Brave dropped the calm | the storm on January 8. The LP is the band’s first new music in five years, and first new album in a decade.
Based in Washington, D.C., Brave got together in 1996, under the name Arise From Thorns. In 2000, the name was changed to Brave, primarily to communicate the evolution of their sound. The band’s lineup went through some changes, but has remained consistent since 2005.
Brave’s members don’t limit their musical endeavors to Brave, as some of them play in the epic doom metal band While Heaven Wept and another band, called Unring the Bell. While Heaven Wept just finished their European tour, and are preparing to hit the road in 2019 as Brave.
The album features 10-tracks, beginning with “I Will Wait,” a prog-rock number with radiant keyboards and a potent bassline. Michelle Schrotz, the lead vocalist, delivers grand vocal chops, ethereal and elegant, yet strong. This is an excellent track, full of muscular but refined guitars.
Highlights on the album include “A Thousand Miles of Sand,” a stylishly dreamy tune with gleaming guitars and stellar drumming. Schrotz’s wonderful voice, like Grace Slick, but more graceful, holds the song down. “Summertime” is one of those betwixt and between songs, toying with a heavier rock sound that works only because of Schrotz’s lithe tones. For some reason, this song reminds me of The Cranberries on steroids, or perhaps Queeesryche.
“November” rides a creamy, dreamy prog-rock melody. Once again, excellent drumming demonstrates the impact percussion has on a song. The album’s closing track, “Feel The Rain,” features a measured rhythmic flow that drifts atop surfacing colors. Schrotz’s vocals are mesmerizing and simply gorgeous.
On the whole, the calm | the storm is superb, reminiscent of It’s A Beautiful Day married to Queensryche, while spending time with Dolores O’Riordan. In a sense, this could be classified as a “comeback” album; on the other hand, some might define it as simply an evolutionary step, one comprising ten years.