Sunday, February 21, 2016
VAN CANTO: "Voices Of Fire"
Label: earMUSIC 2016
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
Harmony was broken??? Ah, yes, Gimli has spoken and Gandalf must return to the Hobbit's den to... No seriously, they've got Gimil (actor John Rhys-Davies) as the narrator of this ambitious project and collaboration between Van Canto and fantasy writer Christoph Hardebusch. It's sort of based on his upcoming or down coming book, 'Feuerstimmen', and no, we did not just make this up for a giggle and a half.
“We are barely able to tell what came first: the music as part of the novel or the novel as part of our album. Christoph Hardebusch and we worked hand in hand on this. Our compositions did influence the novel and vice versa. Simply put, we created our own world – a world full of competing kingdoms, epic battles, dragons, fire and bards. Not always deadly serious but full of adventures to set your imagination running wild… like Van Canto does,” explains lead singer Sly who developed the plot of the novel together with Christoph Hardebusch.
Bloody 'ell. They should be selling this by shiploads to the Game of Thrones and Lord of The Rings fanatics. Bombastic, sort of Acapella' metal (not really, but close enough for a cigar?) with expansive and lush arrangements 'ala the soundtrack to your fantasy book/movie and not to forget game. I honor my Lord by destroying you! (FYI: it's a Skyrim thing if you're feeling old and out of touch). They have previously released five top 20 releases in Germany, and sold out headlining tours throughout Europe.
This is a bold and interesting move from a band that previously mostly done covers in the past. What's the sound like? I guess it's bits and pieces of everything from Blind Guardian (especially, Somewhere Far Beyond), Rhapsody Of Fire, to Blackmore's Night and your movie score and soundtrack. Kitsch, you ask? of course, the response. Some are going to hate this with a passion and followers are going to bring out their plastic old sword and shield and head off to the nearest mall battlefield. It's mostly drums and vocals and the London Metro Voices (also on the soundtrack of the Lords of the Rings) with the occasional guitar bit or keys. Final verdict: Interesting concept and thank God or Gandalf? for the mix between male and female voices. Bombastic a' capella stuff.