Arise From Thorns - Before An Audience Of Stars

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Dark Symphonies
Catalog Number: Dark 11
Format: CD
Total Time: 67:24:00

In trying to find a way to describe Arise From Thorns' sound, I first thought this: Imagine if Pink Floyd and 10,000 Maniacs got together. But, as the album played on, I realized Floyd was a minor element, so think more of a 10,000 Maniacs - Clannad hybrid. Vocalist Michelle Loose does sound mostly like Natalie Merchant with a phrasing of Maire Brennan, though there isn't a Celtic feel to the music here at all. Though Capercaille also comes to mind (oh, and add Mary Black). I was expecting something much darker and much gloomier -- dirge-like music perhaps, rather than the lyrical, lilting and beautiful sonicscapes Arise From Thorns create. (I should note at the juncture that the band has since changed their name to Brave.) When I first heard The Gathering's "Liberty Bell," I expected the album to be more of the same. Id have to say that, in a way, "Liberty Bell" was misleading. But, if you hear any one of the tracks on Before An Audience Of Stars and expect the same from the whole album, you won't be disappointed. Oh, I don't mean all the songs sound the same, but they all fit together and provide a consistency that carries you through the album. Renaissance came to mind with "I Can't Believe" -- I thought of "Black Flame" specifically.

On this very strong album, the weakest area is in the drumming and percussion - I felt that Trevor Schrotz should have played with more dynamics. He does play very well, I just wanted something more. This is misleading, as the compositions don't suffer at all. This would make 10s 11s, you see. Better than best. On the other hand, we do get dynamic bass from Chris Welborn and lyrical, clear guitar lines from Scott Loose and Tom Phillips. In fact, I'm so impressed with their playing, that I'd have to say I've got two more guitar heroes.

Giving you highlights would mean I'd have to give you a track by track run down, and I'd do it, but since I'm going to urge you go out and buy this album, I'll only be delaying you from doing so. Plus, all the track titles are listed below, so consider that the highlight list. This is terrific stuff that makes you feel guilty for being so spoiled. Spread the guilt - buy one for a friend.

Dreaming / Time Alone / Among The Leaves / I Can't Believe / Lure / Surrender / Remember The Stars / Lovelorn / Persia / The Red & The Black / Bluer Skies bonus tracks: To Dance by Moonlight (live) / The Calling / Return Of The Old Forest

Michelle Loose - vocals, keyboards
Scott Loose - acoustic/electric guitar
Tom Phillips - electric guitar
Trevor Schrotz - drums/percussion
Chris Welborn - bass guitar

Before An Audience Of Stars (1999/2001)
Brave - Waist Deep In Dark Waters (200?)
Brave - Searching For The Sun (2002)
Brave - Passages (2004)

Genre: Others

Origin US

Added: July 26th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 954
Language: english


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