VAN CANTO – Dawn of the Brave
Continually stretching the conventional tools used for metal, Van Canto use their voices to create a majority of the sounds in play as Power A Cappella is their style on this fifth full length "Dawn of the Brave". Only drummer Bastian Emig uses real instrumentation (and kudos for this, as a drum machine rarely works in any style of ‘power’ metal), with the five voices of Van Canto handling the bass, rhythm guitars, lead breaks, and main verses/ choruses.
With 13 tracks you’ll get 9 original Van Canto compositions and 4 covers. Let’s cover the renditions of Europe’s "The Final Countdown", Bonnie Tyler’s "Holding Out for a Hero", Black Sabbath’s "Paranoid", and the Lord of the Rings cover "Into the West". Hitting all the key hooks and harmonies with only your voice makes for an entertaining and unique interpretation, and Van Canto succeed with the Europe song, make things slightly comical for "Paranoid", and sound very theatrical for the other two numbers. As far as the originals, I love the speed ‘chug’ throughout "To the Mountains" and symphonic oriented "The Awakening", the later using quite a lot of choir layers to emphasis certain passages or transitions.
Who would have thought that these Germans could sustain a decent career based solely on the ingenuity of their approach? Not this guy… I think it’s time for them to drop certain covers though and see where the voices will take them – they can clearly go in a power, thrash, symphonic, or traditional direction. Uniqueness and talent are undeniable with Van Canto, and "Dawn of the Brave" will certainly continue to establish their metal voice dominance. It’s not a style I can take in every day of the week though.