Title: The Forces of Darkness
Genre: Death Metal
Year: 24th February 2017
Time: 28 min circa
The story of Rebel Souls is very tormented. In fact, they were born in 2000 by the will of two 17-years old diehard metalheads from Turingia (Germany) named Thomas Pliewna and Stefan Hielscher, and their intensions were to play an impetuous and brutal death metal in the wake of bands like Vader, Vomitory and Krisiun. But these intentions were realized only in some demos because Rebel Souls ceased to exist very soon in 2003, also because one of the two guys moved to Spain, so it became impossible to continue together their project. Surprisingly, Thomas and Stefan, after their experience into the death metal band Dead Entities' Realm with which they released an album in 2009, raised Rebel Souls in 2014 while, two years ago, they started to record the songs for their long-held debut album that was preceded in December 2016 by the "Descent" single, released by the Spanish label Art Gates Records. And incredibly, do you know who recorded the drum parts of "The Forces of Darkness"? But by James Stewart, the current English drummer of Vader! So, Thomas and Stefan realized finally those intentions and dreams born in the now far 2000, and this is to show you that the perseverance must have its rewards.
In fact, "The Forces of Darkness" is a very fuckin' impetuous and brutal album! It isn't a case that it lasts only 28 minutes circa per 7 tracks plus a dark and acoustic intro titled "The Awakening" that starts the massacre. Specifically, Rebel Souls play a death metal mostly modern with some elements from the old-school of the genre, like in the riffing of the unchained "Fourfold Wrath". But the influences from other metal genres aren't few, like thrash metal ((as in "Acrimony" and not only here) and black metal (very clear into the tempestuous and ultra-blasting parts of "Doomsday"). Instead, in a song like "Acrimony", there are also some passages very close to the melodic death metal à la At the Gates. The strange thing is that, according to Metal-Archives, Rebel Souls plays black/death metal but, sincerely, they have little in common with black metal.
Speaking of guests, Rebel Souls have curiously used them especially for the guitar solos. I am talking about William McShepard of the traditional heavy metal band Southwind, that has participated in "Descent" with his frantic and neoclassical solos, and David García Chaves of the thrashers Pyscho in "The Elementar". Finally, I have to mention Rafael Marín Becerra, that made the acoustic guitar parts of the album, so also in "Doomsday", its final song.
Hence, all this (and beyond) is "The Forces of Darkness", an album that, supported by a clear and crystalline production as usual for the Art Gates' releaseas and recorded at the Wave Nation Recording Studios of Ronda (Spain), show a very good band with excellent technical skills, paroxysmal levels of violence and few (but promising) ways for a room for improvement. But Rebel Souls, now strong of the Argentinian drummer Fernando Puebla, are an ambitious band, also because they shot a nice video for "Fourfold Wrath". Anyway, enjoy "The Forces of Darkness" as it is and stop!
1 - The Awakening
2 - Descent
3 - Acrimony
4 - Decay of a God
5 - The Elementar
6 - Dark Forces
7 - Fourfold Wrath
8 - Doomsday
Stefan Hielscher - vocals/bass
Thomas Plewnia - guitars
James Stewart (session musician) - drums
Ismael Pérez González - backing vocals
William Mcshepard - guitar solo ("Descent")
David García Chaves - guitar solo ("The Elementar")
Rafael Marín Becerra - acoustic guitars ("The Awakening", "Doomsday")