Brutal Death Metal From Brazil

REBAELLIUN Interview With
Fabiano Penna (guitars)

Interview By Arto Lehtinen

The Brazilian metal scene has always been known for its unique raw and above all uncompromising brutal and bestial death/black metal bands since the early 80ís. Even though years have passed by the Brazilian extreme metal is flourishing in 2000 when several brutal nihilistic death metal bands have come to conqueror the death metal scene with the total intensive brain blowing death metal attack. Krisiun was one of the first having gained that reputation, but Rebaelliun already showed and gives a real lesson of Death Metal on the debut album ďBurn the PromisedĒ, but more brutal and more aggressive hyper blast death metal stuff by Rebaelliun can be expected from their upcoming ďAnnihilationĒ album which is going to blow every extreme death metal maniac away for sure.

I talked to the guitarist, Fabiano Penna, on the eve on the total annihilation about their upcoming album and of course the Brazilian vibe !! Enjoy

The official homepage of Rebaelliun: www.rebaelliun.com


Good morning or evening down to Brazil, Penna, whatís up there at the moment, is the sun shinning hot there?!?

It's the winter over here, the day is not as sunny as usual...

 

Last time we talked you had just the debut album out a few years ago and now the second album is due to out really really soon by Hammerheart Rec of course. I guess you must have been utterly busy and swamped with the band during the last few years since the debut album came out?!?

Yeah, you're 100% right. REBAELLIUN has been our main activity on last years, since we formed the band we had no breaks, and a lot of work still has to be done on coming years.

 

Before forming REBAELLIUN in '98 you used to play in other local Death Metal combos like Blessed which never got that much attention. Until now you have finally gained the deserved success and following in the scene, but what were the biggest different points of what made REBAELLIUN more serious and even professional band to reach the status that you have got so far?!?

We were much younger when playing in REBAELLIUN, so it was probably the main difference. During 2 years we were just working in daily jobs, before forming REBAELLIUN, and you learn a lot when dealing with people who try to be professional in their area. REBAELLIUN was formed to show our music to the worldwide extreme Metal scene, it would not make any sense to play again in a kind of local band, remember that local fans normally don't support local bands...

 

But starting out the band from nothing, you had sold your equipment and basically gave up the hope of continuing in the music business after quitting older bands. But instead you went throughout the hard rock and traveled to Europe in order to promote and get the attention for REBAELLIUN, now afterwards thinking, was worth of every penny and hard working, everything was done and carried out on the grassroots level?!?

I would do everything again, if necessary. That first trip to Europe was a really hard but rich experience for us, and if REBAELLIUN is still around and with a good reputation all over the world, is due to that first tour. All those gigs in small pubs for 20, 30 people, were very important at that time, that was the first step and we had to do that. We have good memories from that period.

 

So the debut "Burn the Promised Land" arose hell in the Death Metal scene and definitely knocked several die hard Death Metal mongers down and reviews and criticism what I for one have seen and read have been overwhelming great, did you know to expect those kinds of responds toward the debut album or was it on the contrary just a huge surprise for the whole band?!?

We did our best recording "Burn the Promised Land", we always knew all the weak aspects of that album, but we also knew that "Burn..." had a so strong feeling that it would have an impact in the scene in a way or another. And it had. We got some superb reviews and a lot of support with that album, some tours happened and I think "Burn the Promised Land" is the responsible for everything we have nowadays. But we wanna go further, and for this, new albums will come, and each one has to be better than the previous ones.

 

The new output called "Annihilation" will be hitting or may already have hit the stores and was carried out, process at the Stage One Studio in Germany with Andy Classen as the producer, firstly how did you come an idea to record the follow up in Germany, was Hammerheart behind the idea and how did the working methods with Andy Classen turn out and go after all?!?

The sound in "Burn the Promised Land" was not 100% good for our music, "Bringer of War" showed better sound in drums, but the production was not that good as well. We and Hammerheart knew that if REBAELLIUN wanted to go to a higher level, a better production was needed. For this, we should record in Europe or in the U.S., Hammerheart probably had other bands recording in Stage One with Andy, and then they offered us this possibility. Of course we didn't know so much about this studio, but it would be better than recording in Brazil. At the end, we reached a very clear but still heavy and intense production, and that was the goal. It was very easy recording with Andy, things worked very well at Stage One.

 

The upcoming album includes the re-brutalized version "Bringer of War" off from the same titled MCD,hmm in my opinion that Mini-CD suffered from the kinda weak production and didnít manage to capture the most nihilistic feeling what REBAELLIUN stand for, was that basic reason for redoing the track in order to the more savage brutal approach with the better sounds or if not could you reveal why?!?

We recorded "Bringer of War" as a trio, with another line-up. With this new line-up this song, which is in my opinion one of the best REBAELLIUN songs, was sounding much better. Then came the idea to re-record it, to show how the new line-up plays this song. I can assure this new version is even faster than the first one.

