Label : Napalm Records

Review by Tony Cannella

A Cappella metal. What a concept! Some may think that the idea of playing metal, minus the screaming guitars and bass would be corny and just wouldn’t fit in to what most people consider to be metal. The German metal band Van Canto are sure to change that perception with their third album “Tribe of Force”. The band includes five lead vocalists and one drummer, with one of the vocalists Stefan Schmidt performing the “guitar solos” with his voice. Stylistically Van Canto are not all that far removed from bands like Sonata Arctica or Stratovarius and other power metal bands.You would think that with a playing time of 55-minutes that Van Canto would have a hard time keeping things interesting throughout “Tribe of Force”, but the band manages to do so. From the opening track “Lost Forever” you know that you are in for a different metal experience. The band do a good job in mixing the different vocal styles together to create an interesting sound. Each singer is given a chance to take the lead on the CD with female singer Inga, taking center stage on one of the main highlights “One to Ten”. Two cover songs are included, the first one is a rendition of the Grave Digger track “Rebellion” featuring Grave Digger frontman Chris Boltendahl joining in on vocals for a great version of the track. The second cover song is a big surprise as the band absolutely tear into the Metallica classic “Master of Puppets”. They do an excellent job on this track, I know it’s hard to imagine “Master of Puppets” done a Cappella style, but they really do the track justice. Other highlights include: “I Am Human”, “My Voice”, “Last Night of the Kings” and “Hearted”. The drummer Bastian also proves to be a valuable member of the band as he provides a thunderous beat that really helps drive the CD. The limited edition version comes with a DVD of the band live at the 2008 Wacken Open-Air festival and also includes some behind the scenes footage, making it an essential release for fans of the band. With “Tribe of Force”, Van Canto prove that they are more than just a novelty act. The songs on “Tribe of Force” pack a pretty strong punch and they are heavy, even without the use of actual musical instruments. All hail Van Canto!

Rating – 95/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Lost Forever
  2. To Sing a Metal Song
  3. One to Ten
  4. I Am Human
  5. My Voice
  6. Rebellion
  7. Last Night of the Kings
  8. Tribe of Force
  9. Water.Fire.Heaven.Earth
  10. Master of Puppets
  11. Magic Taborea
  12. Hearted
  13. Frodo’s Dream

 

Line Up

  • Inga Scharf – Lead Vocals
  • Philip Dennis Schunke (Sly) – Lead Vocals
  • Ross Thompson  – Higher Rakkatakka Vocals
  • Stefan Schmidt – Lead & Lower Rakkatakka Vocals
  • Ingo Sterzinger (Ike) – Doom & Bass Vocals
  • Bastian Emig – Drums & Percussion

 

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