Brave - Searching For The Sun

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Dark Symphonies
Catalog Number: Dark 17
Format: CD
Total Time: 48:02:00

"Escape," the first track, begins with the lyrics:

"You blew through me
Like stone and I fell
Upon my knees
In this cold dark hell
You could sink further
But madness kept you well"

Searching For The Sun is an album that takes the listener through a journey, one with many transcending moods both lyrically and musically. Moving from heavier and groovier passages to slower acoustical sections, Brave creates enough variation on this CD to keep it fresh on repeated listens, unlike some others which usually become stale after awhile. The music never reaches the point of metal per se; instead, it leans towards the rock side of the spectrum, rock with many progressive elements and atmospheres. With its certain darker edgings and uplifting accessibility, the entire work is something pretty special, very much worth your attention.

Before I get to what really stands out (oh, does it stand out!), I should describe the background of the band slightly. They started out as Arise From Thorns, releasing two albums under the name, and then in 2000 they became Brave "to signify our growth as musicians and to distinguish our newer slightly more progressive musical direction." Actually, Searching For The Sun is Brave's first full-length release with the new name (they had a 4 song EP last year), which means that this can be looked at as a debut album if you were really picky. In any case, this American act is a great addition to the Dark Symphonies label, a true winner.

Now, let's get back to the music. What really stands out (you should have been ready for this) undeniably is the vocals of Michelle Loose. She is amazing! For those who love the vocals of The Gathering, in terms of presence more than anything, Michelle sings in the some vein, but she has a style all to her own. The music itself actually caters to her impressive voice much of the time, so she is really something to focus on when listening to the album. Based on her voice alone, she makes this CD worthy, and that's a compliment to the band in general because Searching For The Sun is more than just worthy or average. There is a certain The Gathering vibe, one that fits somewhere between Mandylion and The Nighttime Birds, but Brave have their own formula and diversity, one that I think many people will find very rewarding and easy to get into.

There are some just "OK" songs on this CD, but a few others just plain out rule. The piano driven "Candle In The Dark" is simply haunting and beautiful. And, the heavier, progressive "Trapped Inside" is simply awesome with its great riffing. I could go on about a few others, but now I think you've got my point. The first song, "Escape" (which I mentioned earlier), will grab you automatically. Searching For The Sun is maybe not the as technical as what I usually like, but it gives me something different to listen to, especially since it is on the softer side of things, and Michelle is truly one great singer (she is supposed to sing a couple parts on the new Power of Omens disc, oh yeah!) without any doubt. I recommend that you go now and check this out; you have some musical searching to do.

Similar To: The Gathering

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Escape (3:40) / I Believe (4:33) / Falling Into Bliss (3:43) / Trapped Inside (4:43) / Before Nightfall (4:34) / To Dream Again (2:29) / Bleed Into Me (4:42) / New Beginning (5:36) / Out Of Focus (2:33) / Candle In The Dark (4:51) / Waiting All This Time (6:36)

Michelle Loose - vocals, keyboards
Scott Loose - guitars, keyboards
Chris Wellborn - bass
Trevor Schrotz - drums and percussion

Arise From Thorns - Before An Audience Of Stars (1999/2001)
Waist Deep In Dark Waters (ep) (2002?)
Searching For The Sun (2002)
Passages (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: December 5th 2004
Reviewer: Shawn "Zero Hour" Lakhani
Artist website:
Hits: 1067
Language: english


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