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September 2004
Released: n/a, Self-Released
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: MetalGeorge

I've been a follower and supporter of this Virginia based band since their auspicious debut as Arise From Thorns. In those days, the band now known by the moniker of Brave were a more acoustic based folk-rock band with angelic female vocals, but time has seen the band incorporate both electric guitar and atmospheric metal stylings to become one of the most promising, and at the same time most uncategorizable bands in the scene today.

On both the band's SEARCHING FOR THE SUN full length and WAIST DEEP IN DARK WATERS ep, Brave displayed an uncanny knack for creating memorable and emotional music, containing plaintitive melodies as well as hard rocking passages. While SEARCHING FOR SUN was released on the Massachusetts based Dark Symphonies label, this new ep, entitled PASSAGES, is self-financed, the band having completed their deal with the label. Designed to garner label interest, PASSAGES is a prime example of Brave doing what the do best: namely creating some of the most beautiful music around.

Most of this beauty derives from frontwoman Michelle Loose, whose heart rending delivery and ethereal tone truly send these songs into the stratusphere, on par and beyond the efforts of such contemporary artists as Lacuna Coil and Tori Amos. This woman is a true talent; one that I'm positive we will be hearing more and more from as Brave gets into the minds, ears, and hearts of listeners.

Speaking of talent, the music of Brave is literally overflowing with it. The Kelly/Schrotz rhythm section is stop-on-a-dime tight, while the newest addition to the band, violinist Suvo Sur, adds a whole new dimension to the band's sound, unleashing gorgeous atmospheres and harmonies with guitarist Scott Loose. Mr. Loose himself has proven to me, both with Brave and his work in Virginia epic doom gods While Heaven Wept, to be one of metal fastest rising guitar talents. His note choice and technique is astonishing, on par with some of the best out there, with some of the song structures bringing to mind classic DeGarmo-era Queensryche in scope.

In the end, I feel that this is the best thing about Brave, their ability to be utterly without clasification. Is it metal? Sure. Is it rock? Most definitely. Moreover, Brave crosses all of these limited genre boundaries of metal, rock, or folk, creating a genre all their own. It is "Brave Music", and it goes beyond anything you've heard before. Labels: jump on this now. Fans: come and meet your new favorite band.
Track Listing

1. Words
2. Broken
3. Don't Go Away
4. Passages
5. Trapped Inside (2004)


Michelle Loose--vocals, Keyboards
Scott Loose--Acoustic and Electric Guitar
Ben Kelly--Bass Guitar
Trevor Schrotz--Drums
Suvo Sur--Violin

Other reviews

» Passages
by MetalGeorge

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