Brave
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Brave

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"BRAVE press review - The Washington Post (USA)"

"...Brave recalls Led Zeppelin in its refusal to be pinned down to one mode of musical expression. Folk, heavy metal and pop are all part of the group's melodic mix, though it is the progressive-metal influences of artists such as Fates Warning and Queensryche that are most apparent....The Band's best songs are its most dynamic, when the brother-and-sister team of Scott and michelle Loose create counterpoints between his deft heavy rock guitar and her soaring vocals and ethereal keyboard work. The two find musical light and shadow with their band mates, drummer Trevor Schrotz, violinist Suvo Sur, bass guitarist Ben Kelly and new guitarist Matt Kozar."

For the full review, please visit www.bravemusic.com/press. - Woody Irvin, The Washington Post


"BRAVE press review - Invisible Oranges (USA)"

I love the sound of female singing. But I generally hate it in metal, usually through no fault of the singers. Its usual context is what I'll call "corset metal," over-produced schlock with billowing hair and faceless male minions. It's all drama and no nuance. Lacuna Coil were actually a good band before they became a Pro Tools plug-in farm.

If instead Century Media and Nuclear Blast signed more bands like Brave, the world would be a better place. This DC band has the chops, songwriting, and, yes, the polished production - Monuments needs only a label logo to go on shelves - yet it preserves its singer's humanity. Michelle Loose has one of the most wonderful voices I've heard in ages. It's technically adept, yet big and soulful. She knows exactly when to push her voice and make it "break up"; contrast, for example, Dolores O'Riordan's histrionics in The Cranberries' "Zombie." Metal hasn't had such an appealingly accessible female presence since The Gathering's Anneke van Giersbergen.

Brave is that rare band where each instrument stands out. The guitars are robust, the bass is warm, and the drums burst with tasty fills and propulsive accents. Violinist Suvo Sor is Brave's secret weapon, complementing Loose with mournful melodies. In "Sooner or Later," he even breaks out a shredding solo with four-string arpeggios, the classical precursor to guitar sweep picking.

Many influences enrich Monuments. "Driven" is straight-up, fist-pumping Eurometal. "Stronger" swims in a sea of Pink Floyd echoing guitars. "Forgiveness" plumbs Katatonia's moodiness, while "Hero" is a swirling stew of prog odd meters and Viking melodies. The poignant "Something to This" begs to be a video, in a good way. (But please leave the wind machine at home.) Monuments has more hooks than a UFC fight card, and will make my Top 20 this year.

- Invisible Oranges


"BRAVE press review - USA Progmusic (USA)"

Brave – Monuments 9.5
By R.L.Young

When I first start to listen to a CD I don’t read any of the background on the band so I can have an objective observation of the music. I could of sworn the band Brave was one of the Irish bands similar to the Cores with the violin based music and heavy rhythms. This band from Washington D.C. area is one of the most incredible finds of the year. Why this band is not signed is a mystery.

Brave began in 1997 when brother and sister Scott and Michelle Loose began writing with their friend and drummer Trevor Schrotz. Originally called Arise from Thorns (they should have kept that name) their sound became heavier. It is reminiscent of Heart and Kansas combined, but very unique and well-crafted in the song writing, instrumentation, and production.

Michelle’s vocals are beautifully subtle with a touch of Maire Brennan of Clannad, but very powerful and moving with a great range of emotions. The guitar work is clean and very nice, but I feel the strength of this CD is in the songwriting. These songs are emotional, healing, intimate pictures with great hooks and lyrics. I almost feel they have gone away from the prog style with a more straight ahead sound. It is not boring and definitely a hard sound, but very beautiful and passionate. Suvo Sur on violin is very exciting and lays on great texture and defines their sound. Ben Kelly on Bass and Matt Kozar on Guitar, Keys round out the lineup.

“Hold On” opens the CD with maximum grind (no Metallica guitar thank goodness). “To Remain Unseen”, another notable track, adds depth with a searing prog sound. I absolutely adore this record and am so happy people are creating unique music. I would love to see this band live.

- R.L. Young - USA Progmusic


"BRAVE press review - Progressia (France)"

Brave est un groupe américain, originaire de Virginie et fut un temps un trio composé de Michelle Loose (chant, piano), de son frère Scott (guitares) et Trevor Schotz (batterie) sous le nom Arise From Thorns. La formation n’en est pas là à son coup d’essai puisqu’elle a déjà sorti deux MCD et un album, Searching for the Sun sorti en 2002. Entre temps, la formation s’est vue enrichie de Ben Kelly à la basse, de Suvo Sur au violon (présent sur le MCD Passages), et du dernier arrivé Matt Kozar.

