Arise From Thorns - _Before an Audience of Stars_
(Dark Symphonies, 2001)
by: Pedro Azevedo (7 out of 10)
This is the re-release of Arise From Thorns' second self-financed CD, consisting of progressive acoustic music led by female vocals. Varying between the tranquil and the upbeat, AFT's very melodic music is based on the synthesis of vocals and keyboards. Technically very good, Arise From Thorns (who for some reason have decided to call themselves Brave from now on) manage to become quite catchy at times and soothing at others. However, the album lasts for nearly an hour and for me it starts to drag somewhat before midpoint. It tends to become too atmospheric and a bit repetitive, and the enjoyment of the first few tracks (which are reasonably different from each other) doesn't really extend to the rest of the album. Three bonus tracks (one of them live) are also included in this remastered re-release, taking the total length of the record to 67 minutes -- so if you really like this, you'll certainly get plenty of material to enjoy. And the fact is this -is- enjoyable and technically interesting, even if for my taste there should be more variation and a much darker atmosphere surrounding the music. If you think that a more acoustic and progressive version of The Gathering might interest you, however, then _Before an Audience of Stars_ should definitely be worth your time.

(article published 13/3/2001)

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