De Van
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De Van

Nacka, Stockholm, Sweden

Nacka, Stockholm, Sweden
Band Metal Rock

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"De Van "Planet Botox""

“We believe in plastic surgery! The only way you can be what you want to be,” sings Eric De Van, lead singer of the remarkable new band, De Van, on the track “Plastic Surgery.” Their debut, Planet Botox, is at once cutting, bleak, excessively honest and above all, melodic as hell. It’s rare to find a band who can so effortlessly dissect the fall of man to this degree, and make you want to sing along to that fall, but that’s exactly what De Van does on each and every song on their debut.

Once you study De Van’s lyrics, you know this: they have a story to tell, and that story never ends well. Thus begins the journey on “Another Perfect Day,” a perfectly sarcastic song about man’s inability to embrace change. Not only embrace change, but how allergic he is to it. The chorus, with Eric singing, “Another perfect day, here in paradise. What an exciting day … exactly like yesterday,” you’ll see the band’s outright contempt for this cowardice.

Speaking of contempt, try on the metallic anthem “Plastic Surgery.” The track begins with swarming vocals and the chorus, and turns into an industrial groove, with mechanized vocals and antiseptic, cold melodies. When Eric sings, “We’ll suck your ass, for a small amount of cash,” it’s basically mocking the industry known as “liposuction.” The crazy component of this composition is how anthemic the chorus is; it sounds like it should be a Number 1 hit on radio. Musically, the band is top notch, but Eric’s vocals are even better, and part of that draw is his ability to be snarky and expertly melodic at the same time. If you want to compare him to someone equally as adept at singing with this level of emotion, anger and talent, it’d James Michael from Sixx: AM. This is a true candidate for “song of the year.”

While the opening songs were a bit on the heavy side, the beauty of “I Lose My Faith” highlights a softer style for the band, a new eloquence not quite there before. With understated guitars and atmospheric keys from Johan Adler, the song builds to the majestic chorus of, “Believers cry in god we trust, ‘til everything will turn to dust … I lose my faith. Don’t you tell me say a prayer, this is so unfucking fair … I lose my faith …” The way Eric croons the end of that lyric, flowing into a soft falsetto, is masterful. If you want one song to know why De Van should be your new favorite band, this is it. (Or “Plastic Surgery,” or “Shine,” or “Rain” or … ).

As stated before, De Van basically tells stories that don’t end well, and they wrote a song about just that, called “Not Good.” Why screw around with poesy? Here, they just get to the point. The first character they sing about is a female who went from “sheik to freak,” got some Botox, sliced the rest … eventually. When Eric sings the chorus of “Not good,” basically, you know the woman just killed herself. Not just picking on the females, though, De Van tells the story of a guy who was found face down in the sea who won the Darwin Award, eventually. While you can compare De Van to bands like Circus Maximus at times, although they are not Progressive Metal, thematically, it’s all Marilyn Manson and maybe some Disturbed. Basically, no one sounds like De Van, and that’s a freakin’ miracle in this day and age.

The title track is a burner, allowing drummer Joakim Janthe to set the pace with blistering and frantic rhythms. The rhythm guitars from Greg Andersson are equally as potent, strangling riffs played with anger and menace. Although not even close to being a “happy” song, at least the lyrics, which touch on “ET phoning home” and “Disneyland” have minimalistic harmonious sonic images, albeit barely.

You get the picture. If you like your Melodic Metal with an edge—especially vocally and lyrically—no one is doing this better than De Van, and they are just getting started. Planet Botox is one of the best albums of the year, and it gets better each time you delve into. This is the perfect soundtrack to accompany the entire planet as it inexorably continues to go to hell …

Band:
Eric De Van – Lead vocals
Johan Adler – Keyboard
Greg Andersson – Guitar, backing vocals
Cee – Bass, backing vocals
Mike Lavér – Lead guitar
Joakim Janthe – Drums

Label: Jamsync Music

Track listing:
1. Another Perfect Day
2. Shine
3. Plastic Surgery
4. Feed Me
5. I Lose My Faith
6. Run
7. Not Good
8. Rain
9. Here in Shalaland
10. Planet Botox
11. Waiting for the Sun

Genre: Melodic Hard Rock/Metal

Online: www.myspace.com/devanband

Hardrock Haven rating: 8.7/10 - Derric Miller


""Planet Botox""

According to the official website for Swedish rockers De Van, they can be compared to bands such as Disturbed, Nightwish, HIM, and The Cult. I'm not sure who wrote this, but it does them a serious disservice as De Van is much more interesting than any of those bands. Planet Botox is a very diverse CD which is difficult to categorize, but for the most part they blend traditional rock and metal elements with some occasional electronic elements. The song are catchy yet aggressive, and have a bit more of a "classic" feel than a lot of the throw-away pop-with-guitars that is currently dominating the radio.

There are two areas where this band really make their mark; vocals and lyrics. Singer Eric De Van has one of the most captivating voices I've heard, and this is only their first release. His range is incredible, reminding me most of recent American Idol standouts Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry, with a little bit of classic Axl Rose in his delivery style. He hits some truly high and bizarre notes, but also shows remarkable restraint for someone with such range. Every song is a captivating listen just to hear the next note.

The lyrics also make De Van stand out from their contemporaries. They run the gamut from hilarious (Plastic Surgery) to touching (Rain, Shine), to bizarre (Another Perfect Day), but one thing they are never is generic. De Van express a disdain for the values of modern society that reminds me somewhat of their fellow Swedes Pain, but some of the more heartfelt songs show a true appreciation for the beauty in life as well.

De Van is a new and fairly unknown band, and I hope that they get the recognition they deserve. Planet Botox deserves a listen by anyone and everyone who considers themselves a fan of metal or rock, people who can appreciate sheer and ridiculous vocal talent, and anyone who is tired of the radio and is looking for something different. Whether you like it or not, I guarantee that a full spin of Planet Botox will make you feel something. - Scott Eilers


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Currently at a loss for words...