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

THE DARK THIRD

Pure Reason Revolution

 

Crossover Prog

3.69 | 230 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

russellk
Prog Reviewer
3 stars An interesting alt-rock space rock album that tends more towards the vacuous than the virtuous.

'Aerospace' begins the album with a piece of space-rock fluff, the sort of material STEVEN WILSON would cull from a PORCUPINE TREE album long before the final track selection. There is no hook here, no virtuosity, no impetus, and no point. 'Goshen's Remains' at least has some lyrics, but you're hard pressed to pick them out - and you're certain as you listen that they don't really matter. And you're right: this album is about sound rather than meaning, style rather than substance. The vocal arrangements are perhaps the one consistent highlight of the album, though as other reviewers have noted, they are startlingly repetitive. Annoyingly, the singers deliberately strip any vestige of emotion from their voices, adding to the generic feel of the music. PINK FLOYD worked using emotionless singing because their lyrics were so vitriolic and their music so powerful: sadly, PURE REASON REVOLUTION cannot match FLOYD in either category.

Another song passes by, and we arrive at 'The Bright Ambassadors of Morning' - a title borrowed from a PINK FLOYD lyric ('Echoes'). The band is certainly not hiding their influences! This is the album's centerpiece, and sadly it doesn't have the strength to hold the album together. It so very nearly gets there: the first four minutes suggest something special, but then comes that infamous repetitive lyric. I hate it. The complex vocals can't mask the inanity of the main lyric. I counted once: I think the lyric is repeated something like 140 times on the record. For me this is an album-breaker, something to make me spit the CD out of the player, and I have a high tolerance. Such a shame, given the excellent riffage at the eight minute mark. I could fall in love with this - if only ...

And so it continues. Smooth, so smooth, rarely rising above the level of syrup. 'In the Realms of the Divine' manages to get the listener's attention with its dramatic chords, but why it's grafted on to the banal 'Voices in Winter' is a mystery. On the US version, however, there is a sting in the tail: the last track, 'He Tried to Show them Magic!/Ambassadors Return', is outstanding and worth an extra star. Except, guess what. The dreaded lyric returns ...

There's definitely potential here, if only the band can be persuaded to let go of their formula and inject some passion into their music. I've been listening to their music from the time of their early EPs, and they are becoming more sophisticated, but I find myself still searching unsuccessfully for a point to it all.

russellk | 3/5 |

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