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Pure Reason Revolution - Cautionary Tales For The Brave CD (album) cover

CAUTIONARY TALES FOR THE BRAVE

Pure Reason Revolution

Crossover Prog


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avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This might appear at first listen to be another alternative rock band. But you'd be wrong to assume so. This band does more than merely creating another variant of rock music. They start there and expand their sound, adding to their music more depths and more elements taken from places you would not have thought were an option. A song like "In Aurelia" may have the basic rock structure and sound but here comes in one feature that makes PRR special - their use of vocal harmonies that sound cold and calculated, cleanly produced. They use their vocals as an additional instrument that adds much more to the music, creating haunting melodies with it. This song shows their "fun" side. A side in which they create music everyone can enjoy and at the same time be more than just simple rock music, since it contains more musical layers than others in the field. "In Aurelia" represents one side of the band and "The Bright Ambassadors Of Morning" represent their other side. It is a more outright progressive song, with several parts to it, shifting between them, with a great chorus part. The song keeps on developing, but gives every part of the appropriate time for us to appreciate it. Here you hear their space rock influences, demonstrated by their use of electronic sounds, longer guitar riffs and drumming sequences that give the music its spacey atmosphere. As in the rest of the album the vocals play here a most important part. The music is not complex or sophisticated, but when you consider it in its entirety, you realize it is music that strives to higher levels, trying to reach a more developed form of music, aspiring to explore the musical ideas they have in full, and not just present them blatantly as other modern rock groups. Even in "Arrival" and on "The Intention Craft" which are fused together, you have a seemly simple tune but the arrangement of this song makes it more than your average rock song. They develop it by introducing electronic sounds, using their vocals intelligently, building the song such that it has not a regular song structure and in the end it flows elegantly into a finale that differs from the main theme. The vocals are one of the highlights here as they constitute an additional instrument when used as a choir. The lead vocals are good as well as they introduce the duo female and male vocals that intertwine very good together.

This mini album has very catchy music, but it is neither simple nor redundant. It shows a band can create accessible music that can have in it progressive movements, making it more than just rock music. Therefore I find this album enjoyable and satisfying. It makes a good listening experience. I kept on hearing it in my head long after finishing listening to it, since it is so catchy. A light and fresh modern look on progressive rock. I think it is worthy of inclusion on a progressive music collection.

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Send comments to avestin (BETA) | Report this review (#78102)
Posted Sunday, May 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first taste of the greatness that The Dark Third would later deliver. Just as on that album the centerpiece here is the PRR tour de force The Bright Ambassadors of Morning, bookended by slightly less ambitious, but equally appealing pieces.

As noted by other reviewers (and by myself in the review of The Dark Third), this isn't horriffically complex, nor are the individual elements that remarkable, but the whole is both original, layered and challenging. And it just sound effortless, as if this style wasn't something they have been working on, but rather just stumbled into.

One of the best discoveries of 2005.

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Send comments to Teaflax (BETA) | Report this review (#78548)
Posted Thursday, May 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Music unbelievably fresh. This EP seems to be a great bow to Pink Floyd, and a successful one - and that's notable. But apart from it, the music presents a quality that I have never heard in progressive music before. Maybe I'm just inexperienced listener, but this one sounded actually as if I was listening to an absolutely new genre. Yet apart from new-ness, this music was extremely enjoyable--well balanced in a word. Too bad it's just an EP. One of the moments I enjoyed most was that "breaking of the waves" in Million Bright Ambassadors.

All in all, this music unquestionably deserves five stars, if not for its freshness, then for its pure enjoyability. I pray that they give us more of their material, because they may become the pink floyd of 21st century.

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Send comments to Ampersand (BETA) | Report this review (#86806)
Posted Saturday, August 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a mini-album, though at 30 minutes long it's not far short of an average Gentle Giant release. Having picked up on the name - pure reason revolution is apparently a line in Floyd's Echoes - and the rave reviews they seem to be receiving, I just had to try it.

