Album Review: Van Canto – Voices of Fire
29th March 2016, 15:13
Posted by Chris

Now a decade since Van Canto first sung their first riddly-diddly. The acapella heavy metal group have been rising higher and higher to international acclaim, and with their new concept of ‘Voices of Fire‘ with added choral backing, this might just be their finest hour yet. We look at the brand new album.


01. Prologue
02. Clashings On Armour Plates
03. Dragonwake
04. Time And Time Again
05. All My Life
06. Battleday’s Dawn
07. Firevows (Join The Journey)
08. The Oracle
09. The Betrayal
10. We Are One
11. The Bardcall
12. To Catharsis
13. Epilogue

Label: earMusic
Release date: 18th March 2016

Van Canto has been one of metal’s more interesting presences in the last decade. The acapella group have gained a lot of attention doing something different, but it has divided metal fans into accepting their music as legit, and those who believe it’s an ongoing gimmick. I write this review as a metal fan who loves Van Canto, but spent the last decade trying to convince other metalheads about their legitimacy as a serious metal project.

Voices of Fire‘ is an album that features the most refined Van Canto material to date, featuring well-written power metal tunes with more theatrical themes this time around. Based around a German medieval concept, the album sets an atmosphere with a baritone narration, and the subtle musicians humming a build-up. Then all vocal hell breaks loose with ‘Clashings on Armoured Plates‘.

With the additions of choirs, ‘Voices of Fire‘ is the band’s most ambitious effort to date, with the adamancy to prove their rankings of musicianship. Tracks like ‘All My Life‘ and ‘The Oracle‘ bring some seriously epic music, enough so that you often forget that there are only vocals and drums contributing.

In tracks like ‘Time and Time Again‘ and ‘The Betrayal‘ the acapella is quite coherent, and it’s the ‘rum-dumming’ and ‘riddly-diddling’ that present a harder case to convince certain sects of metalheads that Van Canto are not a gimmick.

Make no mistake though, as a fan of the band, this is their finest work to date. Outside the vocalists portraying the instruments, the singing is phenomenal and the construct of the album flows very well. But I can’t in good faith recommend an album to a general populous where I already know half are not going to be on board with the musical concept.

Let’s bottom line it, Van Canto fans and those who have expressed an inkling of curiosity, ‘Voices of Fire‘ is your jam. Those who feel the slightest of discontent towards the project, just leave it.

If you’re accepting that metal comes in all forms and love experimentation, ‘Voices of Fire’ is an excellent effort. If you’re more of a purist, you probably won’t want to bother.