Monday, February 10, 2014

Van Canto - Dawn of The Brave (2014)

One of the great things with heavy metal is the wide range of different genres, and one of the oddest of genres in metal is without a doubt power a capella. The creators of this genre is the German band Van Canto and they consist of two vocalists (one male and one female), two "rakkatakka" vocalists, one "dandan" vocalist and one drummer. So yeah, no guitar, bass or keyboard as far as the ear can hear, this band is all about the power of the voice. "Dawn of The Brave" is the German's 5th offering to the world and if we have to guess from the cover, they want to save the world from evil instruments that plays horrible music.

You may ask, how can this combo not sound like shit? Well, all five vocalists are technically skilled, especially the "rakkatakka" and "dandan" vocalists knows how to deceive the ear that it is listening to the real deal. Of course, they can not perfectly mimic a real guitar, but they are pretty damn close to make it sound like a cheap and worn out fake Fender. Besides, when you listen to this band, the only thing you will be thinking of is how good the music is.

The music itself is mostly fine, but since the band is trying to play power metal without any string instruments, some of the initial power is lost. I definitely think that if they tried a different kind of metal style, like progressive metal, this band would gain more benefits from it. My personal favourite from "Dawn of The Brave" is "Fight For Your Life" since it is the only song where I can feel the power surging through my ears. I would have also appreciated "Badaboom" more if it was not for the corny lyrics. some other notable tracks are the fast "The Awakening", the epic "To The Mountains" and the heavy "My Utopia".

Van Canto is other wise mostly known for their covers of famous metal (and non-metal) songs. There are four covers on "Dawn of The Brave", Europe's "The Final Countdown", Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out For A Hero", the Lord of The Rings soundtrack "Into The West" and Black Sabbath's "Paranoid". None of these covers really match some of their better ones, but they are not horrible. The intro on "Paranoid" makes you laugh out loud, but that is it. The only one that I really enjoyed was "Into The West" because they got to focus on the voices and not bringing as much power as possible.

"Dawn of The Brave" has one of the worst album covers ever with that cheap Batman rip-off, but the album itself is not that bad. Sure, nothing can beat the real sound of guitars and some of the lyrics still makes Van Canto one of the biggest laughing stocks in metal, but when you see beyond that, you can truly appreciate the work and care that the band has done in this album. "Dawn of The Brave" is not their finest effort, but it will still confirm that Van Canto is the best (and only?) metal band that only uses the power of the voice (and a drum kit) to create some sweet music.

Songs worthy of recognition: Fight For Your Life, To The Mountains, My Utopia

Rating: 6,5/10 Badabooms

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