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Rebellion – We Are the People Award winner

We Are the People
by Leanne Evans at 10 July 2021, 3:55 PM

First gracing the metal world in 2001, German heavy metallers REBELLION has produced quite the catalogue for us all to enjoy. Originally founded by ex-GRAVE DIGGER member Uwe Lulis, who has since departed REBELLION in late 2010 (although returns to this release to add some masterful touches) and is slaying the metal world in ACCEPT, REBELLION has relished 20 years of producing a fine discography. The beginnings of their metal journey started with their first LP, a concept album about William Shakespeare’s work “Macbeth”. REBELLION quickly progressed their wide-spanning career into rougher areas of heavy metal, and even celebrated Vikings and Norse mythology. Now, the exquisite heavy metal powerhouse returns with their ninth album, a concept piece of greater, ingenious measure, “We Are the People”. Exploring times from the French Revolution through to World War II, REBELLION impress with an impassioned history lesson and political stance, fashioned as a gripping heavy metal blend, giving human perspective and introspection throughout.

Opener, “Voices of War”, unnerves with diversity of voices, some childlike and fragile, some dictatorial with shades of warmongering to come, showing the human cost of war and setting the tone perfectly for the LP. The emphatic rhythm and deep bass tone of “Risorgimento” impresses and the tracks tells of the 19th century movement, the Risorgimento (translated as “Rising Again”), an ideological and literary movement that fought for Italian unification, with Giuseppe Garibaldi leading the conquest of Sicily and Naples with his guerrilla redshirts. Michael projects vigorous vocals, dominating in presence, lyrically, the track takes you right to the forefront of the battlefields with an enigmatic, thunderously forceful stance, chugged riffs ignite, a sterling solo rips, and Sven’s driving rhythm keeps everything marching forward.

Two tracks into the LP, and REBELLION has already showcased the ability to transport you to the intended narrative through sonics brilliantly. “We Are the People” steps to third cut “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité”, the French motto that found its origins in the French Revolution. This anthemic track projects a driving force, you can feel the Bastille being stormed with those aggressive riffs, double-kick drums and gravelly execution. The vocal hook “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” is fist-pump inducing in itself, let alone the screeched solo that works perfectly!

The clean execution and modern sound really shine throughout REBELLION’s LP, the band gracefully tackling the horrors of history, without dilution, and its effect on today. Taking a less familiar audial twist, but nonetheless a stroke of genius, “Vaterland” is clearly inspired by the national anthem of Germany, using alternative lyrics, cleverly merging the German language, too, a representation of the nationalism of that time, criticising it, despising it. And that, of course, is the intended purpose of this entire release; REBELLION’s message is that racism and nationalism are to be blamed for all the wars and destruction over the time period they tackle on “We Are the People”.

Unafraid of pushing boundaries, REBELLION bring “Verdun” to life with gripping musical elements that covey the longest battle to ensue in the First World War. Riffs spray like bullets, ominous tones pierce and the sombre shroud of sound suffocates you, morphing you to becoming one of the soldiers on the battlefront. The twists and turns keep coming, everything pulsating, with the likes of the dominant “Gods of War” marching forward, unnerving with its bellowing and aggressive projection to reflect the tyrannical aspect. The rumbling, thunderous execution continues in the blistering “World War II”, a masterpiece and the highlight of the LP. Interestingly, Uwe Lulis wrote this ingenious composition, and, additionally performs all rhythm guitars and solos on this track, with Simone Wenzel (I.AM.DIAMOND), also contributing an erupting solo.

The final track, title piece “We Are the People” is an apt and positive finale for such a grippingly intense album. Throughout the LP, we’ve come to relive the effects of nationalism and racism in bygone days, although the message is just as important in today’s world and a reminder of the ugliness that’s been overthrown over the years. The last track displays hope for a united Europe (sorry, Brexiteers), and the fact that, by overcoming the century of nationalism, we can all unite as one.

REBELLION has created an impassioned collection of compositions, undisputedly weighty without condescension or vitriol, whilst still retaining the very essence of conflict in days gone by. “We Are the People” has been produced, mixed and mastered by Uwe Lulis, who has masterfully achieved twelve polished cuts of brilliance, really conveying the intended substance of each piece. Personally, I find REBELLION’s latest release strikes the perfect balance of heftiness and subtly in all the right places. “We Are the People” is a record well worth adding to your collection.

Songwriting:   9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production:     9

4 Star Rating

1. Voices of War
2. Risorgimento (Tear Down the Walls)
3. Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
4. Sweet Dreams
5. Vaterland
6. Verdut
7. Ashes to Light
8. Gods of War
9. Shoa (It Could Have Been Me)
10. World War II
11. All in Ruins
12. We Are the People
Michael Seifert - Vocals
Fabrizio Costantino - Guitars
Martin Giemza - Guitars
Thomas Göttlich – Bass
Sven Tost – Drums
Record Label: Massacre Records


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Edited 04 December 2022

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