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The History of the Vikings trilogy finally draws to an end in the form of the mouthful Arise: From Ginnungagap to Ragnarok, and it is a solid conclusion from one of the better aggressive power metal bands active today, Rebellion. The Germans have yet to really falter with an album, and their approach should appeal to fans of Grave Digger, Iron Savior, and Paragon as they use heavier vocals than many of their peers.
In fact, the vocals border on death metal in opening track "War", a punishing anthem of glorious power riffing with some nice choral effects and leads. It creates a great contrast with "Arise", which begins with pianos and picks up into a memorable melodic hook. "Asgard" punches ahead with a burly mid-paced riff over some chugging and manly clean vocals, while "Odin" rolls across the Norse mythscape like a melodic tank in a cloud of ravens. There are a dozen tracks here on Arise, and all of them have simple, single word titles. In addition to the strong opening chunk of the album, I enjoyed the battery of "Bolverk", the thrashing "Evil" and the epic closing track "Einherjer".
I'm going to re-iterate that the conceptual nature of the album and the vocals really come off like a heavier sister to Grave Digger (two of the members used to be in that band, of course). The riffs are often a little more thrash, and this is the heaviest output yet from Rebellion. There are some truly amazing moments on the album that shine like a beacon to the ailing crop of subpar power metal coming from Europe. I may not have enjoyed this so much as Ballad of a Hangman, but it's a strong effort that should catapult this band into the playlists of many new power metal fans, and possibly fans of the more generic side of Viking-themed metal (Amon Amarth, etc.)