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While this website has become known for its in-depth album and concert reviews, the digest contains concise comments on new music our audience has either recommended or might enjoy. Click on album covers or label names for links to further information. Click on the title to view the article.

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Image © 2001 Brave

see also:
Arise From Thorns
Searching for the Sun

(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 quality.

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!

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