Van Canto – “Trust In Rust” (Napalm)
By far the most famous metal a-cappella masters in the world, Van Canto have been bringing their unbroken power and dedication to the human voice over the course of 5 prior albums since 2006. Now expanded to an even more forceful 7 piece, “Trust In Rust” roars with more bombast and power than ever before across its 11 tracks – including a searing cover of AC/DC’s ‘Hells Bells’ and a galloping version of Helloween’s ‘Ride The Sky’ with dual male / female vocals and featuring Kai Hansen no less! Gone is original vocalist Dennis Schunke, but replacement Hagen Hirschmann is a fine choice, able to handle screams as well as resonate deep soul along with the welcome return of bass vocalist Ingo Sterzinger. Together, this new Van Canto make a formidable machine although still very much in the keeping with the band’s ‘rakkatakka’ theme across hard rock ball breakers, passionate ballads and epic metal anthems (especially if you get the digipack with a bonus 10 track CD of orchestral versions some of Van Canto’s best songs!). From the speedy intro to ‘Melody’ Hirschmann’s rock vocals are superbly complemented by the femme soul of Inga Scharf that leads up to a really catchy folk chorus, all the while backed by a heavy back end of higher, lower and bass vocals until an ambient mid section, where everything alters magically into harmony heaven before morphing into almost speed metal and culminating with a folk finale – wow! Opening gently on ‘Infinity’, Scharf’s femme vox are prominent across her soulful wails and genteel tones as the song takes on a strong rock beat with again the guys providing powerful backing both in their vocal and instrumental aspects – not forgetting Bastian Emig’s double bass drumming and excellent precision percussion – excellent. Despite the album title, 12 years into their career, this band is not just bigger than ever, but even more stronger than before!