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A straight and fresh conceptual masterpiece - 85%

kluseba, January 27th, 2011

This conceptual album about Shakespeare's Macbeth is an output that asks you to activate not only your ears, but also your mind and fantasy. This is a true metal opera without annoying guest singers and orchestras. The extremely diversified voice of Michael Seifert who is able to sing the lowest as well as the highest note with his emotional and rough voice, a few narration parts with small sound effects and the traditional melodic guitars, pumping basses and tight drums are enough to carry this album that focusses on the essential and is an interesting alternative to somewhat overloaded conceptual albums from Avantasia or Ayreon. Rebellion play traditional and heavy power metal with guts and don't try to impress with high speed or exotic instruments like Blind Guardian. I really think that this album is underrated and should be more popular as it could please to the people that are looking for a straight but somewhat interesting and not stereotypical power metal output.

While the band delivers some really epic and elaborated but still straight and heavy songs with narrational bridges and atmospheric intros or outros like on the outstanding "Husbandry in heaven", the band doesn't forget to play some shorter rockers like the well sought opener "Disdaining fortune" or the somewhat catchy "Evil speaks". The memorable "The dead arise" unites the epicness and catchiness of the mentioned songs and is probably amongst the best songs on this record.

The only negative point is that it is impossible to listen to a song as a song because the narration parts and epic structures include every single song in the whole conceptual context. There is nothing like a possible single or little break and it is very difficult to pick out single tracks. This album works as a whole in its concept and one should listen to it from the beginning to the end as it is somewhat a theatre play for your ears and you can't just go to the theatre and watch the third act and ignore the first and last two ones. Imagine it like a movie with a length about almost eighty minutes where you get into the cinema to watch the part from the fiftieth to the sixtieth minute without without having a look at the rest. You may be able to say that the single part seems to be interesting and entertaining but you can't truly appreciate it without its context. This album demands multiple listenings and a lot of time and that can be frustrating and long sometimes. In a perfect conceptual album like maybe Queensryche's Operation:Mindcrime (or also on the loosely bound Rebellion trilogy about the history of the Vikings) the songs also work on their own and not only as a whole structure. That is the only lack of this stunning album and a reason why I rather rarely listen to it. Even if you dislike the album because of its long parts, you simply can't deny that the musicians put a lot of time, talent and passion into this output and you can feel this all the time.

When I listen to the album, I take my time to explore and appreciate it in its full range and I would suggest anyone to do so as this output is nothing for the fast food metal heads.