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Shadow Music Ryan Harding Review by
Ryan Harding
Rebaelliun: Annihilation
Hammerheart Records

Word is starting to get around about several bands from the Brazilian underground. It goes without saying that they are measured beside Krisiun, and from most of what I've heard, the styles are not dissimilar. ABHORRENCE's EVOKING THE ABOMINATION, for instance, was arguably a carbon copy of Krisiun, minus the memorability and interest factor. REBAELLIUN's debut, BURN THE PROMISED LAND, showed some KRISIUN leanings, but not without its own trademarks and some scattered MORBID ANGEL influence. Many were understandably impressed by the debut and the subsequent BRINGER OF WAR mini-cd. Anticipation is high for the follow-up, and fortunately Rebaelliun has struck back, heavier and faster than ever.

They return with two additions - new bassist/vocalist Lohy Fabiano and guitarist Ronaldo Lima, with mainstays Fabiano Penna on guitar and drummer Sandro Moreira. Lohy's vocals are less comparable to Alex Carmago's, as the formation of REBAELLIUN's own identity continues. What immediately set them apart from Krisiun was their employment of several high-end (and wonderfully insane) guitar riffs, and these surface on ANNIHILATION in several places - particularly in the siren-like affairs of stand-out "Steel Spikes" and a re-recorded version of "Bringer of War." While their solos are no less elaborate than Moyses Kolesne's, Penna and Lima's have their own feel, incorporating something resembling melody (but not quite). They are arguably some of the best soloists in extreme metal, converting even someone usually uninterested in solos like me into an acolyte. Where they do coincide with KRISIUN somewhat is in an UNMERCIFUL ORDER-like vein - something rarely heard from those who seek to emulate the style of the masters.

Along with the "siren" riffs, BURN THE PROMISED LAND achieved a distinction from Krisiun by allowing slower tempos (this is where a good deal of the MORBID ANGEL came in, as on the title track and its not coincidental resemblance to "World of Shit"), but ANNIHILATION earns its namesake by dispensing with that feature and constantly going for the blast. This has already left some (biased) critics unimpressed, but for those who swear by the style (the proliferation of which is greatly exaggerated by its detractors), this is another mandatory assault. Each song presents a memorable facet to distinguish it from the others. Be it the high-end madness of "Steel Spikes," the near-anthemic opening of "Unleash the Fire," or the sudden lapse of single-note technicality to power chord in the same riff on "God of Burned Land," Rebaelliun is offering a lot more than a heightened tempo. The production presents the chaos respectively, providing an overall coherence without infringing on the raw edge that this music thrives on.

The album sleeve opens with a quote: "In life there's a few opportunities to be a hero, but always a chance not to be a coward." ANNIHILATION expects release in the USA on September 19th, and it is your chance not to be a coward.

Seek out this destructive example of death metal for a new era - heavier, faster, and purer.


Perplex SkullPerplex SkullPerplex SkullPerplex SkullPerplex Skull

This review copyright 2001 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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