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Rebellion - "Arminius - Furor Teutonicus" (CD)

Rebellion - "Arminius - Furor Teutonicus" CD cover image

"Arminius - Furor Teutonicus" track listing:

1. Rest In Peace (6:52)
2. Ala Germanica (4:05)
3. Prince Of The Cheruscer (4:38)
4. Dusk Awaiting Dawn (5:23)
5. Breeding Hate (4:25)
6. The Seeress Tower (6:33)
7. Varus (4:30)
8. The Tribes United (4:08)
9. Ghost Of Freedom (5:00)
10. Furor Teutonicus (4:08)
11. Vae Victis (4:26)
12. Requiem (5:19)

Reviewed by on December 14, 2012

"On the whole, the songs lack imagination, originality, and memorability. It’s so hard to distinguish this album from a whole slew of straight forward power metal releases and the obvious comparison to Grave Digger makes it even harder."

First thing is first: I love Rebellion. It is also, by far, the worst kept secret that I love power metal, especially one of the Germanic variety. With that said, it is one thing to be the third band this year to release a concept album dedicated to Ancient Rome (Ex Deo and Grave Digger), but it’s a whole other thing to release one that could be completely confused with one of the others. You may recall that Rebellion was originally formed by former Grave Digger members Uwe Lulis and Tomi Göttlich, with the intent on calling the band "Grave Digger" (which caused a scuffle with Grave Digger frontman Chris Boltendahl). Of course, it didn’t help that the band recruited vocalist Michael Seifert, who more often than not sounds like the near vocal twin of Boltendahl. Despite the confusion, "Arminius" has its enjoyable moments, but it lacks the originality to come close to surpassing its biggest challenger, who already released an album worthy of Top 10 lists.

With that said, Rebellion has and always will be purveyors of highly charged German power, with axes grinding, the catchiest of choruses and lyrics steeped in history. Penalizing them for a lyrical choice isn't totally fair, but it definitely merits mentioning. However, the music presented on "Arminius - Furor Teutonicus" is standard no frills power metal without a whole lot of flavor to separate it. The songs all have parts where I can point out an interesting riff or section: the blasting opening riff of "Dusk Awaiting Dawn," the cool chorus of "Prince of Cheruscer," the nifty pauses in the riffs of "Furor Teutonicus," and the great half gallop in the verses of "Ghost of Freedom." These are but a few. However, on the whole the songs lack imagination, originality, and memorability. It’s so hard to distinguish this album from a whole slew of straight forward power metal releases and the obvious comparison to Grave Digger makes it even harder.

With that said, the band does drive home a couple of real winners with "The Seeress Tower" and "Vae Victis," both of which are highly enjoyable, well played, and memorable tracks. But no two tracks make an album great. The majority of the album had me thinking "this is good, but nothing is jumping out at me." To be fair, I let the record play over and over to see if it would sink in, but I just couldn't latch onto it as a whole being any better than any other Rebellion album, let alone test it against other bands. In fact, it feels even more stripped down by comparison and comes across a tad lifeless.

For those who enjoy no frills power metal, or those who may just have discovered the scene, Rebellion’s latest effort might impress. For those who have heard countless bands and hold the previous Viking history releases from Rebellion in highest regard, "Arminius - Furor Teutonicus" will lack in imagination and be unable to garner a whole lot of attention. Believe me, this comes from a fan of the band. I still have hope for the next effort.

Highs: Enjoyable at times, with "The Seeress Tower" and "Vae Victis" the only winners.

Lows: Unimaginative and a bit lifeless. The band's similarity to Grave Digger borders on stalking.

Bottom line: Rebellion falls a bit flat, especially in light of another German power metal who released an album about Rome this year!

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)