We are Van Canto

We play Metal A Capella

Melodic metal songs, arranged for 5 singers and one drummer. All instruments that would be played by musicians in a regular metalband are imitated by our voices. Bass, guitars, solos, keyboard sounds. On top we put two lead singers, a male one and a female one. But we left the drums what they are, as we do not do disco pop. And having a drummer like Bastian it would be a shame not to let him play.

Our self produced debut A Storm to to come is released by our own label in december 2006. It is attended by our first video clip of 'The Mission' From then, everything goes quite fast. Festival gigs, upbeat reactions, record deal with sony records, gigs with Nightwish, Rage and so on. In summer 2008 we tour in Brazil and play the Wacken Open Air. Our mixture of own songs and covered metal classics (of which Metallica's 'Battery' made it on our first album) works great on stage.

In September 2008 our second album Hero is released. Produced with Charlie Bauerfeind in Blind Guardian's studios we put some more covers aside from our own songs. Nightwish, Manowar, Iron Maiden and Deep Purple are rearranged in metal a cappella style. Highlight is Blind Guardian's 'Bard's Song', which inspires Hansi Kürsch to contribute some guest vocals to our own Song 'Take to the Sky'.

The release is followed by a german tour and another one as support of 'Letzte Instanz'. With some summer festivals (amongst others together with Manowar) we finish our hero tour. We are now two and a half years old, released two albums and played about 60 gigs. Our "Rakkatakka Motherfucker" is well known by metal fans, which makes us very proud.

From August 2009 we work on our third album Tribe of Force, again together with Charlie Bauerfeind. It contains 13 songs and features Victor Smolski, Tony Kakko, Chris Boltendahl and a real orchestra. Tribe of Force is released in february 2010 and enters the german album charts on rank 83.

The release is followed by an extended clubtour with many sold-out venues. After that we play festivals in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy and are honored to join Grave Digger as special guest on Wacken main stage.

We are guest musicians on Blind Guardian's new album and arranged/sung backing vocals for Tarja Turunen and Grave Digger. In October we are allowed to support Blind Guardian in Germany's big concert arenas. Afterwards we play our first gig in Russia. Moscow loves Rakkatakka!

In the meantime we are writing new songs, our experiences on and beside the stage are great inspiration. We enter the studio again in April 2011 and finish the album three months later. We celebrate a great festival summer, among others with gigs in Sweden's Rockstad:Falun and with a show on Wacken:Open:Air in front of more than 20.000 people.

Break the Silence is released in September 2011. Again we focus on our own compositions, and we also have 3 coverversions on the album: Primo Victoria, Bed of Nails and Master of the wind. We are proud to welcom Sabaton's Joakim Brodén and Blind Guardian's Marcus Siepen as guests.

The release is followed by a european tour from October 2011 to January 2012 on which we are happy to welcome several thousand old and new fans in 7 countries.

Afterwards we take the first little break in the band's history. We focus on some side projects and take a deep breath. We are back on festival stages in 2013 and play festivals in Czech Republic, on the FullMetalCruise, RockHarz, SummerBreeze and once again on Wacken:Open:Air as special guest for Grave Digger.

In the meantime we are working on our new Album Dawn of the Brave, once more together with Charlie Bauerfeind (drum recordings) and for the first time with Ronald Prent (Mix) and Stefan Heilemann (artwork). We have 9 own songs and 4 covers, The Final Countdown, Paranoid, Into the West and Holding out for a Hero.

Dawn of the Brave is released in February 2014 and enters the German top 20 charts and other European charts as well. Our following european tour is a huge success with many sold out venues with over 1000 fans each night.

Another band's highligt is our gig at Wacken Open Air 2014 in front of 40.000 people, supported by our guests Tarja Turunen, Chris Boltendahl, André Matos, Victor Smolski and Jörg Michael.

We are visiting new continents in 2015, it's our first time in Australia! After that we are focusing on our biggest project so far, our "Metal Vocal Musical". Named "Voices of fire" we are producing a concept album, a complete novel (together with author Christoph Hardebusch) and a German audiobook. We are proud that both London Metro Voices choir and John Rhys-Davies join the project.

Voices of Fire is released in March 2016, entering the charts again and is followed by our most succesful european tour so far.

2018, our 7th album Trust in Rust is released, followed by Tour Number Seven, with our new 7-singer-line up, leading us through 7 countries, many old and new fans, and a great final at the 70k Tons of Metal. All about Seven!

Our 8th album "To the Power of Eight" will be released on June 4th, welcoming Sly as the 8th singer and special guest on all tracks. Rakkatakka!

Thank you for being here!
Van Canto


‘Canto’ descends from the latin verb ‘cantare’ and has the meaning ‘I sing’. Furthermore, in many languages it stands for ’singing’. ‘Van’ just completes the name and has no special meaning.

After the split of Stef’s former band he wanted to do something vocal oriented. He tried some things in his studio and finally decided to record some songs with his friends.

We first work out a lead melody and chords on piano to fix the song structure. After that we arrange 5 voices and start rehearsing.

Nope. We know each other for many years and have played many gigs together with our former / other metalbands.

Because we are an a-capella-band. It’s not because we don’t like guitars/bass guitars/keyboards (most bandmembers also played instruments in other bands). It is because we think it’s amazing what you can do only with your voice. And it’s fun, by the way.

Well, we tried some guys imitating a double-bassdrum only with their voices, but they all collapsed after 2 minutes of “Lifetime”.

Sorry, you’re wrong. We had lots of fun singing through guitar amplifier fullstacks and imitating wahwah-pedals by our voices only. If you think these are real guitars, we are happy, because this shows that we’ve done a good job!

We can. We already did and it was great for the audience and for us. In 99% of the songs you only hear 5 voices and a drummer. In some parts (e.g. solos) we did some overdubs, but not more than a usual band would have done. By the way we count on YOU singing with us, when we perform on stage.

Please check this site regularly. We post our new gigs under „Dates“ as soon as we fix them.

Our lyrics are about inner strength. We are not a religious band, but it’s not a problem for us if any religious people find something interisting in our lyrics.

We’re not making fun of them, it’s a tribute. The bands we cover are our heroes. And to tell the truth: You can’t destroy a real good song, even we can’t. ;-)

It’s from the soundtrack of the child-movie “Ronja, the robber’s daughter” of the Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. The Composer is Björn Isfält, who died in 1997. This song has a really great heart and is very intense. We love it and can only advise you to check out the complete soundtrack of Björn Isfält. He did a fabulous job!

Thank you. We’re glad somebody finally told us. By the way, what was the name of your band? When do you play Wacken? ;-)