Musicalement, la direction artistique prise par le groupe à de quoi surprendre. On est désormais aux antipodes de ce qui faisait la force et l’originalité de Searching for the Sun à savoir un savant et fin mélange entre finesse, puissance et lyrisme grâce à la voix de Michelle Loose. L’intérêt du prédécesseur de Monuments était également ces ambiances feutrées, ces mélodies satinées où le piano prédomine. Ici les guitares ont fait un coup d’état et pris le pouvoir. Et si Brave n’a jamais caché dans sa biographie son amour pour des cadors du progressif tels Pink Floyd, Fates Warning ou Queensrÿche, l’influence des deux géants n’a jamais été aussi flagrante. Dès les premières secondes de « Hold On », on s’aperçoit que Brave a durci le ton, mais également le son. Une erreur de jeunesse qui avait pu faire défaut sur Searching for the Sun ou la production, bien qu’honnête, manquait de relief. Le sentiment de puissance et d’agressivité se confirme sur « Hero » avec sa rythmique façon black metal et son refrain lyrique qui en étonnera plus d’un. A écouter aussi « Driven » avec son intro de batterie pour le moins impressionnante et son rythme endiablé.

On retombe sur le mélange finesse/brutalité avec « Forgiveness » où la voix de Michelle fait des merveilles sur fond de guitares et violon bien présents. Petite perle de composition, l’instrumental « To Remain Unseen » avec son intro folk fait son effet. On note au passage une petite influence d’Iron Maiden qui fait sourire car elle s’intègre sans mal à l’ambiance du titre. On en arrive ensuite au morceaux le plus accrocheur du disque : « Without You » qui renvoie aux bandes de messieurs Tate et Matheos et à l’époque Operation : Mindcrime et Perfect Symmetry. Vous n’avez pas fini de secouer la tête

En virant vers un son et une accroche plus metal, Brave n’a pas pour autant renié ses origines : l’ambiance feutrée de « Here » renvoie à Searching for the Sun, de m^me que la couleur de « Sooner or Later » ou « Something To This » avec une touche de modernité et de puissance. En clôture, l’épique « Stronger » et ses huit minutes viennent mettre un point final à un disque qui confirme tout le bien que l’on pensait de cette formation qui a su progresser sur tous les plans : composition, arrangements et production. Six ans ont été nécessaires pour sortir Monuments. Six années au cours desquelles Brave a muri, évolué, mué. Six années pendant lesquelles, Brave est devenu plus fort, plus… Stronger et ce, pour notre plus grand plaisir d’auditeur. Nous ne saurions trop vous conseiller de jeter une oreille attentive sur les précédentes productions de Brave afin de vous faire une idée sur l’évolution artistique de ce groupe. - Dan Tordjman - Progressia


"BRAVE press review - Metal Maidens (USA)"

I still remember reviewing “Searching For The Sun” of VIRGINIA based prog rock outfit BRAVE. Their new album is called “Monuments” and it contains twelve brand new tracks, worthy a full hour of excellent progressive rock. With “Hold On”, they already know how to impress me with the speed and mood changes they build into this song. And in “Hero”, we even get a short blast beat part in the beginning. What are these BRAVE people trying to do? Are they starting a musical revolution? Their music embraces many different styles. What remains is the beautiful voice of Michelle Loose, sister of the bands guitar and keyboard player Scott Loose. Besides these two people, BRAVE consists of Suvo Sur on violin, piano and keyboards, Trevor Schrotz on drums and keyboards, Ben Kelly on bass and Matt Kozar on guitar and keyboards. The addition of the violin gives a slightly folky twist to the music of BRAVE. It makes their sound a bit happy sometimes, like in “Hero”. “Hurt” contains some fabulous guitar work. “Forgiveness” sounds a bit more modest, and “To Remain Unseen” is an instrumental piece of art. Later on, the music becomes a bit more sentimental and emotional laden. I hear influences of Lana Lane (from the band LANA LANE) in the voice of Michelle and their sound gets a very modest atmosphere. Not that this is not okay, but after “Hero”, I didn’t really expect that at all. However, just before “Here” finishes, the progressive sidesteps return again. This continues in the fine “Sooner Or Later”, which shows more nice musical ideas. “Driven” is again happy and joyful, and in “Stronger” the band hands out a beautiful album closer. The lengthy instrumental part tells us, that we’re not dealing with an all-day average rock band of some kind. And please also pay attention to the very odd ending of this song. BRAVE will certainly please their fans with this CD. They are also capable of surprising the listener with some excentric sidesteps every now and then. Website: http://www.bravemusic.com. [8 points] (Toine van Poorten) - Toine van Poorten - Metal Maidens


