Written by Jay Oakley
Canadian goth rockers Van Halst are the brainchild of Kami Van Halst. Kami’s vocals have style all their own with a unique eeriness that is not easily duplicated. They released their debut record, World Of Make Believe, earlier this year.
“The End” opens up with a strange calm before the storm intro. It has that looking out the window and hearing the wind in the trees feel but then cuts right into heavy riffs while Kami’s vocals range from deep roaring to higher pitched screams. “Save Me” opens with an interesting monologue with references to God and then rips intro an opening roar. Solid guitar work highlights the track backed by a gang vocal backup. “Ryan’s Song” is the first ballad of the album but that doesn’t take away from it. Heartfelt lyrics with a soulful delivery lead into a heavy bridge with much more aggressive vocals. Title track “World Of Make Believe” is sure to be a crowd pleaser when performed live. A series of “Hey’s” intertwined throughout the song give the crowd a way to interact with the band. The playing is solid and the vocals are smooth. It’s definitely the standout track on the record. “Questions” is a soothing ballad with sounds of the rain running throughout the song. Kami’s vocals are much more melodic and give the song a strong presence. The song ends with a question as a monologue about whether a victim deserved to be raped closes out the track. “Denying Eyes” is an acoustic song the puts the bass in the foreground to highlight the vocals. “Monster” brings us back to the aggressive side of the band. The track showcases multiple vocal styles between, melodic, higher pitched and deep growling. “Plastic Smile” opens with the rhythm section standing strong with the bass and drums holding down with light guitar work intertwined. It too has an acoustic, ballad feel to it but the playing is on point. Heavy riffs and bass work open up “Put Him Down” and then slows down to focus on the vocals. The bass playing is still very pronounced and runs well with the Gothic style guitar playing. “Perfect Storm” opens with a beautiful piano intro and is followed with Kami’s vocals in a smooth melodic delivery over top. “Perfect Storm” is an overall piano based track that shows that Kami’s voice can work with any type of song.
Van Halst, without a doubt, has the potential to turn a lot of heads in the music world. They have the ability to draw attention from a lot of fans with a lot of different musical tastes and with a limited amount of prominent, female vocalists in the world it is not a shock that Van Halst already has momentum.