Under The Sign Of Rebellion

rating icon 8.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Intro
02. All Hail The Regicide
03. The Gods Menace
04. Fear The Infidel
05. Insurgent Fire
06. Light Eater
07. The Decimating Opposition
08. In Heresy We Trust
09. Hostile Presence
10. Antagonize
11. The Ultimate War

Barely a week goes by these days without a few brand new death metal bands emerging from the underground swamps. Never underestimate the staying power of true originals, however. Brazilian diehards REBAELLIUN formed 25 years ago and made some telling contributions to death metal's late-'90s resurgence. Both their 2000 debut "Burn The Promised Land" and its feral follow-up "Annihilation" (2001) were pristine examples of the vicious, old-school style perpetuated by the likes of MORBID ANGEL, DEICIDE, ANGELCORPSE and KRISIUN. Epic, technical, brutal and imperious, the Brazilians always sounded like snarling guardians at the gates of Hell. They split in 2002, reformed 13 years later, and released another blistering squall of blasphemy, "The Hell's Decrees", in 2016. In terms of face-removing, arcane savagery, REBAELLIUN have a spotless resumé.

Seven years might seem like a long time between albums, but "Under The Sign Of Rebellion" more than justifies the wait. A band that favors quality over quantity is always welcome, and REBAELLIUN clearly view the creative process as sacrosanct. The result of such artistic purity and myopia is timeless and terrifying death metal, just as Satan intended.

After the obligatory atmospheric intro, "All Hail The Regicide" hurls fuel onto infernal fires, with blastbeats set to stun and a sense of wild, swirling chaos propelling everything forward at lightning speed. Every word that spews from frontman Bruno Añaña's mouth is laced with razorblades and red-hot vitriol and delivered like an unholy sermon given amid smoldering ruins. REBAELLIUN sound utterly authoritative: mad-eyed masters of controlled chaos, they maintain eerie levels of intensity and brutish technicality until the bitter, bruising climax of "The Ultimate War". In between, songs like "Insurgent Fire" and "In Heresy We Trust" will have old-school death metal fans punching the walls in furious approval.

Drummer Sandro Moreira puts in some serious man hours here: his explosive blasts and effortless changes of pace and tempo are executed with a looseness and swagger that belies how physically challenging they are. Similarly, guitarist Evandro Passos's pig-gutter riffs and abominable solos are a veritable master class, rich with South American flair but avowedly ripping and raw. On the flame-eyed grind of "Antagonize", REBAELLIUN are a flawless death metal machine, channeling the past through the fucked-up kaleido-prism of the present and straight into Lucifer's slavering maw. The aforementioned "The Ultimate War" finishes things with a flurry of spite: a monochrome blitzkrieg, it puts the seal on a majestic and triumphant comeback. Don't miss this if you give a damn about death metal.

Author: Dom Lawson
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