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Waist Deep In Dark Waters EP

Brave - Waist Deep In Dark Waters EP ©2001 Self-Released
1. Spirit
2. Dark Waters
3. Lost (in Retrospect)
4. To Search A Soul (Part One Excerpt)

Brave, formerly Arise from Thorns, has finally begun unleashing their music upon the world with this four song EP, Waist Deep in Dark Waters. This brief outing for the band is precisely what they need to whet the appetite of the music world as it succinctly and wholly captures what this band is attempting to convey. With luck, it shall create a raving demand for a full length album as the four songs only create a longing for more music.

While Brave may have changed their name, their style is not unlike their Arise From Thorns material. The guitars are a bit heavier throughout, but the focus on strong songwriting remains completely intact. In fact, it may be even more focused as these four songs are all excellent by any standards. Michelle Loose's vocals are as strong as ever, offering a sound that is confident and powerful. A lot of the guitar playing reminded me a bit of Fates Warning around Parallels or even a bit reminiscient of Agalloch's Pale Folklore, particularly in the closing instrumental number, "To Search a Soul (Part One Excerpt)". All the songs indicate the band is quite confident in their sound and ability. The songs, melodies and mood are infectious and make this EP a wonderful treat. All that remains for this band to accomplish is a full length release now that they have stirred up the natives into restlessness.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 06/2001

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Searching For The Sun

Brave - Searching For The Sun ©2002 Self-Released
1. Escape
2. I Believe
3. Falling Into Bliss
4. Trapped Inside
5. Before Nightfall
6. To Dream Again
7. Bleed Into Me
8. New Beginning
9. Out Of Focus
10. Candle In The Dark
11. Waiting All This Time

The anxious wait for a full length Brave album has finally ended with the issuing of Searching for the Sun, a title which should not suggest the band has traded in their trademark sound for anything remotely resembling Seattle. Last year's four song EP was nothing more than a major tease, very similiar to your first girlfriend who would only take things so far before heading, leaving you with a major ache for something more. Searching for the Sun does fulfill the listener's need for something more and provides a full album's worth of quality, enjoyable songs.

Although the EP contained some neo-progressive elements that suggest mid-era Fates Warning, Searching for the Sun harkens back towards the band's Arise From Thorns days. The more metallic elements pop from time to time, such as in "Trapped Inside", but the bulk of material here revolves around a more acoustically laced approach utilizing singer Michelle Loose's excellent singing. Her voice continues to sound confident and elevates the songs to a higher level. The music often captures a peaceful, tranquil vibe or, in the heavier moments, pensive and contemplative. No matter what approach the songs take, there is a sense of quality throughout. Each song has merits for recommendation and creates an album that, on the whole, is quite enjoyable. Think of perhaps a more heavy rocking Ani DiFranco (a poor analogy, at best, but hey, I'm sticking with it).

Searching for the Sun should, by rights, have massive appeal to an audience much larger than the one Dark Symphonies normally services. Brave has the ability to catch the ear of a dark music audience perhaps looking for something a bit more uplifting and light (but please don't use a negative connotation of the word "light") as well as the more traditional rock audiences out there who are most likely oblivious to this band. A smart, albeit expensive, marketing tactic would be for members of Brave to fly over the next Lilith Fair type event and airdrop thousands of CD samplers upon that audience and thus showing them what a great female fronted band can do (aside from denting foreheads with falling jewel cases).

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 06/2002

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