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

THE DARK THIRD

Pure Reason Revolution

 

Crossover Prog

3.69 | 227 ratings

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La_Utter_Classe
3 stars Considering the seemingly endless wave of lamentably unoriginal bands emanating from the UK, Pure Reason Revolution represent a musical salvation of sorts.

Here we have what many broadly pigeonhole as 'New Prog', yet PRR's influences noticeably branch out beyond Pink Floyd and other space rock luminaries. The band's masterfully arranged vocal harmonics draw perceptible inspiration from The Beach Boys; whilst their powerful use of the mellow verse/abrasive chorus dynamic is clearly influenced by the likes of Pixies and Nirvana.

On paper, this does appear to be a curious mix, however on 'The Dark Third', PRR have arranged their songs so meticulously, it's impossible not to be impressed by their ability to coalesce so many different styles with efficacy.

The most immediate songs here are 'Goshen's Remains', with its beautiful intertwining vocals and addictively spacey ambience. Then there's 'Bullitts DominŠ', displaying the Pixies/Nirvana dynamics, whilst brilliantly imbuing them with a slightly prÚcised incarnation of Prog pomp, as can be extrapolated from the song's title! The immediacy of these tracks is largely ascribable to their musically laconic nature, especially by Prog standards. Conversely, this also serves as their Achilles heel, as this lack of musical depth cripples tracks like 'Goshen's Remains' and 'Aeropause' with a lack of longevity, summarily rendering them drab and prosaic.

Contrastingly, some of the real gems here lurk inconspicuously upon initial listens. Personally, the 12-minute astral epic, 'The Bright Ambassadors of Morning' was originally underwhelming; however, with persistent listening, it has probably become my favourite PRR track. Similarly, 'He Tried to Show Them Magic! / Ambassadors Return', is another grower, but one that merits the effort.

Overall, there are one or two tracks which perhaps meander without a discernible purpose ('Voices in Winter / In the Realms of the Divine', for instance), however 'The Dark Third' is never completely laborious - there's always something to keep you interested. Some of the album's detractors have pointed to the band's lack of musical virtuosity, and this is accurate to a certain extent, though not necessarily a disappointment, especially as the song arrangements are generally very tight. In terms of musical proficiency, I'd place PRR closer to Hawkwind than Pink Floyd, though in terms of enjoyment, 'The Dark Third' is satisfyingly analogous to the latter, even if it struggles to muster the long-term viability Floyd albums seem to provide with contemptuous ease.

La_Utter_Classe | 3/5 |

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