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Pure Reason Revolution - Amor Vincit Omnia CD (album) cover


Pure Reason Revolution

Crossover Prog

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Errors & Omissions Team
2 stars Seems like the band loses the touch, I REALLY was expecting some big music in here.

The first full album The Dark Third (2006) is exciting, new, full of lovely melodies and great vocals, especially in songs like 'Bright Ambassadors Of Morning' or ' I) Voices In Winter/II) In The Realms Of The Divine'.

I really expected more, but here we found some full electronic things, but not in the vein of Radiohead's Kid A, a lot of good melodies ruined but 80's drums machines and the vocals, that the band use so well in the firsrt album was just ignored.

No one of the tunes stays in my head after listen the full album, an album with no soul and no heart. Sadly!!

Report this review (#204102)
Posted Monday, February 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Having been enraptured by The Dark Third, I was extremely wary of Pure Reason Revolution's vastly different follow-up, Amor Vincit Omnia. Having all but abandoned their space rock foundation and building off of an electro-rock one, this new album was certainly going to generate mixed responses and, having listened to some rather unmemorable samples on the band's MySpace page, I wasn't even sure if it would get any positive ones.

But let me tell you, folks, while on first listen I was extremely disappointed, I decided to set it down for a couple of months and try again. And boy, am I glad I did! In fact, I find Amor Vincit Omnia to be so wonderful, that I barely listen to The Dark Third anymore. The songs on this album seem a lot more personal and emotion-ridden, which may or may not be a result of the lyrical subject this time around (that subject being love). Of course, us sentient beings can attach ourselves to songs about love and lust, and us intellectual beings can attach ourselves to clever recurring themes and varied song structures. The vocals and riffs are more melodic and memorable here, the sound packs more of a punch too. So when the band hits, they hit hard, really hard. They also use modern technology to their advantage. Vocoders and sound manipulation are implemented in fun ways and we even have an epic dance party toward the end.

I'm out of time, so let's just say that this album is fantastic. It's both fun and powerful, which is something that few bands are capable of or interested in doing these days.

Report this review (#204118)
Posted Monday, February 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars I don't think this album deserves the ratings it is getting.

However I do agree with most of the reviews. It isn't as complex as the Dark Third, but it is still a good album in it's own right. Ok, it isn't very proggy, but just because music isn't prog doesn't mean it isn't good.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it, and would recommend it to almost anyone as it's very accessible and fun to listen to. This albums for you if you if every once in awhile you like to sit back, crank up the bass and listen to something loud and in your face.

