Album Reviews

Rebellion – Arminius – Furor Teutonicus Review

Released By: Massacre Records

Release Date: Out Now!!

Genre: Heavy Metal/ Power Metal

Links: http://www.rebellion-metal.de/?page=home

 

Line Up:

Michael Seifert – Vocals

Oliver Geibig – Guitar

Stephan Karut – Guitar

Matthias Karle – Drums

Tomi Göttlich – Bass

 

Tracklist:

1. Rest In Peace

2. Ala Germanica

3. Prince Of The Cheruscer

4. Dusk Awaiting Dawn

5. Breeding Hate

6. The Seeress Tower

7. Varus

8. The Tribes United

9. Ghosts Of Freedom

10. Furor Teutonicus

11. Vae Victus

12. Requiem

 

As big a power metal fan as I am, I have to admit I’ve never been as much into the more aggressive style that comes from Germany, even though it could be considered the origins of the genre. I love Helloween, but bands like Grave Digger are very hit and miss for me, so it’s no surprise I’ve missed out on quite a few similar bands due to not being terribly motivated to search for them. One of those is Rebellion, who I had never heard before I decided to try out their latest release “Arminius: Furor Teutonicus”, after hearing the song “Ala Germanica” and liking it. Apparently the band has gone through tough times recently, including the loss of guitarist/co-founder Uwe Lulis along with a couple other members, yet they decided to continue on with a much different line-up. I can’t speak for longtime fans, but I have to say I’m very impressed by what the band has come up with on their sixth full length album.

First off, founding members Tomi Göttlich and Uwe Lulis were both with Grave Digger before they started Rebellion, so even with one of the two gone it’s reasonable to expect similarities between the two bands. They do indeed have a similar style, but with a key difference: While they’re still just as focused on aggressive riffs and epic choruses, at least judging by this album they appear to be much better at including more melodic sections to properly balance out the heavier sections. I also think they’re much better at songwriting, as there is no song on this album I would even call less than great, let alone a bad one.

There’s no fooling around here, as this is an excellent mix of classic sounding power metal and heavy metal the whole way through, but obviously with modern production to give it a full sound. In fact, most of the songs blur the lines between the two genres, with a perfect balance of slow crushing riffs and explosive speedy rhythms, with the tempo often changing quite a bit throughout the course of a song. It’s balanced so well, to the point where every time I thought the music was starting to get too slow for too long, it would speed up, and whenever I thought it was either too calm or too intense, it would soon change accordingly. Even towards the end when a few of the songs start sounding a bit similar, there’s always just enough melody to keep me excited the whole time, while the music is still heavy enough to keep fans of the style happy.

Instead of a pointless intro track, “Rest In Peace” has a brief intro built into it, before turning into a mid-tempo mini-epic that starts the album off in the best way possible. Everything about the song just feels right, with the riffs slowly building up to an incredibly epic chorus where vocalist Michael Seifert shines along with some great sounding choirs. Speaking of Michael, while he can occasionally sound similar to Chris Boltendahl, he is an altogether much more talented, much more versatile singer. Obviously, he has a very low voice, but he can use it in many ways, aside from the typical aggressive style. On some of the softer sections he sounds a bit like Matt Barlow, where at other times he sounds even lower than that, and sings very beautifully, with the chorus of “Rest In Peace” and the closing ballad “Requiem” being the best examples of this. Even when he’s at his loudest, he sounds great and I never find him irritating. Anyway, while the opening track doesn’t sound much like anything else on the album, it is both my favorite on the album and possibly my favorite opening track of the year, I like it that much.

Up next is “Ala Germanica”, a much faster and heavier song, and as I said before, it was good enough to make me check out the album when I first heard it. It’s basically what you’d expect out of a German power metal band, but with catchier songwriting than usual, and it’s a great indication of what to expect from the album. In fact, the album on the whole is very much what you’d expect from an album of this type, except I find it to be much more melodic and much more interesting than most. Songs like “Dusk Awaiting Dawn” show just how nicely balanced the album can be, with solid riffs giving way for a very calm and melodic chorus, with Michael showing the side of his voice that sounds most like Matt Barlow. Then there’s a much more intense and no-nonsense track like “Breeding Hate”, where the band goes full force and full speed the whole way through, with Michael sounding particularly aggressive during the verses, even coming close to growling at points. Then the anthem like chorus comes in and is simply amazing.

But the heaviest song here is definitely “Ghost Of Freedom”, where the music is at its absolute darkest and thrashiest, yet it still never becomes overwhelming or too much to handle because the band is just so good at balancing melody with aggression. Yet another standout is “The Seeress Tower”, which starts out slowly as almost a kind of power ballad, then it slowly but surely builds up tension until it explodes in the last two minutes with a fast-paced and epic finale that will blow you away. Perhaps the only flaw here is that the songs do start to feel a bit samey towards the end, so I can see some listeners getting a bit bored or impatient, but for me the songs are all just balanced so perfectly, I was entertained from beginning to end.

For someone who isn’t as big a fan of German heavy/power metal as I’d like to be be, I really am impressed with how much Rebellion have managed to take the best parts of this style, and combine them with the ability to write such great melodies and to balance everything out so nicely. “Arminius: Furor Teutonicus” is highly recommended for both existing fans of the band, and for anyone looking for some aggressive power metal that kicks ass while still being very melodic.

 

Written by Travis

Ratings    Travis    9/10

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