Review Summary: The antithesis of flower metal.
When someone talks of power metal, what is the first thing that springs to mind? High-pitched vocals, power screams, fast-paced, synthesizer-laden cheesy tunes speaking of dragons and medieval times, right? Rebellion is here to flip this thought process on its head. Their fourth release, Arise, is the absolute opposite of this concept, featuring elements usually absent from power metal, but still achieving success on the whole as an enjoyable power metal release.
The first thing to bring up is that this is a concept album. The final part of a trilogy of albums based upon vikings, this album focuses upon the mythology of the Norse people. Thus, the songs are appropriately named things such as Asgard
. Even apart from the titles, an astounding amount of beings and locations of the mythology are mentioned here, including Yggdrasil, Huginn and Muninn, and the Jörmungandr. They appear in a manner which is fitting to the theme of each song, and never seem like an off-handed reference to mythology. This is nice, as it shows that the band truly put work into researching the history of Norse mythology.
The music is no slouch either. As mentioned, it is not your typical power metal album. Michael Seifert's voice, instead of being a high-pitched tenor, is a booming, powerful baritone. It adds a distinctly more serious tone to the music than most other power metal bands. This is helped by the rest of the band. Rather than taking the route of absolute speed, Rebellion focuses their energy, taking a slower, more deliberate pace. In addition, there is far more distortion than typical for the power metal genre. These elements blend together effectively, and overall the album seems more focused than the legions of flower metal currently zooming around.
Another point in the band's favor is the variety of the album. Each track is easily distinguished from the last, with riffs never being revisited, and Seifert's voice being suitably varied in tone based on each song. Elements such as the piano heard in the title track, and the more symphonic closing of Thor, add nicely to the overall atmosphere of the album.
All in all, Arise is an album which can please diehard power metal fans easily, but also appeals to those outside of the typical niche, due to its more serious tone. It is not saturated by the elements that typically turn people away from the genre, yet contains enough to enthrall those within the fanbase of the genre as well.