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New Music Review: VAN HALST “World of Make Believe”

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Band:
Kami Van Halst (vocals)
Scott Greene (guitars, also production & engineering)
Brett Seaton (drums)
Steve Vincent (bass)
Scott Fox (programming / synths)

Track Listing:
1. The End
2. Save Me
3. Ryan’s Song
4. World of Make Believe
5. Questions
6. Denying Eyes
7. Monster
8. Plastic Smile
9. Put Him Down
10. Perfect Storm

Review-As a music fan, have you ever listened to a cd you knew absolutely nothing about, but by the last track you were a fan? Newcomers out of Canada Van Halst debut is that spark that music needs every now and then to show that music can never truly die. Led by female vocalist Kami Van Halst this is a band that just goes for the throat almost immediately and never fully lets you free of that grasp. To describe the type of music would be like taking metal, hard rock, goth, punk, and at times melodic and just throwing it up in the air and fighting for each one as it hits the ground. The scary thing is, as good as this debut record is, I feel when they get some tours and playing together more, they are going to get better. Kami has a seductive gothic style to her vocals that as a Listerine are not sure if you fall in a deep lust or be scared for your life to fuck with her. She also has times on this record that she resorts to this bluesy commercial feel that shows she is more than one dimensional in her attack. Guitarist Scott Greene really compliments her style with his impressive riffs and hooks, that if the vocals do not win you over, the guitar work may.

World of Make Believe takes the listener on a journey. We get our introduction to the band thru the opening track called “ The End”. It starts off with some soundscape journey before the music kicks in. There is no doubt that this record is going to be compared to a mix of Marilyn Manson meets In This Moment, from the harmonies, to the shout along choruses and even the clever way the music hits you. Kami has so much passion that I feel every track she set out to give people a different style, to throw them off. I can picture most of this record being played on modern rock radio heavily.

As I said in the opening words, this is a band that as it gets more comfortable with each other will get better and tighter. This record while a solid and decent release, does get a little too formulaic as it goes on. I mean the cd is good, the songs are not bad, but it just feels at times that the band did not have the idea of making a full cd in mind. This is a band who is really talented, the sound they put together is better than most of what we are getting from the female fronted Gothic Metal bands right now. I just wish a band would throw the rulebook and mold out the window and create something so truly different, where it is not easy to draw comparisons so much. This is a good record, and I feel fans of bands like In This Moment who are souring on their last few records, may like this band and their energy. I want to see what this band can pull off when they have more time together and get their sound down pat and have experience in touring and studio time.

8 out of 10

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