Van Canto: Voices Of Fire

Germany’s epic a cappella crew fly close to the wind

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When is someone going to make a metal version of Pitch Perfect?

If such a thing ever happens, German a cappella group Van Canto should be a shoo-in. For their sixth album, a ‘metal opera’, they’ve gone all out, enlisting the help of not one, but two choirs to round out their sound. Sadly, Van Canto aren’t immune to the more unfashionable aspects of epic metal. There’s an abundance of spoken-word drivel, and the album’s fantasy concept of competing kingdoms is hard to follow. However, the talent of lead singers Dennis Schunke and Inga Scharf, coupled with the skill involved in making an album as heavy and full-sounding as this just with human voices, is actually pretty mindblowing.

Add to that the fact that there are some properly uplifting melodies in songs such as Dragonwake and Firevows, and there is still a lot of enjoyment to be taken from Voices Of Fire despite all the silliness and dragons.

This is as heavy as heavy metal gets without guitars.