Money well spent; centrepiece of the (mini) album is "Bright Ambassadors of the Morning", a 12 minute track that blows me away. A real 5 star prog classic - different sections, great riffs, a great hook line with some wonderful harmonies built around it, atmospheric instrumental breaks, and an all over spacey sound -how many of those do you expect to discover in the '00's? Well I'm converted. Their music is clever without being smug, and there's a freshness about it - heck you can almost imagine it being liked by the critics. Which it seems it is - "Final proof that prog is no longer a four letter word" says the sticker on the CD box, the quote from - wait for it - NME.

The rest of the album is good too. "In Aurelia", a 4 minute, is rocky number. The remaining two tracks are each two-parters, in particular 3(II), "The Intention Craft" has a great melody that builds. The final track reprises "Ambassadors".

Great stuff. I consider myself a fairly stern critic so - because of the restricted length of the disc (I still paid what seemed like full price...?!), and the fact the other tracks don't quite match track 2, it's going to be 4 stars from me. I'm off to the shops to get their full album, "The Dark Third". Check this band out.

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Send comments to Phil (BETA) | Report this review (#87621)
Posted Friday, August 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
Fitzcarraldo
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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Occasionally I hear something new that produces a dopamine rush. Such was the case with PURE REASON REVOLUTION. At just under 30 minutes, their 2005 album "Cautionary Tales For The Brave" is a brief but impressive showcase of what the group is capable of, and their following album "The Dark Third" -- which reproduces a couple of tracks from "Cautionary Tales For The Brave" -- is even better in my opinion.

The music sounds to me like a mixture of PORCUPINE TREE, THE BEACH BOYS, NIRVANA, EVANESCENCE, OPETH, THE DANDY WARHOLS and TIMOTHY PURE to name a few groups, with the occasional undertone of punk to boot. The vocals and harmonies are great, and the counterpoint between the female singer and the lead male singer is good - no, make that "very, very good". Gorgeous voices. The music is quite poppy in places, quite 'heavy metal' in places and, yes, complex and different enough to warrant labelling it as progressive music. It's well-crafted, melodious, lush, varied music by a group of talented players and singers, and that does it for me. Love the use of keyboards and violin, too.

Some of the reviews in the mainstream media mention PINK FLOYD influences and label PURE REASON REVOLUTION's music as Prog Rock. Well, despite the track title 'The Bright Ambassadors Of Morning' being lifted from the Floyd's 'Echoes', I'm only reminded a little of the Floyd by some of the music on this album and the subsequent album "The Dark Third", and it ain't Prog Rock "as we know it, Jim", i.e. we're not talking about the classic 1970s Prog Rock sound at all, but there is certainly a complexity and variety (and quality) that separates it clearly from the mainstream. I thought the label 'New Prog', as distinct from 'Neo Prog', would suit this music well, only to discover the term already exists and the group has already been tagged with it, so it seems I'm thinking along the right lines.

With tracks and videos available on the group's MySpace page (not to mention a track here on Prog Archives), you can try before you buy. In my case I was so impressed I couldn't buy "Cautionary Tales For The Brave" and "The Dark Third" fast enough.

A solid 4-star album (Excellent addition to any progressive music collection) that could please both dyed-in-the-wool fans of 1970s Prog Rock such as myself and fans who like the newer, heavier, metallic groups. Welcome to New Prog; the king is dead, long live the king. Highly recommended.

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Send comments to Fitzcarraldo (BETA) | Report this review (#110567)
Posted Saturday, February 03, 2007 | Review Permalink
semismart
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Pure Reason Revolution - Cautionary Tales for the Brave

I can sum up the music of Pure Reason Revolution (PRR) in one word-refreshing. This Progressive Rock UK band is sweeping the progressive world and well it should. Their music is as fresh as a April shower with ultra-catchy melodies, haunting refrains and four of the five band members (one female, which adds a nice touch) harmonizing almost all of the vocals. Who do they remind me of? No one. Maybe a tiny bit like Pink Floyd. But only because the music is imaginative and their tempo is reminiscent of the great ones.

Yeah, all right you caught me. Yes, they have a Radiohead feel and maybe a tiny bit like the fabulous new Polish band, Riverside, but that's all-scout's honor.

Pure Reasoning Revolution's initial studio album, 'The Dark Third' was released in Europe in January on Inside Out Records. For those of you that follow Progressive rock and metal that fact alone should tell you that PRR is something special. That album is indeed great but that's a future review. One of the reasons that albumis great is that three of this EP's songs (the longest three) appear on the album as well. This review is about there previous release an EP called Cautionary Tales for the Brave.