Report this review (#204599)
Posted Friday, February 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
1 stars I am not going to compare this album to The Dark Third; to do so would be completely inappropriate. The conceps are different, the genre is different, the construction and the rationale. All different. The band has moved over from being quite extrovert, taking great pains to show a musical ability, to well, relying on synths, samples and backing tracks. Make sure of one thing, they will never perform this album as live as they could TDT. Having stated the differences, it has to be said that Amor Vincit Omnia or AVO as it is now called, is so obviously the same band, the same lyricist, even the same hooks and overall tenor as TDT. Yes, you can recognise a lot of the harmonies and layering. Possibly one of the downfalls of one person doing it all, as there is little to suggest more than one influence on the whole thing - apart from the second (female) voice which is nothing more than a background acknowledgement to harmony. So much so did the one seemingly want this to be a single work, that he even tries to falsetto notes that he has no chance of ever reaching, the result being way out-of-tune harmonies with the girl who should be singing the high notes anyway. Some of the tunes are OK. Some appear to have been put in as (as is the annoying norm these days) mere fillers to make up the 42 minutes. Bloodless, Keep me Sane and the simply awful Disconnect are the three main offenders. Les Malheurs is ok-ish, but has an odd, almost vomit-inducing step in the beat that I just don't get. VC and Deus ex Machina, well if you haven't heard these already, they're good-ish, but they're not the selling tracks that this album so desperately needs. Apogee - repetitive, droning, dull, I can't say any better. All in all, a big stepdown from TDT. I don't want TDT2, I want progression. This isn't it
Report this review (#204643)
Posted Saturday, February 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars It looks like this is gonna be one of those albums that really divides people as to whether it's crap or awesome. I think it's awesome. Yes, it is a big (I wouldn't say HUGE) departure from TDT, but it is still a great record. I would say that the vocals are on par with TDT and there are some musical parts that are up there too, in terms of quality. Requiem For Lovers is an amazing song that alone should elevate this album to 2 stars even if all the others were garbage. The drumming in Victorious Cupid is really great and shows that not only drum machines have a place in the new sound PRR have found. Overall I would say all of the songs are amazing with the only problem spots in the album being the electro vocals in Disconnect and the part in The Gloaming after around the 7 minute mark. The rest is definitely worth listening to. I wouldn't be worried if you really didn't like this album. I see PRR changing styles a lot more in the future, so there's hopefully always gonna be something new from them.
Report this review (#204818)
Posted Sunday, March 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
1 stars PURE REASON REVOLUTION switches genre from nu-prog to electro-rock. Not unexpected, and if you can appreciate the latter genre, it may not even be unwelcome - in their proggy direction, PURE REASON REVOLUTION lacked what their name promises, something revolutionary. Unfortunately, in this new direction, they still haven't found their creativity. PRR manages to deliver bad electro-rock. The roaring bassline in the opening song Les Malheurs promises something to at least deliver direction and some old-fashioned rockin', before devolving into drawn-out vocal whining with pianos in the background going nowhere. The second song promises more of the same... and so does the rest of the album. Sometimes they manage to get a nice bass line or a nice rhythm going, but it never lasts, and they always revert to boredly singing over pointless background noise, whether that be loud ramming basses or noodling pianos. Occasionally you hear they had an idea that may have gone somewhere, but it always goes nowhere. Perhaps they're trying to preserve their complexity by jumping around from idea to other idea... but none of them are interesting enough to warrant a second listen. Switching genres is forgiven, but producing a bad album in another genre is just a foolish move.

Report this review (#208697)
Posted Wednesday, March 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Well I can't say I didn't see it coming; it's been widely known for a while that a drastic change of direction was on the cards for Pure Reason Revolution's second album. With the exception of Victorious Cupid, a 2007 single, there's nothing else here that could sit comfortably alongside anything from The Dark Third. Gone are the Prog (particularly Floyd) influences, the bombastic riffing and the real drums for the most part, even the violin.. Instead in their place are synths and sequencers.

Amor Vincit Omnia has more in common with an eighties Depeche Mode album than Prog. The band may have moved on but Progressive it ain't. I can't say I'm disappointed with this album, I'd heard the rumours but on first listen I was not impressed in the least. The only common thread between this and The Dark Third is their use of harmony vocals but even they lose something without the grandeur of that previous album. However, after a couple of plays, despite not being my thing in the main it's not a bad album, quite good even at times.

Having said that I can't stand the computerised voice of Disconnect, or the track in general for that matter with its weedy 80's synth electro pop sound. Tracks like The Gloaming and AVO pass over my head, offering little substance to keep my interest. A bit better is opening track Les Malheurs which reminds me of Goldfrapp in places alongside the Depeche Mode influences.

Victorious Cupid is the second best track on the album, not because I think it's a particularly great song but it's the nearest we've got to anything on the last album. At least there's some guitar riffs. The best track is Deus Ex Machina which has a great riff..yes we get some guitars here too and even the synths have more power, all held together by a heavy, solid and driving rhythm.

Pure Reason Revolution have took a brave step which you've got to admire them for. Only problem is they may well lose most of the fans they gained with The Dark Third, especially in the Prog community. If they don't pick up a new following they could be in trouble. Amor Vincit Omnia is unlikely to be in anyone's top 10 albums of the year here. So it's not what I wanted from them but well enough done for what it is. It'll be interesting to see what they do next but I won't be shelling out cash for another one like this I'm afraid.

Report this review (#208973)
Posted Friday, March 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I was very close to not buying this record because of the poor ratings, but fortunately I decided to give it a chance anyway and I am thankful I did! This album might not be as progressive as The Dark Third (TDT), but there are some truly great tunes in between.

Some elements from TDT have been carried on to this record, but in general this is a complete new sound of PURE REASON REVOLUTION and hopefully that will result in the band getting more fans rather than pushing some of the old ones away. Amor Vincit Omnia (AVO) is a great album and should not be compared too much with TDT as the band has moved forward and explores new areas of their musical skills.

