going to ground your face in the mud and make you taste steel, and the band sounds like they mean it.

The title track Miklagard is one of few times on the album that Rebellion slow down their pace. The lead melody is pretty addictive as is the song in general. Overall it’s not a very varied album in terms of how the songs are delivered but this is okay, since this album is the sound of a band who know what they are doing. The vocals are some of the best I’ve heard in power metal (at times Seifert reminds me of a more aggressive Matt Barlow), and both guitarists Uwe Lulis and Simone Wenzel are clearly talented players with both of them doing rhythm and lead work on the album. Bassist Tomi Göttlich provides the majority of the lyrics which are all fantastic while Gerd Lücking rounds off the lineup with some top notch drumming and even throws in a guitar solo of his own in On the Edge of Life for good measure. And together they’ve made what I feel is Rebellion’s best album to date and certainly one of my favourite power metal albums. It fully deserves this score.

(Review originally written for Heavy Metal Haven)

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