CD Review: Van Halst - World of Make Believe (2016)

A album showing how it sounds if you put your whole heartblood, feelings and musical abilities on one disc.The female voice of Kami van Halst is going through all the various regions you could imagine. A symphonic metal album showing how different songs can be if you want them to be this way. Don't miss out this wonderfull recording.

Short Introduction

Edmonton, AB's Van Halst is a fierce, empowering force of hard rock fused with metal.  A project, which began as a solo artist for whom the band is named after -- Kami Van Halst, has since become a full group producing socially conscious, lyrical tracks that focus on disenfranchised and marginalized populations.

The band’s influences stay true to goth rock with Kami Van Halst demonstrating an agile vocal delivery in combination with pummeling growls. Lyrically, the band draws from black metal due to its focus on people suffering from isolation and rising to overcome the preconceptions of a judgmental society. In This Moment’s industrial fusion remains a primary influence for Van Halst, employing a sampler, synthesizer, and distorted vocals.

Their debut album 'World of Make Believe' is available as of March 4th 2016.

The front cover of "World of Make Believe", (c) by Van Halst, used with kind permission


This album is on my mind for some time now. Why? It's simply because you can feel so deep that it comes from musicians expressing their pure emotions and views of the world in such compositions that it's practically impossible to get them out of your heart. The album has this special something that only few recordings come with. It's symphonic metal in all it's variations and all it's beauty it can be.

It's like a ocean. Sometimes it's fast and wild like on the tracks "The End". On other times it's going up and down in itself just like on "Save Me" with it's variations between rougher and softer parts changing all the way through the track but never missing redemptive elements in them. It has epic, slower moments like with "Ryan's Song" as well as straight rockers like the title track that comes with a lot of pumping energy.

Finally there are also great balladesque songs on "World of Make Believe". "Questions" and "Denying eyes" are good example but "Plastic Smile" tops them all. A riffed melody that slowly builds up all the way through the song just to explode at the very end. What a outstanding song - it made me speechless.

Player / Purchase Link

The album is available as a digital download from Bandcamp and iTunes. It's priced at 10 Canadian Dollars on Bandcamp which is a bit more than 6 Euro. A download on iTunes comes around for 9,90 Dollar. Please take the time to prelisten to the album from the player below. I think you'll quickly re-feel what I've described in my summary.

I've seldomely heard a more diverse and intense album ever before. Since this is a self release you'll support the artist directly with your purchase. You have a mighty vote with what you buy - every time you open your pockets you'll set a sign that you want more of this. Artists will reward you with beautifull music taking you far away from your everyday worries and often help your to find the strength to overcome them. That's worth a lot in these troubled times in my eyes.

Upcoming gigs and Contact Data

Van Halst has two shows coming up on

Apr 29     Overtime Sports Bar     Calgary, Canada             
May 28    Hard Rock Cafe     Toronto, Canada

Keep in contact with the and using social tools such as Facebook, Twitter or make use of the good old traditional way visiting them on their own website. 

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