Rebellion – Arminius: Furor Teutonicus
I guess there’s only so much you can say about Vikings. A lesson Rebellion learned well, and with their sixth full-length they are moving on (or back) to Roman history. The Classical period sure is popular with German speed/power metal this year, as Grave Digger left Scotland to concentrate on Odysseus and his quest for home. Yet where Chris Boltendahl and his cohorts delivered a decent, if lackluster, record, Rebellion’s Arminius: Furor Teutonicus does slightly better.
Of course, the world already has a ridiculously committed Roman metal band in Ex Deo, and Rebellion wisely keeps things straightforward. There’s no elaborate orchestration, spoken words or numerous choirs, just traditional dirty riffs. Some songs like the opener “Rest In Peace” have a more epic tone to them, but generally Rebellion plods on with familiar fodder such as “Ala Germanica” and “The Tribes United”. Especially the latter feels like Grave Digger has done it at least twice before. You know what to expect: exaggerated emotions, battle talk and cries for courage. And there’s a ballad, but you knew that.
Sometimes Rebellion takes things into a more melodic direction, as on “Prince Of The Cheruscer” or “The Seeress Tower”, yet I’m not sure if vocalist Michael Seifert is up to it. In this regard he’s almost a carbon copy of Boltendahl, if not quite as croaky. The rest of the album continues in this vein: the punching tracks mixed with the more mid-tempo ones. It can get quite repetitive near the end, depends on your tolerance for this kind of stuff.
Coming nowhere close to Grave Digger’s classic medieval trilogy, Arminius: Furor Teutonicus is nonetheless a stronger effort than Clash Of The Gods, and a recommended buy for those who found themselves let down by the latter. Yet those craving a real Teutonic speed/power metal kick this year are still better off with Paragon’s Force Of Destruction.
Arno’s rating: 3.5 out of 5