Pyromaniacal Slayers Assault Paradise
CoC chats with guitarist Fabianno Penna of Brazil's Rebaelliun
by: Paul Schwarz
If you crank up opener "At War" from Rebaelliun's recently released debut _Burn the Promised Land_ [CoC #45] you can not only hear the guns of war blazing as their percussion battery hits ground zero, you can even hear the cartridge casings hitting the ground as the bullets of aural battery are spent. But cool touches like this aren't what make Rebaelliun worth noticing; they're worth a second glance for musicianship alone. Pretty much matching Krisiun in the speed stakes is no easy task, and doing so without mimicking their sound is yet more of a feat. Rebaelliun have managed both, putting a distinctly Slayer-esque spin on their take of late-nineties Brazilian death metal insanity. Guitarist Fabianno Penna reached through a relatively solid grasp of English to express the meaning of Rebaelliun music, lyrics and ideas. Unfortunately, the cost of a phone call to Brazil hindered the amount of time we had to talk.

CoC: You've emerged from Brazil quite recently, you're getting quite a few good reviews: where have you come from -- what scene -- and where are you aiming to go?

Fabianno Penna: That's the history of the band, is that what you're asking me about? We started playing in '92 but with another band. We played together from '92 to '96. Then, we just stopped with the band 'cause we didn't have the right conditions to stay together. So, in March '98, we started Rebaelliun. We took a two year break and then we started Rebaelliun. But we play with a strong purpose, you know? For six months we just rehearsed with the line-up, then we went to Europe for the first time. Then things started to happen for the band.

CoC: So since you've been doing this for such a long time, do you feel like this band is the band that you're really going to be able to do things with? After doing music for quite a while, do you think that Rebaelliun is going to be "the one"?

FP: Yeah, I think that we have very clearly in our minds what we want for the band. So, since we've started with the band we've just been dedicating our time to it. All the time rehearsing, improving as musicians and getting the right contacts around the world. So I just think that we can do a lot in the future, but of course we need support.

CoC: And the tour that you're doing around May or June will help a lot. How do you feel about playing with Vader and Vital Remains? I imagine you're pretty excited?

FP: Yeah, of course. It will be the best tour ever for us to play, because before we played with Limbonic Art and Mystic Circle...

CoC: Ughh...

FP: Yeah. <laughs> They weren't death metal bands, so it wasn't a good tour for Rebaelliun. But we played twice with Vader already and it was great. We also played with Deicide -- the best -- in Belgium and Germany. It was also great. But we'll be playing with Vader and Vital Remains; great and famous death metal bands in the world. So I think it will be the right tour for Rebaelliun this time.

CoC: In terms of the music, what would you say are your greatest influences? You've got bits of Slayer and old thrash, but also there's a very heavy death metal element to your music, and it's got Satanic lyrics. I was just curious where you drew -most- inspiration from for the music you're doing for Rebaelliun.

FP: Yeah, you're right. I think Slayer is the most important influence we have and also Morbid Angel from _Altars of Madness_ -- very strong influence. But basically Slayer: _Reign in Blood_, _Hell Awaits_. The old stuff. It is the most important influence for us.

CoC: So Slayer are one of your favourite bands? Are you aiming to do something that is new and -different-, but -taking- influences from bands like Slayer and things like that?

FP: No, no, actually we are not going that way. We just make death metal but we are trying to draw some influence from the past, the eighties. And maybe in the album, _Burn the Promised Land_ you can't hear it yet, but in the new stuff you will see that. 'Cause we are just drawing influence from the first steps of Slayer; the riffs. Of course it is more extreme and faster, because we are at least twenty years from where they started. But basically this is the influence. We are not interested in making something new in the death metal scene because I think that death metal is not the kind of style where you can just always put something new in. I think that you have to run in the right way but playing with something new for your band but not for the scene, you know?

CoC: You've been in the Brazilian scene for ten years now and I was wondering: where you think the Brazilian scene is going?

FP: I think you probably know the band Krisiun. They are one of the bands responsible for this new death metal scene that's rising. Bands always playing faster and more extreme. I think that they were one of the first bands to do albums with blastbeats from beginning to end. A lot of bands down the road are influenced by them. Now Brazilian bands can think that if Krisiun can do that, they can do it too. So right now Krisiun is the biggest Brazilian band and one of the biggest death metal bands all over the world and now Rebaelliun is starting to rise as well, and we have too many Brazilian bands that could be touring Europe like we will do in one month. Bands like Mental Horror and others. A lot of bands, very good bands.

CoC: How did Rebaelliun come together? Why did you guys decide to form Rebaelliun? What was the idea behind the band and what are the ideas behind the lyrics, songs like "At War"?

FP: First, in '96 we just stopped. And then in '98 the conditions were a bit better, but we were not playing -- I'd just sold all my equipment: guitars and amplifiers. So, two years total break. Then, in March '98 I just thought to myself that I had to play again. Then I just invited the other guys from the old band. Actually, when we stopped the band in '96, the first band we had, then we just decided it was the time to stop, we didn't have any conditions. We started again with Rebaelliun; we created a new band called Rebaelliun. But now the other guitarist left the band some weeks ago and I am the only guy left from the first band. About the lyrics, I just think that our lyrics talk about the hate we feel towards mankind, you know? Against all this shit that we can see around the world, you know. Lyrics like "At War" -- it's just that we are not Satanists. For us it is not just worth writing Satan and Satan and that's done. We want to write things that we really feel. It's not just to sell CDs. I think lyrics like "At War" are very strong. You can feel the end of mankind, the end of the road. It's like apocalypse or something like that.

CoC: So you think the lyrics definitely have to fit with the music. Later Slayer material talks about war and things and the late-eighties thrash scene tended to centre on apocalypse and things. What I've noticed is that both you and Krisiun seem to have taken up this topic. Were albums like _Beneath the Remains_ and Nuclear Assault albums an influence?

FP: Yeah, yeah, for sure. It's a feeling I like a lot, you know, like _Schizophrenia_ from Sepultura and _Hell Awaits_ from Slayer, _Reign in Blood_. All this feeling is very strong and very honest. It's not like a lot of bands trying to play fast, play heavy and writing about Satan. It's not like that. Our lyrics are very anti-Christian, but you know that Brazil is a very Christian country, so we can see a lot of stupid things every day. The lyrics are just the way we have to express ourselves, to say we don't like that.

CoC: To express your feelings towards what you see around you.

FP: Yeah. I hope you understood everything.

(article submitted 12/8/2000)


CHATS
10/19/2001 P Schwarz Rebaelliun: Annihilating the Competition?
ALBUMS
8/12/2001 A McKay 4 Rebaelliun - Annihilation
1/15/2000 A Bromley 9 Rebaelliun - Burn the Promised Land
GIGS
8/12/2000 P Schwarz Vader / Vital Remains / Fleshcrawl / Rebaelliun Invadering From Across the Seas
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