Saturday, October 8, 2011

Six winds blow as one.

Having another shot at an album review. This time it's Van Canto's new album, Break The Silence. Not that they have been particularly silent, with only a year since their last one, along with a number of tours and appearances on other albums. I reckon they should have gone with the same title I did, "Six Winds Blow As One", because that would encapsulate the feel of the album.

For those not in the know, Van Canto are an a capella metal band from Germany, although they prefer the term hero metal a capella. And believe it or not, they're more than just a gimmick. Now, why do I reckon the six winds works better? Because, now they've really worked out their sound and created some great compositions. They even break tradition on a few tracks and introduce instruments. Well, they already do with one of the six being a drummer. But, two tracks feature extra instruments, an acoustic guitar in "Spelled In Water", and a piano in "Master Of The Wind", a Manowar cover.

That's something I should have mentioned, each album has a handful of covers. This one has four, including bonus tracks. In fact, it's one of these that gives the album its lowest point. A cover of Alice Cooper's "Bed Of Nails". In this case, its just that the original isn't one of Alice's best either, so it really does bring down the feel of the whole thing. Another cover I have a slight problem with is "Primo Victoria", originally by Sabaton. Mind you, they do get Sabaton's singer, Joakim Broden to appear. It is a damn fine cover, I'm just a little biased as I also really like the original. Mind you, this is the first time this has happened. But it is growing on me.

Some highlights include "Neuer Wind", their first song in their own language. I may not speak a word of German, well not enough for a coherent sentence, but I do like hearing it sung. I'd also praise the opening track "If I Die In Battle", which features the repeated lyric about those six winds. I could go on but basically, aside from "Bed Of Nails", this album is one hell of a good way to spend an hour. Just make sure to get the deluxe edition with the three bonus tracks. Mostly for the last one, "A Storm To Come".

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