REBELLION - A Tragedy In Steel II: Shakespeare's King Lear
February 10, 2018, a month ago
From humble beginnings (leaving Grave Digger, 17 years ago, bassist Tomi Göttlich and current Accept guitarist Uwe Lulis formed Rebellion), this German outfit has made a habit of releasing albums steeped in history and/or classic literature. High school aged metalheads rejoice, coursework never sounded so good! After a trio of discs about Vikings, one on the Saxons and another on the Teutonic people, Göttlich and mainstay vocalist Michael Seifert take another stab at the Bard of Avon, a musical retelling of King Lear (following in the track of the 2002 debut, which dealt with Macbeth).
Seifert's gravel throat is not too far afield of Göttlich's old employer, Chris “The Reaper” Boltendahl. Musically, the lyrics (often Shakespeare, verbatim) dictate the pace/intensity. They didn't simply create a handful of metal songs and cram a few soliloquies into them. As such, most of the dozen inclusions are brooding, meandering and mid-tempo. A knowledge of the original tale certainly “Storm And Tempest” (as the title suggests) breaks that mold, opting for a more aggressive tact. Speedy delivered “The Mad Shall Lead The Blind”, with a chorus espousing “black out his eyes, hang him high, the traitor deserves to die,” could be a standalone metal success. Can see “Battle Song” being a big, live sing-along. As the story reaches climax “Blood Against Blood” is a galloping riff ride.
A good one to have on hand, the next time someone derides heavy metal as mindless. Outside of opera/classical music, don't see any other genre tackling such highbrow topics.