After having released one of the more promising debuts of recents years Brazilian death metal combo Rebaelliun capitalized on the newfound interest. Arriving merely a year after its debut the “Bringer Of War” EP was a prelude to its second album, and a tribute to one of its most audible inspirations. The EP combined three new tracks with a cover rendition of Morbid Angel song ‘Day Of Suffering’. The EP is by and large an extension of what the band did on its debut, and a bridge to its newer, slightly more melodic material that would come to define their second and final album, the aptly named “Annihilation”.
Caught between two worlds in terms of writing the “Bringer Of War” EP doesn’t sound exactly like “Burn the Promised Land”, but it doesn’t yet have the sense of melody and the overly blast-oriented approach of the band’s second album “Annihilation”. For better or worse, it has Rebaelliun undecided on what sound they want to pursue. The levels of pure visceral intensity and speed have been dialed up, but the dynamic range of the debut remains intact. Overall there’s a more American slant to the writing with this EP while in terms of construction its definitely European sounding. The looming Morbid Angel influence on these compositions is hard to deny, but it has been toned down compared to the debut. With Penna Correa as the sole guitarist for the session, the new tracks are more straightforward and direct, while the leads/solos clearly ape the classic lead sound of American thrashers Slayer. With this EP Rebaelliun wanted to match itself with notorious US blast unit Hate Eternal, and their popular countrymen Krisiun. As noted are the influences of Morbid Angel and early Slayer still present, but they aren’t as obvious as on “Burn the Promised Land” anywhere. The “Bringer Of War” EP is a different beast altogether. A fiercer, focused and more confrontational one at that.
While the intensity and speed level has been dialed up each of the cuts is also leaner in construction. Where the debut occasionally still had riffs that fulfilled no other function than to introduce the next, here each and every part of a song is there for a reason. Not that any of these songs are particularly complex as far as architecture or writing are concerned. In the quest for intensity Rebaelliun has sacrificed some of the Morbid Angel leanings that made “Burn the Promised Land” so appealing. The writing here follows Krisiun’s “Apocalyptic Revelation” and “Conquerors Of Armageddon” more than anything else. The leads and solos still are the highpoint of these tracks, along with the incessant battering of drummer Sandro Moreira. As was the case with the debut the barked vocals of Marcello Marzari (in what would be his final recording with the band) are still as commonplace and interchangeable as they were before, but at least his bass playing got slightly more interesting. Rebaelliun still was an obvious Krisiun clone, but the outlines of a more individual take on the genre starts to slowly surface here.
One of the obvious changes comes with the production. Whereas the debut sounded like a glorified demo recording, “Bringer Of War” adds tremendous levels of clarity and definition to an already crunchy whole, but sacrifices organic warmth for digital gloss. There’s a very “live” feel to this EP in terms of recording, but each and every instrument sounds cleaner, heavier and more precise here. Even Marcello Marzari’s belching, throaty vocals sound more honest and raw this time around. The drums sound a lot less like cardboard and empy buckets, probably due to superior recording techniques and triggering. The bass guitar is turned up a notch, but its tone still isn’t very clear or refined sounding. The guitar tone is louder, cleaner and more concrete all around.
The artwork carries on with the band’s previously established antireligious war concept. Its successor “Annihilation” would depart from that thematic in terms of lay-out, but continues the direction taken with this EP. “Bringer Of War” is hardly a game changer, but it sees Rebaelliun taking the necessary steps to justify its continued existence. What the band truly would be capable of would be displayed on its second album “Annihilation”. It’s unfortunate that Rebaelliun ceased to exist after that, but perhaps for the better in the long run – as they wouldn’t be able to keep dialing up the intensity the way they did on the few releases they put out in their short lifetime.