(03 June 2001) On the heels of their Arise from Thorns Before an
Audience of Stars (review) re-issue
on the Dark Symphonies label,
Brave have self-released a stunning 4-track EP entitled Waist Deep
In Dark Waters. Brave are the former Arise From Thorns fronted by
vocalist and keyboard player Michelle Loose, the band is also comprised of
Tom Phillips (electric guitar), Scott Loose (acoustic and electric guitar),
Trevor Schrotz (drums) and Chris Wilborn (bass).
Enthusiasts will be interested to know that the Before an Audience
of Stars re-issue includes three bonus tracks: "To Dance By Moonlight"
(live), "The Calling," and "Return of the Old Forest." A mid-tempo
ballad-style track, Michelle sings "To Dance By Moonlight" primarily
over light acoustic guitar. Soaring above the light accompaniment,
Michelle's tremendous vocal ability is clear in the live setting where
only limited processing can be used to assist in the final production
Michelle's soaring vocalise is clearly at home in the beginning of "The
Calling" whose arrangements include crisp percussion and acoustic guitar
passages. Her sung parts are mixed slightly lower—underneath the guitars—than
typify the band's recordings. "Return of the Old Forest" is a lovely
keyboard-based instrumental ballad.
Keen listeners will immediately notice the tremendous production quality
of Brave's recordings with vocals mixed way up, right where Musical
Discoveries' readers like them. The EP opens with "Spirit" a symphonic
progressive rocker with lush keyboards and guitars supporting Michelle's
soaring vocal part. "Dark Waters" is a vocally-rich mid-tempo ballad
supported by edgy guitars and gently swirling keyboards. The guitar solo
during the instrumental conclusion is played over symphonic keyboards.
Brave's development into the progressive metal is most evident in the
instrumental arrangements of "Lost (in retrospect)" but Michelle's sweetly
sung vocals remain a consistent element in the band's sound. The lush
production perfectly suits the soaring excursions in Michelle's vocal
passages and is complimented by the guitar solo during the instrumental
bridge. The EP's final track is an instrumental excerpt from the forthcoming
progressive epic "To Search a Soul." Symphonic keyboards and crisp percussion
perfectly underscore the metal-edged lead guitar melody.
The latest EP from Brave provides an enticing introduction to their
next new album coming up short only in running time but not in musical
quality. You can find further information on the band's tour schedule,
photographs, soundbites and order their recordings from their
website or by writing
Michelle Loose. Clearly worth
a cross-country journey, the latest EP from Brave is a must listen!