Van Canto

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Van Canto
Van Canto.jpg
van Canto performing at the 2008 Wacken Open Air. From left to right: Inga, Dennis and Stefan. Partially seen behind Inga are drummer Bastian and "bass" vocalist Ingo. Ross is not shown.
Background information
Origin Germany
Genres A cappella, power metal
Years active 2006–present
Labels GUN Records / Sony BMG, Napalm Records
Associated acts In Legend, Heavatar
Members Dennis Schunke
Inga Scharf
Stefan Schmidt
Ross Thompson
Ingo Sterzinger
Bastian Emig
Past members Dennis Strillinger

Van Canto (sometimes stylized as van Canto) is a German a cappella metal band, founded in 2006 and composed of five singers and a drummer. Although the group is often classified as an a cappella ensemble, they use real drums in their music, instead of vocal percussion or beatboxing.

Van Canto play a cappella with classic heavy, power and symphonic metal influence, creating what they call "hero metal a cappella". While only two of the five singers perform the lead vocals, the other three instead use their voices to imitate the guitars and the bass, with the help of amplifiers, in an attempt to sound closer to the original instruments.


As soon as the band was founded, its debut album, A Storm to Come, was released through General Schallplatten. It features seven original tracks, as well as cover versions of Metallica's "Battery" and "Stora Rövardansen" from the movie Ronja Rövardotter. Additionally, videos were shot for the tracks "The Mission", "Battery", and "Rain".[1][unreliable source?] On 30 September 2007, they announced a new drummer, Bastian Emig,[1] who replaced Dennis Strillinger's position in the band. In December 2007, Van Canto signed a worldwide record deal with Gun Records/Sony BMG. Also in December, the band were announced as part of the line up of the Wacken 2008 festival.[1] The band also announced that their second album, titled "Hero", was in the progress of being recorded.[1] Hero ended up being released on 26 September 2008, with producer Charlie Bauerfeind.[1]

Van Canto performed a South American promotional tour between 23 June and 2 July 2008. The live performances took place primarily in Brazil,[1] which is the homeland of Ingo Sterzinger.[2] Soon after, the band arrived in Germany to perform live at Wacken 2008. A new song, "Speed of Light", was released as a digital single on 8 August 2008. A music video was shot for the song as well.

As of late 2009, Van Canto was recording their third studio album in Twilight Hall Studios, with Bauerfeind and via Napalm Records.[3] The album was due to contain around 11 tracks, fewer covers than Hero and a couple of bonus tracks. It was released worldwide in early 2010, which happened alongside the worldwide release of their previous two albums.[3] The album was announced at Nuclear Blast official website as Tribe of Force. The tracklisting features 13 tracks, two of them being covers ("Master of Puppets" by Metallica and "Rebellion" by Grave Digger), and three of them featuring guest artists: Victor Smolski (from Rage) guest appears in "One to Ten", Tony Kakko (from Sonata Arctica) guest appears on "Hearted" and Chris Boltendahl (from Grave Digger) guest appears in "Rebellion".[4]

Recently, Van Canto announced in their official website that they would perform guest vocals in the next albums by bands Blind Guardian and Grave Digger (At the Edge of Time and untitled, respectively). They also appeared on the Tarja Turunen album What Lies Beneath (on the track "Anteroom of Death").[5]

On 21 September 2010 it was announced that they had teamed up with the popular MMORPG Runes of Magic to create a music video based around the game for and with the game.

On 17 February 2011, it was announced on the official Van Canto website that the band was entering the studio and suspending touring until June in order to create a new album.

The band's fourth album Break the Silence was released on 22 September 2011.[5]

Their fifth album, "Dawn of the Brave", was released in February 2014.[6] It contains 9 own compositions and 4 cover versions:[7] "Paranoid" by Black Sabbath, "The Final Countdown" by Europe, "Holding out for a Hero" by Bonnie Tyler, and "Into the West" by Annie Lennox from the soundtrack for the motion picture The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Dennis "Sly" Schunke – clean male lead vocals (2006–present)
  • Inga Scharf – clean female lead vocals (2006–present)
  • Ross Thompson – higher guitar vocals (2006–present)
  • Stefan Schmidt – lower guitar vocals, solo guitar vocals (2006–present)
  • Ingo "Ike" Sterzinger – bass vocals (2006–present)
  • Bastian Emig – drums (2007–present)

Past members[edit]

  • Dennis Strillinger – drums (2006–2007)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "News at Van Canto official site". 
  2. ^ "Entrevista com Stefan (Van Canto)". Retrieved 2008-05-22. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b "New Album, New Label". Van Canto's official blog. 2009-10-27. Retrieved 2009-10-29. [dead link]
  4. ^ Tribe of force at Nuclear Blast's website
  5. ^ a b News at the band's official site
  6. ^ Official website
  7. ^ "Van Canto Discography". Van Canto's official website. 2013-11-25. Retrieved 2013-12-06. 

External links[edit]