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Pure Reason Revolution - The Dark Third CD (album) cover

THE DARK THIRD

Pure Reason Revolution

 

Crossover Prog

3.70 | 234 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

CaptainWafflos
4 stars I feel like I should hate this album with a burning passion, but there's something about it that keeps it in guilty pleasure territory for me. Pure Reason Revolution debut is melodic, harmonically dense, psychedelic, flamboyant, light-hearted, and ridiculously catchy. Pure Reason Revolution's sound relies heavily on the vocal interplay of the band's members. While we're on the topic of vocals, the bands lyrics are for the most part infinitely superficial and meaningless to the point where at some points it can become slightly annoying. Some of their music has the "drawn-out" quality that I feel is akin to much progressive music, but at the same time, it is very structured and fairly predictable. This is the kind of music that is so hideously flamboyant I'm not sure if I could listen to it around other people with any dignity, but it is nonetheless a fun album to listen while holed up in shame in the confines of my room :O

The album begins with an instrumental, Aeropause, which showcases the band's reliance on sustained, psychadelic sounds before the rest of the album descends into all-out vocal craziness.

Goshen's Remains could be the catchiest song on the album, but this doesn't detract from its complexity. The song undergoes a number of time signature changes, especially in its earlier stages, and makes up for them in the latter sections by becoming increasingly harmonically complex. Apprentice of the Universe is the next track on the album, and while not as interesting as the previous track, adding another high-energy frenzy would probably be a bit overkill on the ears.

The Bright Ambassadors of Morning is my least favorite track on the album. I'm not entirely sure what foul spirits invaded the minds of these musicians and convinced them that lifting a lyric out of context from Pink Floyd's Echoes and using it ad nauseum was a good idea, but it definitely makes for one of the least enjoyable moments on this album. Despite this, the song does get a bit more interesting when the vocals go away and almost redeems itself towards the end.

As my version of the album seems to be a slightly different version than what is listed on this web site (in regards to track listing, at least), I'm not sure if it's worth it to continue reviewing each song individually. Most of the songs are more or less similar to the first four tracks on the album, which are the same on both releases. Bullitt's Dominae is similar to Goshen's Remain in structure and is probably my favorite piece of music on this album. One peeve I have to mention: there is an extended silence on the last track of both releases. I've never understood why bands do this. It's not terribly difficult to modify audio files such that long, pointless silences are included in music if that's what I was shooting for.

The Dark Third is for the most part a seamless adventure, and unlike many pop albums, it's beneficial to listen to the album in its entirety in order to get the full effect.

The closest comparison I could draw to this band is Porcupine Tree, but that's a bit of an inadequate description. While many of the musical ideas used by Pure Reason Revolution have been tried before, their music is very much their own and has to be listened to in order to get an accurate description of what I'm failing to describe.

While it has its shortcomings and it may not appeal to some who cannot tolerate almost overwhelming levels of cheesy flamboyance, I would say this is certainly one of the top albums of 2006 and give my kudos to the collaborators who included it on that list.

Recommended to anyone who enjoys new prog bands and catchy music.

CaptainWafflos | 4/5 |

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