Brave – Passages

Brave, american formed around 2000, is a symphonic prog metal band. As the band is fairly good they’re unfortunately not signed, most likely due to their brand of metal, which isn’t particularly popular among metal heads, and their music is rather difficult to come by because difficulties between the band and Spotify. They’ve self-released 3 full albums and a handful of EPs, which you can find on Spotify if you search for Brave and Lost In Retrospect (2009), Monuments (2008), Searching For The Sun (2002).

They’ve been touring around the Washington DC area, and been warming band for bands like Opeth, Lacuna Coil, Savage and Asia, most likely through their contacts in Candlelight, but do not quote me on this.

I’ve just gone through most of their albums from their EP Waste Deep In Dark Waters (2001), Passages (2004), Monuments (2008), and their newest EP Surrounds Me (2014).

I most admit that the unique Brave sound wasn’t established till they added Süvo, a classical violinist, to their band. The band, thous great, was too similar to other bands in this particular genre, which separated them from the rest.

I find a lot of inspiration in this band. The powerful female lead singer, Michelle Loose, is calming, easy listening and refreshing from my traditionally love for harsh men vocals.
The guitarists (Scott Loose and Matt Kozar) play with each other instead of against. They seem to know their weaknesses and strongholds, and what they make together is an epic instrumental few guitarists can beat. They show great talent on both classic guitar for more calming heartfelt songs, and electric guitar with heavy riffs that could’ve been taken straight out of Dream Theaters earlier work, as well as the Swedish metal band Opeth.

Their drummer, Trevor Schrotz, is as talented as the rest. He keeps up a great beat that’s not too overwhelming but defiantly needed to create the magic of the band’s music. From my standpoint he seems to have great knowledge of music in general. As the band as a whole is fantastic, he does the little extra to make the experience epic. One can’t deny the urge to drum along while listening, and that’s not a common urge in my case.

The bassist, Ben Keller, keeps the punch throughout all the songs. My opinion is that the bassist is the one who decides if the song is dull and mediocre or easy to move to, such movements as dancing or headbanging. A great bass, as Ben Keller, keeps the heat up, and does as good bassist should, keeps the songs easy to move to.

Then there’s the violinist, Süvo Excelsior, who, as I said previously, in my opinion makes the band stand out from the masses. It’s not uncommon to have a violinist in metal bands, nor in prog metal, but the way he plays along is what makes it so special. I will go more in depth on this subject later on.

Brave – Passages

(EP 2004)

This is 27 minutes of pure power. Michelle Loose’s voice is singing sad love songs, without even once be monotone or weak. The lyrics are great, easy to remember and very painful if one can understand the feeling she feels.

The theme for the lyrics are the feelings of not being in control of ones path, and the loneliness one easily feels after being abounded, while the hope is still lit inside you.

The instrumental gives this album a feeling I haven’t felt since A Dramatic Turn Of Events by Dream Theater. Its dramatic, heavy, harsh, and it’s very easy to make a fool of oneself as you pick up your air guitar to play some of these amazing solos, or drum along on your lap.

The instrumental fills the vocal in a special way. While being opposites they fill each other so well. They are both talented in their own way, but together are they dynamite. I’ve rarely felt this hard for any album earlier. It has touched me in a whole new way, and gives me some of the hope that I will find a great partner even though it feels very difficult.

To elaborate why the violinist was of such importance for the band I will refer to myself when I said that they didn’t stick out from the masses before he came along. He has used his talent for classical music in a way that gives the songs mystic and tension. To give a few examples I’ll refer to the opening song Words, where he lays a final touch with the violin in the background throughout the beginning of the song. This lasts until the chorus where the violin gets dominate along side the vocal, and builds up to a mini solo after the first time. After the second chorus he gets to play a longer intense solo, as the song takes a more instrumental turn he and one of the guitars are having the most epic solo battle I’ve heard in this genre. Growing more and more intense for every time they switch, and it’s simply fantastic.

The EP in total is just too much to even try to describe with words. This band is one of my favorites, and I’m excited to hear what they have in store for their audience.

Show the band some love and like their Facebook page, and share it around till some real genius signs them, as they deserves to be.

And to end it all I’ll quote a friend of mine as I told him that they aren’t signed: *silent with an expression screaming, you must be kidding.*


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s