Formed in 2006, Van Canto are a unique quintet singing what they call "hero metal a capella". The band consists of two lead singers with the rest of the members mimicking guitars, bass and keys.
Dennis Schunke - lead vocals
Inga Scharf - lead vocals
Ross Thompson - higher guitar vocals
Stefan Schmidt - lower guitar vocals, solo guitar vocals
Ingo Sterzinger - bass vocals
Bastian Emig - drums
01 Dawn of the Brave
02 Fight For Your Life
03 To The Mountains
05 The Final Countdown
06 Steel Breaker
07 The Awakening
08 The Other Ones
09 Holding Out For A Hero
11 My Utopia
12 Into The West
Dawn of the Brave opens with an intro, quickly questioning the listener asking "what's to come next". It also proposes their genre to those who are new to the band. This then proceeds onto the first song of the album called "Fight For Your Life" which delves into inspirational lyrical themes. In particular, the second song on the album "To The Mountains" is one of my favourites as it tells a story about a warrior who was called to go into battle with an old friend. While I admire bands such as Rhapsody Of Fire who compose songs with similar lyrical themes, this song was right up my street.
"Badaboom" is the next song on the album. The band recorded a video for this song where they dressed up as iconic metal musicians. The message I gathered having watched the video is that, the music business is changing. The music business needs instruments to be able to continue successfully, however, it has been proven that music can be created without instruments. The video then goes on to suggest that, if all instruments suddenly vanished, musicians would become lost and the music business would collapse.
"The Final Countdown" by Europe is the first cover song listeners come to on the album. When I read that the band were to cover this song, I was curious as to how it would sound. It's a cover song so it's different when comparing it to the original version. The band have added their own touches to the song and all in all, I really like the way it turned out.
It would be impossible for me to review "Dawn of the Brave" without talking about "Into The West". As some of you already know, I'm a fan of J.R.R Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings film trilogy by Peter Jackson. Whilst I love the original song (sung by Annie Lennox of The Eurythmics), Van Canto have again, added their own touches to the song and have forever embedded a smile upon my face.
On previous releases, Van Canto have had guest musicians sing on their cover and original songs. Some of the names included are Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica) and Jokaim Broden (Sabaton). On this album, there aren't any guest musicians. A part from "Dawn of the Brave", "A Storm To Come" is the only other Van Canto album to not include a guest singer.