Born A Rebel Rebellion  - Born A Rebel (Drakkar/BMG) 2003

1. "Born A Rebel" (4:02)
2. "Adrenaline" (3:39)
3. "One For All" (5:09)
4. "Word Is War" (4:40)
5. "Dragons Fly" (3:57)
6. "Queen Of Spades" (05:23)
7. "Iron Flames" (6:13)
8. "Through The Fire" (5:34)
9. "Devil's Child" (5:38)
10. "Meet Your Demon" (3:34)
11. "Power Of Evil" (5:10)

Guitarist Uwe Lulis and bassist Tomi Göttlich, both formerly of the mighty Grave Digger, leave their former band and create a heavy metal monster known as Rebellion. From that description, you will obviously know that I love this style of pure heavy metal. "Born A Rebel" is the band's second studio platter and is an absolute balls-to-the-wall heavy metal album. On this particular album, Uwe and Göttlich steer the band away from the more epic sound and storytelling that Grave Digger has taken in recent years, and focus on straight forward heavy metal. As any Grave Digger fan might expect, knowing Uwe work from the past, "Born a Rebel" is chock full of aggressive riffing, slamming guitar solos and loads of memorable melodic soloing. Former Annihilator drummer Randal T. Black is a big driving force behind thiband's sound as well. Rebellions dift slightly into the speed and power metal genres, but that is not to say that "Born A Rebel" is inconsistent. Rather, this CD never gets boring, have plenty of variety from song to song, yet is a cohesive, solid listen from the beginning to the end. A few songs did stand out on the very first listen. "One For All" and "Devil's Child" both stood out in my mind, both containing powerful riffs and memorable vocal melodies. Likewise, the title track is a powerful metal song. 

Vocalist Michael Seifer is certainly not a clone of their former vocalist. However, he is a gruff, aggressive vocalist that fits in well with the band's sound. He may even technically be a better singer with a wider range. That is not to slight Chris, who is a charismatic vocalist and a metal legend. 

The lyrics to some of these songs may come off as a bit cheesy. The opening lines to "One for All" scream forth the metal cheese, "Made of metal, of gleaming steel!" Personally, I quite enjoy a good metal anthem. The aforementioned "Devil's Child" is about the ignorance of some people who claim that heavy metal is the "devil's music". Unfortunately the lyrics of the song, and several others, sort of plays into the hand's of those who hold to such ridiculous beliefs.

Overall, "Born A Rebel" is an excellent, traditional, heavy metal album that should appeal to Grave Digger fans and any fan of straight forward heavy metal. This is what metal is all about. Go forth and bang your head! 

A Tragedy in Steel Rebellion - A Tragedy In Steel (Drakkar Records) 2002

1.    “Introduction” (2:31)
2.    “Disdaining Fortune” (4:59)
3.    “The Prophecy” (6:56)
4.    “Husbandry In Heaven” (13:11)]
5.    “The Dead Arise” (8:29)
6.    “Evil Speaks” (4:06)
7.    “Letters Of Blood” (4:22)
8.    “Revenge” (6:18)
9.    “Claws Of Madness” (8:01)
10.    “Demons Rising” (7:49)
11.    “Die With Harness On Your Back” (6:12)

“A Tragedy in Steel” is the debut album from Rebellion, formed by Uwe Lulis (guitars) and Tomi Göttlich (bass) after their unceremonious departure from the mighty Grave Digger. The band also features the gruff, yet melodic vocals of Michael Seifert, drummer Randy Black (Annihilator/Primal Fear) and guitarist Björn Eilen.

Rebellion’s debut is an epic concpet album based on Shakespeare's Macbeth. As such, I was sort of expecting a lot of orchestration, tons of narrations, acoustic interludes and flowery, power metal. There is some narration that helps the flow of the story. However, the music is straight up, riff-heavy, power metal that is, not surprisingly, very similar to Grave Digger. The similarities are not only in the songwriting, but in the production and lyrics as well. To some these similarities may be a bad thing, but to any Grave Digger fan worth his vinyl copy of Heavy Metal Breakdown, Rebellion are just another part of the great metal band to add to the collection. There are times when the overall vibe of this album also reminds me of Manowar, especially the track “Disdaining Fortune”. As well, the epic length, “Husbandry in Heaven” has some of that classic, somewhat cheesy, Manowar metal ethic. Despite the length of this track, I didn’t find it to be boring. Overall, “A Tragedy in Steel” is just straight forward heavy metal and the best thing to come out of the feud between Chris Bolthendahl and Uwe Lullis.

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