 

Hmm so far I am kinda unable to inquire any clever things about the upcoming album, the eight track brutal Death Metal mayhem can be expected for sure or how would you like to cite the album?!?

"Annihilation" is by far our best release, and everybody who already listened to this album have the same opinion. The feeling is even more intense than on "Burn the Promised Land", the musicianship was a lot improved, and the result is a clear but extreme album, with some new standards as well. It's an album 100% focused on the extreme Death Metal.

 

The title of the debut album "Burn the Promised Land" already brought up that your hatred toward the religious issues, but what kind of issues does the title of the second album refer to?!?

If you are referring to "Annihilation", this title refers to the end of a failed society, the end of all their beliefs and thoughts, the beginning of a new era.

 

Besides the religious issues you are also keen on penning the lyrics about wars, cos at least MCD has references to war topics, at least the front cover gives that impression as having a wicked looking soldier running?!?

War is one of the oldest ways of expression of the human beings. And it will be probably the way that mankind will use to kill itself. The complete annihilation will become true thru a war, I have no doubt about this.

 

The MCD in question includes the cover version of Morbid Angelís "Day Of Suffering", I canít asking what happened to your planned cover track of Slayerís "Black Magic", did you just drop it?!?

'Black Magic' was supposed to be recorded in "Burn the Promised Land", but we didn't like how it sounded in the studio and then we just stoped recording it. And at the current time we are more focused in our own songs, so don't expect coversongs on coming years...

 

But the line-up of REBAELLIUN has undergone some eccentric changes since the debut album was unleashed. Letís see if I can follow it right; the line up on the debut album "Burn the Promised Land" was the following, Marcello Marzari (bass/vocals), F. Penna Correa (guitars), Ronaldo Lima (guitars) and Sandro M. (drums). Whereas the line up on the MCD "Bringer of War" consisted of three guys Marcello Marzari (bass/vocals), F. Penna Correa (guitars) and Sandro M. (drums). Now the current line-up on the new album would be Lohy Fabiano (bass/vocals), Fabiano Penna (guitars) Ronaldo Lima (guitars) and Sandro Moreira (drums). "Hold on". Lima wasnít on the MCD and returned back and now Marcello Marzari is out, replaced by Lohy Fabiano, could you politely shed some light on these line-up hassles?!?

Ronaldo left REBAELLIUN in February '2000. As a trio we recorded "Bringer of War" Mini-CD and played an European tour with Vader. Rigth after this tour, Marcello also left REBAELLIUN. I and Sandro kept rehearsing and writing some new songs, few weeks later Ronaldo came and we all decided it was time to have him back in REBAELLIUN. And since we were searching for a new frontam, Lohy Fabiano, who had played with us before REBAELLIUN, got in touch, and with a few rehearsals we all realized that this was the best line-up we could get. "Annihilation" will prove this.

 

Seems like the band is unfortunately plagued by mandatory changes, do you now expect the line-up would last a little bit longer or?!?

I think that this line-up will last for several years. People are different and sometimes people want different things for themselves. So no one can expect that REBAELLIUN's line-up, or any band's line-up, will last forever, it's just impossible...

But every album has featured a new guy doing the vocal parts, how do you view as the biggest difference between each vocalist and how did the new recruited vocalist Lohy Fabiano manage to handle all the vocal parts?!?

We recorded "At War", "Burn the Promised Land" and "Bringer of War" with Marcello doing the vocals. This is the first time we change the frontman... and fortunately Lohy did his part very well in "Annihilation", he is much better musician than Marcello was, and his voice is much deeper and clearer, and more powerful as well. In my opinion the vocals are one of the highlights in "Annihilation", we were very careful this time about all the lyrics and structures, and it worked very well, Lohy worked hard with us to have all the lines 100% perfect before the recordings.

 

I never dared to unveil this to you, but I gotta try my luck now: When REBAELLIUN was just founded and had the first press coverage by the local Metal magazines which I had managed to get a hold of. All right I gotta admit ignoring the page where you were, just paying attention to four bald headed guys standing and thought this gotta some Brazilian hard core/punk band or whatever! The same magazine had included a comp CD also featuring one track off from your demo. After hearing that track I was like holymotherfuckingjeesusbloodychrist, what the hell is this, immediately had to pick up the article all over again to check out what the hell this band is actually(heh). So I canít help asking what was the purpose on having shaved heads and did someone else think so wrong like I did, considering you as a hard core band..heh?!?

A lot of people probably thought the same, Metal bands usually use long hair. In our first trip to Belgium, in a festival, some guys thought that we were Angelcorpse playing!!! We had not any specific intentions with that, it just happened, but also proved that you don't have to have a 'Metal look' to play in a band, many people pay more attention in the appearance of a band than on the music itself. Music is always the most important thing in a band.

 

REBAELLIUN have outspokenly been compared to you country/city fellows, Krisiun, to be honest donít you already get a little bit sick of those Krisiun comparisons despite the obvious references and comparisons between the two bands can be pointed out: The same city, the same front cover designer ..etc., but anyway?!?

