earMusic [Release date 11.03.16]
Van Canto are back and this time they have come up with a vocal metal opera. They have teamed up with German author Christoph Hardebusch, who has come up with the story line based on his new fantasy novel ‘Feuerstimmen’.
They have also enlisted the London Metro Voices (who can be heard on ‘The Lord of the Rings’ soundtracks) to give a full choral sound to the music. There has been a line-up change since the last album with bass vocalist Ingo “Ike” Sterzinger replaced by Jan Moritz.
There is narration to fill in the story behind the songs and what of the songs? The drums are still played with everything done by the very talented vocalists. ‘Clashing On Armour Plates’ and ‘Battleday’s Dawn’ put Manowar to shame!
This is epic metal and then some. The guitar voices really come into their own on ‘The Betrayal’. It is not for all Van Canto’s style of vocal metal, but they are very talented and this an enjoyable album – just the narration tires on repeated plays.
A bold step by Van Canto and one they needed to make given that the voices as instruments only works for so long, especially after the novelty factor of their cover versions wears off. They have opened up a whole new musical arena for themselves adding in the choirs and having a proper choral/symphonic sound that other bands would love. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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