Brave – Monuments (Independent Release)

Friday, 15th March 2013
Rating: 8/10

[8.5/10] A perfect example that you don’t have to be signed to be good, long-running American female-fronted symphonic metallers Brave have taken the ‘ole independent plunge, producing an album in the form of Monuments that is every bit as good as their contemporaries and possibly better. A savvy, charming album from a veteran band, Monuments fails to tire, even when thrown against the glut of similar sounding bands.

Purveying an upbeat, but decidedly Euro sound, Monuments is as gentle as it is convincing, especially on album opener “Hold On,” which features a serene chorus that highlights singer Michelle Loose’s gorgeous mid-range. Loose has plenty of experimentation going on around her, as violins, hard-lined melodic riffage, and a rare blast-beat or two are in thrown into the mix, often to memorable effect.

The instrumental “To Remain Unseen” is particularly haunting; same bodes for “Forgiveness” and “Here.” The driving “Sooner or Later” ranks among the more aggro moments on the album alongside “Hero” and the poppy “Something To This” is carried home by Loose’s booming delivery in the chorus.

As suggested earlier, Brave have been around the block before and to say they’re not in the upper-echelon of female-fronted metal bands in North America would be a tad off-base on our part. Totally enthralling, well-deserving of proper distribution, Monuments is all substance, something of which the rest of the girls (and dudes) should take note of. This apparently, is how it’s done.

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