Morbid Angel and Deicide come from the same city, playing the same genre of music, recording albums in the same studio... but these bands have a different approach to play Death Metal, and I think the same thing happens when you talk about REBAELLIUN and Krisiun. Fortunately these comparisons are not so often nowadays, with "Annihilation" people will finally see that we have our own identity playing Death Metal and this is why REBAELLIUN have grown a lot during the last years.

Fabiano Penna

Sometime ago I read the interview of Nile where the interviewer had brought the "Bringer of War" MCD to the Nile guys to check out, obviously they werenít that much aware of you, but pointed out immediately the "Brazil Vibes" from the material, so do you think you and other Brazilian bands have some recognizable "Brazil Vibes" in the sounds of which local bands can be recognized?!?

I think so, Brazil is very original in all the matters, and the same happen with the Metal genre. A few years ago we could say that American bands were more technical and Brazilian bands were faster, but still raw; nowadays Brazilian bands reached the same level of musicianship of the American bands - some Brazilian bands are even in a higher level - but the 'Brazilian vibes' are still there. I'm proud of it, our scene is fucking growing and I believe things will just get better within upcoming years.

 

About that "Brazil Vibes" thing yet... In my opinion even the older Brazilian bands from the 80ís already had that vibe thing in their sounds, now I am not just talking about typical names which you may guest, but in general Brazilian bands had something and magical power in their material, is this some kind of heritage from them for the Brazilian Death/Black generation of nowadays?!?

I don't know. In our case, we are more influenced by bands such as Morbid Angel and Slayer, and they both come from America, but I think we all have a natural way to play music in Brazil, and this specific way to play the music differs the Brazilian style from any other style all over the world.

 

I came across a couple of statements of yours saying the local Metal crowd donít give damn shit about bands down there in Brazil. Do you think the Brazilian Metal heads are kinda used to getting a lot of 'big' bands from Europe and US to check out whereas in the middle of the 80ís any bands hardly played there, apart from Venom, Destruction, Exciter?! But are the things getting into the better direction now?!?

Big Metal bands have played in Brazil since the 80's and this has not changed, Venom, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Morbid Angel, Ozzy, Judas Priest, Helloween, AC/DC, Dio and several other Metal legends have played here. It's much more difficult to see Death Metal bands over here, but this is also changing. A few years ago the most of the Death Metal fans were not really enthusiastic with the Brazilian bands, but nowadays things are completely different, Metal fans in Brazil are supporting the Brazilian bands more, not only bands that have played in Europe/North America yet, but also the bands that still depend exclusively on the Brazilian support. The whole Brazilian scene is growing, not only good bands arising, but also good publications, labels and more fans supporting this scene.

 

The whole band is heavily tattooed and is supported by the local tattoo and piercing studio called Renegade Studio, as far as I know itís the kinda loyal supporting based on the good friendship, hmmm could you shed a little bit light on this thing?!? And could you tell more about your tattoos cos it is always to find out what they mean to its owners, cos there is always some symbolic meaning behind?!?

The owner of Renegade Studio (www.renegadestudio.com) is a friend of us and the first guy in Brazil who supported REBAELLIUN. He's one of the best tattoo artists in Brazil, and beside the tattoos he also designs our official home-page (www.rebaelliun.com). We all have lots of tattoos, we just choose what design will be tattooed and we do, we don't think too much about it. I personally have some Manowar draws in my arms, as well as some demons and fallen angels...

 

REBAELLIUN have done a bunch of gigs all round in Europe, touring with bigger and smaller bands, but all these tours havenít gone in the expected way for example the catastrophic tour with Mystic Circle and Limbonic Art and VISA hassles on the border of Poland?!? But it is obvious there gotta be a lot of great insane gigs on the tour with Vader and Vital Remains?!?

The last tour in Europe was surely the best one. We played 27 gigs over 15 countries with Vader and Vital Remains, we all had a good time on that tour. With "Annihilation" we plan to tour even more than we toured promoting "Burn the Promised Land", we plan to play at least 1 big European tour and a tour in North America as well. The first part of this 'World Tour' already started in Brazil, we have played in several different cities in our country and the response has been fucking great.

 

But you will be hitting the road with the US Death metallers Diabolic and once again Polish Behemoth, you seem to get along with Behemoth damn well, but apparently looking forward to getting on the road with that tour package?!?

I'm not sure if this tour will happen, but I can assure that REBAELLIUN will not play on this tour, the album was not released yet, and it would not make sense to tour Europe before "Annihilation" is out. An European Tour of course is planned, but I don't know when and with what bands.

 

All right Fabiano, it was a great opportunity to talk to you about the upcoming album "Annihilation" and I wish you all the best with the band and hopefully see you somewhere on the gig! So your words mate!

Thanks Arto for your huge support once more. Check www.rebaelliun.com and wait for the complete annihilation. Hail and kill!!


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Saturday, November 17, 2001