Released: 2016, Hammerheart Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
After a brief but productive run from 1998-2002 that saw them issue two well-regarded albums and an EP, Brazilian death metal misreants Rebaelliun have returned, incredibly, with all four of the members who were there at the time of the split. Indeed, they even ended up back on the same label – Hammerheart – that released their first two albums. It's like they stepped into a black hole, then got shot back out 15 years later, ready to pick up where they left off.
Rebaelliun sure don't appear to be any worse for the wear from the long break. If anything, they have energy to burn and seem more than eager to make up for lost time. The quartet explode out of the gate in Behemoth-like fashion with the anti-Christian death metal fury of “Affronting The Gods” and “Legion” and keep blasting away pretty much throughout.
Indeed, The Hell's Decrees just cracks the half-hour mark with its eight songs, making it a model of brutal efficiency. Even the Morbid Angel-like slow-grind of “Fire And Brimstone” is dispatched in three minutes, menacing though they are. The eponymous “Rebaelliun” approximates a mid-tempo gait, despite Sandro Moreira's busy double-bass, making for the only other respite from the hellfire that surrounds it.
Like “Dawn of Mayhem,” an absolutely barnstormer that offers almost Napalm Death-like intensity thanks to Moreira's break-neck pace and bassist/vocalist Lohy Fabiano's belligerent holler. “Dawn of fucking MAYHEM!!!” indeed. “Crush The Cross” follows suit, even if it stretches things out to almost five minutes, and “Anarchy (The Hell's Decrees Manifesto)” brings the album to a riffy, yet rampaging end.
Somewhat lost in the tumult here is the razor-sharp technicality and grace of Ronaldo Lima and Fabiano Penna's guitaring. Their deft riffing at often blinding speeds gives the album some genuine bite, and even a hint of catchiness, and their solos are sleek and suitably fleet.
There's no playing catch up, grasping at the straws of what former glory they might have had or desperate ploys to sound current here. Instead, Rebaelliun simply regrouped, reloaded and let it rip. As reunion albums go, The Hell's Decrees is nothing short of remarkable.