"Before an Audience of Stars" (Dark Symphonies)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Arise From Thorns' "Before An Audience Of Stars" is acoustic-driven, melodic progressive and gothic metal. To call it heavy metal would be a misnomer, but don't let the lack of aggression in the music cloud your opinion of the band. At all times the music is vibrant and buoyant.  Given the fact that I've been recently swamped by a wave of death metal CDs to review it was a pleasant surprise to hear music that is mellow yet dynamic.

Arise From Thorns have the ability to take the listener to musical realms not quite realized by other bands in recent memory. The vocal lines weave their way through various acoustic guitar figures and inventive bass/drum rhythms that intertwine into tapestries of color and light in the form of music. The vocalist echoes the supple voice of The Gathering's Anneke van Giersbergen. 

"Time Alone" and "Dreaming" are highlights that are worth hearing by all music fans, not just metal fans. Another great tune is "Bluer Skies"; the lament in the verse turns into a fountain of hope in the chorus - quite a remarkable little trick. 

"Before An Audience Of Stars" easily captivates the listener's imagination. Who would have thought that songs with simple strums and mellow aspects could leave songs that linger in the listener's memory? 

Fans of The Gathering and Persephone's Dream will enjoy Arise From Thorns' truly unique offering "Before An Audience Of Stars." Dark Symphonies re-issue of this CD contains bonus live tracks. 

Arise From Thorns is Michelle Loose on vocals and keyboards, Scott Loose on guitar, Tom Phillips on guitar, Chris Welborn on bass, and Trevor Schrotz on drums. Arise From Thorns is now known as BRAVE; a self-financed mini-CD will be available in Spring 2001 and a new full-length CD will be available in late 2001 through Dark Symphonies.

For more information visit or visit the band's website at

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2000 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.