Saturday, July 9, 2016

An Interview with REBAELLIUN

Rebaelliun were part of a wave of bands that emerged at the tail end of the millennium, re-establishing death metal at the top of the metal landscape, as well as Brazil's prominence at the forefront of death metal...taking no prisoners and giving no fucks along the way. After a more than a decade, the band has returned with a brand new album - great news for fans of the true brutal daeth matel. Guitarist Fabiano Penna was kind enough to bring me up to speed over e-mail.

photo by Synara Rocha

Dreams of Consciousness: Please introduce Rebaelliun for those who don't know the band - who are you, where are you from, and what kind of music do you play?

Hello, this is Fabiano Penna. I’m the guitarist in REBAELLIUN, we’re a band from Brazil and we play Death Metal.

DoC: When did the band form and what did you want to accomplish?

We formed REBAELLIUN back in 1998, but we had played together before in another band called Blessed, which existed from 1992 to 1996. After that first band we realized that we wanted to go further in terms of releasing, touring, reaching people, so we started this band and went to Europe a few months later to look for places to play and a good record label to release our music. Rebaelliun existed from 1998 to 2002, and during this period we released 2 albums, 2 EPs and toured Europe 4 times; we were really busy during those years in fact.

DoC: The last time we heard from Rebaelliun was the Annihilation album all the way back in 2001. What's happened to the band since then?

After recording Annihilation we played some shows in Europe, then we played a long tour in Brazil and due to several personal issues we quit the band; that was in 2002. During the past years some of us were involved in other bands and projects and finally last year we talked and decided to have REBAELLIUN back to business, with a new album and again [get back] on the road.

DoC: You just released your first album in 15 years, The Hell's Decrees. What led to its creation? How long had you been working on it?

The first idea after announcing that the band was returning was to record a new album. We all live in different cities nowadays, so the process was a lot different than in the past, when we lived together and rehearsed several times a week. I wrote all music and recorded demos in my home studio; our vocalist, Lohy Silveira, wrote all lyrics and created all lines; we met a couple of times for a few rehearsals and finally started to record the album. We worked around 6 months to pre-produce 8 tracks; and recording, mixing and mastering took from 5 to 6 weeks. From zero to the full album it took 7 or 8 months.

DoC: Among the new tracks is a song called "Rebaelliun". What is this song about and how does it represent your band?

It is actually called "Rebellion". Unfortunately someone made the mistake to publish it as "Rebaelliun" on Internet (Soundcloud, Spotify, etc.) but on the CD and LP the title is correct, "Rebellion". The lyrics and the track itself represent our band as much as the other tracks, there’s nothing ‘special’ in the track or even the will to represent the band in a song. But of course that when people read "Rebaelliun" as a title track, they get this idea. Anyway, it’s a cool track, a mid tempo song with very strong lyrics.

DoC: The new album was released by Hammerheart, who also released the previous Rebaelliun albums. What is your relationship with Hammerheart like? Was it always set that you were going to return to the label, or did you entertain other offers?

We worked with them from 1999 to 2002, and they did a pretty much good job at that time. In the last few years I was in touch with the owner and sometimes we talked about a new album or at least about re-releasing our first albums. When we announced that the band was returning, they offered us immediately a deal, a good one, so we did not wait for other offers and signed to them again. First, because we work well together, and second because we wanted to start working as fast as possible.

DoC: Rebaelliun was part of an exciting wave of death metal bands that exploded out of Brazil in the late 90's (like Krisiun, Mental Horror, and Nephasth, among others). What was your relationship like with those other bands? How do you see Rebaelliun in comparison to them?

Yes, Death Metal was very strong in Brazil during those years. Several good bands recording, playing live, Krisiun was of course the first one and the band who went further, but the scene was getting even stronger with more bands rising and showing that we had a potential. Rebaelliun was the ‘first’ band right after Krisiun, because we were also releasing albums world wide and touring a lot in Europe, while the other Brazilian bands were more focused on the local scene. We played with most of these bands at that time - Abhorrence, Ophiolatry, Nephasth, Funeratus and many more - and we’ve had a great relationship with all of them until today. Our drummer Sandro played with Mental Horror for some years, and their guitarist, Adriano Martini, is nowadays our live guitarist replacing Ronaldo Lima, so we’re all friends.

DoC: The lyrics for Rebaelliun have always been strongly anti-religious/ anti-Christian. If you could sum up your feelings for religion in one word, what would it be?


DoC: What do you wish more people knew about Brazil?

That the country is much more than only football, hot women and samba. We have great music over here, great people in so many areas, great artists and so on.

DoC: What' s next for Rebaelliun?

Our new album The Hell’s Decrees was released last May, so right now we’re working to promote it. We’ve already played some gigs in Brazil, in a few weeks we'll go to Europe to play at two of the most important Metal fests there, Brutal Assault and Party San, and a couple of more club gigs. We have a tour in Mexico in September, some more shows in Brazil and probably back to Europe in November for a long tour. And of course we’re already thinking about a new album; we will not wait 15 more years to record again…

A photo posted by rebaelliun (@rebaelliun) on

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The Hell's Decrees available through Hammerheart Bandcamp