Alrighty, so here it is, the much anticipated third and last chapter of the “History Of The Vikings” trilogy of German Power Metallers REBELLION and while the title is quite a mouthful with “Arise: From Ginnungagap To Ragnarok - History Of The Vikings, Vol. III”, all of the song titles are one word only. Well, they have to balance things out somehow, I guess...
Anyways, if you have expected any big surprises and musical evolution compared to the first two parts, then you’re on the wrong side of the tracks, because this is REBELLION how we know them and to be honest, how we love them, heavy, epic, a little bombastic, with the trademark gruff yet melodic vocals of Michael Seifert, so all is good there, unless you are a stickler for evolution, but then Power Metal probably is not your cup of tea anyways. Opener “War” lives up to its name and surprises with a fairly aggressive approach (skirting the border to Thrash here and there), and the vocals also are a bit more gravelly than usual, so IS there some musical evolution towards a heavier direction? Well...no.
Despite “War” and also “Evil” flirting with the sub-genre one notch higher on the heaviness scale, this is still REBELLION and “Arise” brings things back into the more used-to realms and is catchy as hell, mid-paced and with a certain epic touch to it, very nice hook, while “Asgard” features this heavy riffing that has the potential to saw through your cranium like a hot sword would cut through snow, over an upbeat rhythm. Overall the Germans show that they can write more than just convincing tracks in all of the tempos, be it double-bass driven crackers, mid-paced and straight hymns, or surprise us with slow-paced epics and very dark atmosphere (“Thor”). The only track that cannot keep up is “Loki”, which is fast and driving, but nothing outstanding and is fairly forgettable, but the last two epics more than make up for this, “Ragnarök” has this sense of urgency, driving double-bass and this ultimate intensity before “Einherjar” closes things off with epic slow pace, bringing this equally epic three-part concept to a fitting end.
So as much as I could pass up the preceding EP, I can fully recommend “Arise: From Ginnungagap To Ragnarok - History Of The Vikings, Vol. III” to any genre-fan, as REBELLION offer us a very varied yet cohesive whole, memorable, catchy, but still heavy and thanks to the characteristic vocals also somewhat original, the production by Uwe Lulis himself is flawless, so definitely an outstanding Power Metal record in every sense.
(Online April 25, 2010)