Arise From Thorns

Picture of Arise From Thorns

Before An Audience Of Stars

Arise From Thorns - Before An Audience Of Stars ©1999 Dark Symphonies
1. Dreaming
2. Time Alone
3. Among The Leaves
4. I Can't Believe
5. Lure
6. Surrender
7. Remember The Stars
8. Lovelorn
9. Persia
10. The Red And The Black
11. Bluer Skies
12. To Dance By Moonlight (live)
13. The Calling
14. Return Of The Old Forest

As both the band name and title might suggest, this CD, originally released in 1999 and receiving a reissue by Dark Symphonies in 2001, is a bit etherial and uplifting. But more surprisingly, this also happens to be one of the best albums I've heard in quite some time. The band is a five piece whose members have done time in various metal bands around the Virginia region, but Arise From Thorns only hints at metal. Rather, their music is a solid blend of folk acoustic tendencies, atmospheric music in the vein of The 3rd & the Mortal or the more acoustic leanings of Love Spirals Downwards. Arise From Thorns is benefitted greatly from one of the most striking vocalists I've heard in quite some time in Michelle Loose, whose voice is both extremely soaring yet draped with ease and allure. She reminds me a bit of what The 3rd & the Mortal could accomplish were either of their vocalists able to rein in their more avantgarde tendencies. Meanwhile, the rest of the band creates a lush backdrop of acoustic guitars, occasional electrified moments, subtle keyboard underscores and straightforward songs that offer oodles of slightly dark, yet ultimately uplifting music. Arise From Thorns sensibility lies in the fact that they never have to resort to bludgeoning their listeners to suggest any sort of darkness to their music. Instead, their music is incredibly moving and wonderful throughout this entire recording. Fans of latter day The Gathering, or those who wish Lacuna Coil would actually learn how to write songs worth hearing a second time could easily find themselves getting in Arise From Thorns. The band also has cross appeal into those fans of Love Spirals Downwards or any sort of female led singer/songwriting folksie type stuff. It is rare that a band can offer that wide of appeal to a very diverse audience, but this is the band that could do it.

Since the original release of this album, Arise From Thorns has changed their name to the much less striking Brave. Dark Symphonies has appended the original version with some live bonus tracks. With luck, Brave will continue this magnificent vein of music in their future endeavors. These are some folks who deserve the title of stars.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/2001

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