Cautionary Tales contains four songs-two long and two average. It runs just a hair over twenty-nine minutes, which is almost as long as some of the shorter full albums. In my opinion Cautionary Tales is just as good, though shorter than it's big sister-The Dark Third. All songs have a medium slow, easy going tempo, which the more you listen, the more you like. To me all four amazing songs are five stars.

Song/track list 1. In Aurélia 3:50 2. Bright Ambassadors of Morning 11:50 3. Arrival/The Intention Craft 8:36 4. He Tried to Show Them Magic/Ambassadors Return 5:33

Line-up Jon Courtney (vocals/guitar) Chloe Alper (bass/vocals/keyboards) James Dobson (keyboards/bass/vocals/violin) Greg Jong (vocals/guitar) Andrew Courtney (drums)

Conclusion

If progressive rock is ever going to make a slash in mainstream music America, this is the band that can do it. Not only is their music catchy, it also sounds like longer, more involved top forty (but not too much more involved.) As you might suspect the longer songs are more involved than the shorter ones but they all should appeal to a broad spectrum of listeners.

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Send comments to semismart (BETA) | Report this review (#116420)
Posted Monday, March 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
ProgBagel
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Pure Reason Revolution - 'Cautionary Tales for the Brave' 4 stars

A wonderful taste of things to come.

The predecessor EP to the debut album 'The Dark Third' is a tasty acquisition indeed. All the tracks on this EP make it onto the debut with the exception of the first track 'In Aurelia'. This release in my eyes is aimed to represent the many different forms that the band can take which is displayed by each of the tracks.

'In Aurelia' is the least complex on the album. Opening with a heavy guitar in the beginning and staying strong throughout the track. Each of the vocalists sing here, but don't quite show the harmonization yet. A simple and raw track.

'The Bright Ambassadors of Morning' exposes much of the opposite. The beginning of the song contains a lot of samples and effects with mostly restrained guitar work. The vocals take their true form in the chorus. They are beautiful voices, perfectly harmonized and provide some catchy choruses. The guitars pick up towards the end to be the most dominant instrument.

'Arrival / The Intention Craft' starts out with samples and clean guitar in the back. About two minute in the song break into a nice guitar and drum groove. That would probably be the most aggressive the guitar would get on the album. The song really just continues from there with aggressive vocal lines as well, accompanying the fast paced music. This brilliant track is closed out with a psyche outro similar to that of Ozric Tentacles and Porcupine Tree.

'He Tried to Show Them Magic / Ambassadors Return' is much of the same from 'The Bright Ambassadors of Morning'. The former part of the suite is mostly vocally driven work and then the reprise comes in. An excellent track.

This is an excellent EP. Obviously, I would recommend the album over this because it contains the best tracks and then some.

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Send comments to ProgBagel (BETA) | Report this review (#172055)
Posted Friday, May 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This mini-album is rather a pleasant moment of fresh and inventive music. There are lots of style combined in this EP (almost half an hour of music though).

The pièce of résistance of this work is the long "The Bright Ambassadors of Morning" which features sophisticated and diversified vocals which are at times "Gentle Giant" oriented! They are combined with some atmospheric and repetitive mood, quite like PT. The whole sounds heavy space-rock and it's quite enjoyable I must say. This track should work very well while played live.

The second long track of this EP, or dual song since "Arrival" is combined with "The Intention Craft" is also an energetic one. The filiation with PT is not a coincidence any longer. The addition of some female vocal is a nice counterpart and brings a softer tone with theis strong backing music.

The same remark about "Gentle Giant" sorts of vocals is also present at the start of "He Tried To Show Them Magic". They are not so high pitched, but the style is pretty similar. As far as the music is concerned, this song is very melodic but with a hard/heavy feeling added on. A good combination indeed.

This EP is the first PRR work I have been in contact with. It might well encourage me to go and see them live during the next prog conference in the legendary "Spirit Of 66" in Verviers" next month.

The band is dynamic and the music provided is modern, it combines spacey and atmospheric parts with more upbeat ones. Seven out of ten. Three stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#182149)
Posted Wednesday, September 10, 2008 | Review Permalink

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