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Arise From Thorns (USA) - 2001 - "Before an Audience of Stars"
(68 min, "Dark Symphonies")

*****

Tracklist:


1. Dreaming

2. Time Alone

3. Among the Leaves

4. I Can't Believe

5. Lure

6. Surrender

7. Remember the Stars

8. Lovelorn

9. Persia

10. The Red And the Black

11. Bluer Skies

12. To Dance By Moonlight (live)

13. The Calling

14. Return On the Old Forest



(Sorry, there is too little details in the "booklets" of real promo CDs.)

For the second time in my life I receive real promo-copies of CDs - a second album from the heroes of these lines, previously self-released with the band's own financial resources in 1999, and a compilation made of all three full-length studio albums and the only mini-CD by Autumn Tears. The sender is a small US label "Dark Symphonies", which has, in all probability, serious chances to grow into a kind of major in the next few years. It seems the people at the label have run upon a gold mine producing quality music that is at the same time potentially able to please a great number of music lovers. Generally, an idea of re-releasing some (let's call it simply) obscure yet very interesting in many ways contemporary musical production with appropriate promotion and distribution is a great example of the strategic formula inherent to just a handful of new labels with serious working ambitions. Particularly, the music of Arise From Thorns is probably typical for "Dark Symphonies", on the whole. Not too dark, though, and by no means complex, the music on the "Before an Audience of Stars" promo CD is quite original, very melodic and even progressive enough to appeal to a rather massive audience, including also many fans of Neo Progressive, but totally excluding regular popsters. While the music of Arise From Thorns is mostly vocal-based, there's no too few purely instrumental arrangements on the album . In the presence of the singer's beautiful voice, her vocal qualities are stunning. There's no any monotony in her singing, especially since the vocal themes are quite diverse even within each song. The instrumental palette of the album is of a wide range, too. Acoustic guitar passages shift with various orchestral keyboard chords or some obviously metal structures, and the work of the rhythm section is second to none - often with lots of interplays between the lines of bass guitar and a wide-variety of percussive breaks and tricks, apart from a usual dynamic drumming. The music is very rich and bright and the musicianship is precise and masterly. Mostly acoustic, the musical structures of the album could be probably described as a cross between Gothic Rock and Neo Progressive. This very kind of music could be the first step for Progressive to return to the mainstream.

VM. March 25, 2001


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