Today (August 7) is the birthday of classic Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson, loved by metalheads the world over. Instead of posting an Iron Maiden song for my “Metal for Friday”–which would be the obvious move–I decided to go a bit farther afield and instead post, in honor of Bruce’s birthday, an awesome cover of one of Iron Maiden’s most beloved songs. In case you haven’t heard Van Canto’s version of “Fear of the Dark,” you’re in for an amazing experience. This is something I would never have believed could exist until I saw it with my own eyes: an a capella metal band!

Van Canto came out of the German metal scene in 2006, and as improbable as their concept is, they’ve since amassed a very loyal following. They do their own original music but they’re well-known for doing covers of classic metal songs, everyone from Metallica to Black Sabbath. In the strictest technical sense they’re not totally a capella, because they use a real drummer, but the others in the band are all singers–there’s no guitars or other instruments. This particular performance is from Wacken Open Air 2014. I first saw Van Canto at Wacken in 2011, and the crowd’s response to them was like little else I’ve ever seen at a metal show! Though I found myself imagining what their band meetings and rehearsals would be like: “Okay, Stefan, at this part you should be shouting chugga chugga chugga chunk, chugga chugga chugga chunk!

Let’s hope Bruce and Van Canto continue to honor the metal world with their creative singing for many years to come. Have a great weekend, and Shabbat Shalom! \m/