Alright, here’s a new one on me – a metal band with one drummer and five singers; what is going on here? You may be asking right about now. I may be the only person that didn’t know that this band existed, but they do, and in true power metal, a cappella style. VAN CANTO consists of two main vocalists and three singers, who astonishingly emulate guitars and bass. Founded in 2006, and have just released their 6th album ‘Voices Of Fire’ which they are calling a metal opera and is a concept album (unlike the previous 5) of epic journeys into magical worlds and kingdoms that contain dragons, battles, fire and bards.
Can this band get any more exciting? Yes! ‘Gimly’ (aka John Rhys-Davis from Lord Of The Rings) narrates on here too!) This new project came nicely together after they teamed up with German author Christoph Hardebusch, who developed the story line based on his latest novel ‘Feuerstimmen’ which means, The Trolls. The album also includes the professional sounding London Metro Voices (from the sound tracts of The Lord Of The Rings) to add to the impressive overall sound of the album.
The lead vocals are shared between Dennis “Sly” Schunke and Inga Scharf and the first single off the album, ‘Clashings On Armour Plates’ is a sweet demonstration of the power of the vocal chords alone. It’s extremely clear that a lot of hard work and clarity of thought, as well as sheer talent went into the making if this album, and although this kind of metal might not be for everyone, yours truly included, there is no denying that I have to give credit where credit is due, so full appreciation for originality, guts and determination must be applauded.
I was absolutely mesmerised when I heard soaring guitar solos with distortion effects, and realised that in fact these were the amazing voices of Ross Thompson and Stefan Schmidt, which are showcased beautifully on ‘The Betrayal’ as was the bass, voiced by new comer Jan Moritz. They have chosen not to go the beat box road and have a real drum kit which I really like as this does add a touch of brutality to the overall sound. They haven’t done any covers on this album either as they have done previously, covering the likes of Metallica etc. So this album is a truly valiant effort and a very bold step forward for VAN CANTO, hats off.
If you like Nightwish or Blind Guardian styled power metal, ‘Voices Of Fire’ may just tickle you pink, because this is a meaty, new and unyielding album, although at times I found the narration a little too much (patience was never a virtue that I possess in abundance) as I just wanted to hear the music, and the music is good.
Words by Brenda
CLASHING’S ON ARMOUR PLATES
TIME AND TIME AGAIN
ALL MY LIFE
FIREVOWS (JOIN THE JOURNEY)
WE ARE ONE