"BRAVE press review - Sacred Metal (Germany)"

Eine Band aus dem While Heaven Wept-Umfeld - kann die schlecht sein? Klar! Brave sind es aber zum Glück nicht, denn mit "Monuments" habe ich schon einige schöne Stunden verbracht. Ich tue mich sehr schwer, die Musik in eine Schublade zu packen, denn irgendwie gibt es auf diesem Album (dem zweiten der Band, aber das erste, was mir vorliegt) alles, was schöne Musik ausmachen kann: Gitarrenriffs, tolle Melodien, eine Geige, Keys, eine wundervolle Frauenstimme. The Gathering, als diese noch gut waren, gehen mit Skyclad ins Bett und vermischen das Ergebnis mit zwei Gitarren, erstaunlich knackigen Riffs, vereinzelten Blast Beats (!) und viel, viel Melancholie. Klingt jetzt vielleicht wirrer, als es ist, aber "Monuments" ist ein von vorne bis hinten fließenden, stimmiges Meisterwerk geworden. Hört am besten mal in die myspace-Hörbeispiele rein - dann muss ich mir auch keinen mehr abbrechen hier. Textlich ist man übrigens recht nahe am melancholischen Doombereich - hier scheint das zweite Betätigungsfeld des Gitarristen Scott Loose und von Drummer Trevor Schrotz.

Ich weiß ja, dass auf diesen Seiten nicht nur engstirnige True-Metaller herumlesen - also gebt euch nen Ruck und lasst euch von Melancholiemonstern wie "Forgiveness" oder "Hero", bei dem ein kurzer Blastbeatausbruch auf eine Geige und zerbrechliche Vocals treffen, verzaubern. Oder aber vergießt beim atemberaubend schönen Instrumental "To Remain Unseen" die ein oder andere Träne. Oder schluchzt hemmungslos beim Refrain von "Without You". Oder, oder, oder....

- Thomas J, Sacred Metal


"BRAVE press review - Terrorizer Magazine (UK)"

"With swathes of violin and a luxurious grasp of melody this former
Dark Symphonies band remind of a marriage between All About Eve and Ed
Alleyne Johnson. Sumptuous opener "Hold On" paves the way for some
sublime and memorable songcraft brimming with a tempestuous romance.
The only crime here is the self-released status."
- Pete Woods, Terrorizer


Discography

Monuments (2008), Passages (2004), Searching for the Sun (2002), Waist Deep in Dark Waters (2001), Before An Audience of Stars (2001) (Dark Symphonies re-release with bonus tracks), Before An Audience of Stars (1999), Arise From Thorns (1997).

Photos

Bio

Brave is a progressive rock/metal band with female vocals and violins. The members are Michelle Loose (vocals, keys), Scott Loose (guitars), Trevor Schrotz (drums), Ben Kelly (bass), Suvo Sur (violin, keys) and Matt Kozar (guitars).

The roots of Brave began in 1997 when brother and sister duo Scott and Michelle Loose began writing diverse, acoustic-based, dark progressive music with their childhood friend and drummer, Trevor Schrotz. The original band was called Arise From Thorns (AFT), and the trio wrote and recorded 2 CDs with world-wide distribution and played numerous shows around their hometown of Dale City, VA, a suburb of Washington, DC. After several lineup changes, the music of AFT morphed into a much heavier sound while retaining the atmospheric and diverse qualities of AFT. With this evolution in style came a change in name, and in 2000, Brave was born.

Brave continued to write music and began playing shows that expanded into mini-tours throughout the United States. They recorded their debut full-length album Searching for the Sun, which was released in 2002 through Dark Symphonies records. The album received international praise from underground and mainstream music publications and fans. Shortly after this release, Brave won 2nd place in a Washington, DC “Battle of the Bands” that spanned over 6 months and included over 250 competing bands. Brave used the winnings from this competition to record a follow-up EP entitled Passages in 2004.

After the success of their initial albums and growing fan base, Brave began headlining many local shows and opened for touring national bands including Fate’s Warning, Opeth, Savatage, Devin Townsend, Asia, Lacuna Coil, Moonspell, Katatonia and many others.

The next 4 years (2004-2008) were spent creating the foundations for what would become Monuments. After years of writing and 9 months of recording, the new album was independently released on May 1, 2008. This album is their pinnacle work, with a refined depth and musical texture that previous recordings merely foreshadowed. Monuments contains 12 new songs and is Brave’s most accurate musical expression to date.