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Monuments

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Reseña de álbum

As befits an album four years in the making, Brave's sophomore full-length, Monuments, arrived laden with heightened expectations from long suffering fans and cynical critics alike — not least because the band's progressive style of rock and metal is nothing to be trifled with, but meticulously structured with no attention spared to compositional detail. Unfortunately, after all this time, it seems that the resources at Brave's disposal during the album's recording were not commensurate with the ambitious scale of the band's songwriting, nor their multifarious influences. Specifically, although the complex prog rock arrangements that dominate most tracks are executed to perfection, and their interlocking parts even prove quite awe-inspiring at times, their full potential is largely squandered by a decidedly "weak" production, simply lacking the atmosphere and grandeur that this sort of music demands. What's more, this excessive "space" between the grooves often leaves lead singer Michelle Loose all too exposed, singling her out as the band's weakest link; not as much for her range and emoting, mind you, as these are broad and convincing enough (and clearly indebted to Tori Amos' idiosyncratic phrasing and falsetto leaps — see "Hurt"), but certainly her self-conscious, allegory-starved lyrics and occasionally awkward meter with which they are delivered (prime examples being "Forgiveness" and "Here"). Nevertheless, there is much musical anthropology to be enjoyed in Brave's expansive musical menu, including: the violin use throughout, which inevitably yields memories of heritage '70s proggies Kansas (e.g. "Hold On," "Sooner or Later," the instrumental "To Remain Unseen"); the supple instrumental interplay of Genesis, Marillion, or Anathema that pepper songs like "Hero" and "Stronger"; not to mention the riff-driven "Without You," which seems to be built from the bones of Journey's "Escape." And then, ironically, just when the band simplifies their style for a few late-album entries, everything comes together; yielding the notably uncluttered, electro-beat-enhanced goth rock of "Something to This" and the nearly pure hard rock fist-pump of "Driven" (think Pat Benatar modernized and adorned with a Gothenburg death metal guitar solo), where Michelle Loose's vocals are suddenly a perfect fit — go figure. In short, Monuments delivers significantly mixed results that make it impossible to pan it or laud it outright, but for those willing to brave (no pun intended) its recording deficiencies and performance inconsistencies, the overall payoff can still be well worth the investment.

Biografía

Se formó en: 1996 en Dale City, VA

Género: Rock

Años de actividad: '00s

Hailing from Dale City, VA (a suburb of Washington, D.C.), Brave are a progressive rock/metal band founded in 1996 by brother-sister duo Michelle (vocals, keyboards) and Scott Loose (guitar, keyboards), along with childhood friend and drummer Trevor Schrotz. Originally using the name Arise from Thorns, this trio recorded two self-released albums in a goth rock vein before absorbing the aforementioned metal and art rock influences and metamorphosing into Brave, augmented by second guitarist Juan Sumarriba,...
Biografía completa
Monuments, Brave
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