Van Canto – Dawn of the Brave

Release: 7 th of February
Label: Napalm Records

By Michael
Hero A Capella Metal. A lot of you probably don’t know what to expect from that. I will leave the neverending discussion about if metal “needs” guitars to be true metal for now and focus on this album that I have listened to quite a bit. The new Van Canto is out and it seems more diverse than ever.

Immediately at the start of the album, the “hero” part of Hero A Capella Metal comes through. Instead of the bombastic opening of Van Canto’s previous album, Dawn of the Brave starts off more epic. With the “instrumental” opening you will feel as if you are at the start of a journey, an adventure. And thats exactly what this album is.

The first video from the album is “Badaboom”. This song can easily get stuck in your head and the video is hilarious. Sly’s vocals seem to get better every album and give a lot of power to the song.
Most of the covers Van Canto make are well done, but in my opinion “The Final Countdown” could have been done a lot better. It feels a bit soft and misses an edge to it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad, but knowing the quality of most covers, this one is just a bit disappointing.

“Steel Breaker” on the other hand feels like a classic metal song. The fun thing about any Van Canto album is that after a few songs you already forget that the only instruments you hear are a drumset and some voices. How amazing is that. Even during the ballad “The Other Ones” this happens. Fun fact is that for this song two hundred fans are singing some backing vocals.

“Holding out for a Hero” is the kind of cover that I like. A bit of power has been added to the song by some fast drumming. Inga throws in a bit of raw singing that we have also heard in Black Wings of Hate from Break the Silence, one of my favourites from that album because of that. In this cover, Van Canto makes the song their own, giving it their own style, something that I appreciate in covers.
“Unholy” and “My Utopia” are songs that just make you bop your head. Especially “My Utopia” with it’s faster pace and powerfull singing will make fans jump during concerts. I can already imagine fans shouting “My Utopia” together with the band.

“Into the West” is one of those songs that is just perfect for a Van Canto cover. Just close your eyes and imagine standing in a big hall. With Inga doing main vocals and the rest setting a fantastic atmosphere, it’s hard not to enjoy this song. The album ends with another great cover. “Paranoid” originally by Black Sabath naturally, is also well done.

As I have said, after a few songs you almost forget that Van Canto is an a capella band. Due to good mixing and producing from Ronald Prent (Rammstein) and Charlie Bauerfeind (Helloween), the album just feels as a whole. Van Canto grows better by the album and because the songs seem to be more diverse, Dawn of the Brave is very easy to listen to.

Rating: 8/10
Track list:
1. Dawn of the Brave
2 Fight For Your Life
3. To the Mountains
4. Badaboom
5. The Final Countdown
6. Steel Breaker
7. The Awakening
8. The Other Ones
9. Holding Out For a Hero
10. Unholy
11. My Utopia
12. Into the West
13. Paranoid

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