The electronic elements work very well, especially on the pick of the album 'Deus Ex Machina'. 'Les Malheurs', 'Victorious Cupid' and 'Bloodless' are also tracks of very high standard and deserve a mention while the nine-minute long 'The Gloaming' develops into a great progressive piece. The album ends with the title trick, shortened 'AVO' which is a beautiful, melancholic end to the three quarters of an hour of one of the best albums of the first quarter of 2009.

AVO is a bold move by PRR and I admire them for making such a powerful and experimental follow-up to their successive debut album. I am very surprised and dissapointed to read all the poor reviews of this album, but I urge you to give it a chance. I was pleasently surprised and I feel that it would be an excellent addition to most prog music collections; though it admittedly lacks some progressiveness it is still an experimental and exciting musical experience.

3.5 stars really, but rounded up to four as it is vastly underrated (2.7 at time of writing).

Report this review (#209173)
Posted Sunday, March 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Very good!

I really don't understand why people give this album a so low rating. Okay it's very different from their debut album but that doesn't make it a poor work. What made me fell in love with their music was their spacy sound and their groundbreaking vocal harmonies. That's what made the first album so awsome and almost perfect.

For this one, the album is focused on electro music but their is still Dark third touch on this one. There are less vocal harmonies and the spacy vibe is almost completely replaced by the electronic sounds. Though it's still recognizable PRR songs. The album is not as much progressive as the Dark Third but it's undeniable progressive music.

Some fans may think that they lost it but I think that it's important for a band to explore different horizons and PRR did a very good choice and it still keeps up with my expectations.

Personally I think that if there is no difference between the sound of two albums... you failed as a band.

If you're in for some proggyelectromadness this is the perfect album for you!


Report this review (#209835)
Posted Thursday, April 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is not a true prog album and it surely wasn't meant to be.

It is, however, an excellent electronic/rock album with great songs, production, musicianship and vocals with recurring themes and some fierce and fiery instrument interaction.

One of the best albums of 2009.

1. Les Malheurs 10/10 Synth/percussion driven with great vocals and lyrics that go from humorous to wistful.

2. Victorious Cupid 10/10 The influence of Porcupine Tree is present on this song. The drumming reminds me of Gavin Harrison. The guitar parts suggest a healthy dose of Steven Wilson. All kept together with some great vocals.

3. (i)Keep Me Sane/Insane 10/10 A short but pleasant intro to....

4. (ii)Apogee and (iii)Requiem for the Lovers 10/10 Melody and power merge for a tour de force production.

5. Deus Ex Machina 10/10 Another synth/percussion driven song. I enjoy the Super Furry Animals-type synth melody lines. More Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson guitar-type riffing.

6. Bloodless 9/10 The slowed paced song on the album, very nice vocal work. I really think that a lot of people just take great vocal arrangements for granted not realizing all the work that goes into creating them let alone the talent to successfully sing them.

7. Disconnect 9/10 A humorous escapade dealing with being (what else?) disconnected. A warm and engaging tune.

8. The Gloaming 10/10 Probably closest in spirit to the songs on their first album, nice piano flourishes, beautiful vocals, the song morphs into various melodic passages that carry the listener along a great ride of musical expression.

9. AVO 10/10 Closing out the album with a dreamy and powerful summation of all that has been said. Love Conquers All...not always, but, sometimes.

PRR is a genre unto themselves. If you liked the first album you should like this.

I'm giving this a 5 star rating because what this album lacks in prog sensibility it more than makes up for in emotional honesty and warmth. Two things a lot of prog are sorely lacking.

Report this review (#211744)
Posted Sunday, April 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Pure Reason Revolution ? 'Amor Vincit Omnia' 4.0 stars

First listen - 'what happened?', second ? 'this is different', third and counting - 'this is awesome'

This was quite a pleasant surprise from the Pink Floyd-Beach Boy's brainchild. Pure Reason Revolution gives the phrase 'changing our sound' a whole different meaning. The layered samples that drove the music in the debut is now doused with electronics and dance beats. While this sounds like a disaster on paper, they somehow made it work. The whole vocalization stamp on the band is present and even catchier than ever. There will also be far more interesting work in this album, including some nifty string sections, a metal blow-out in 'Victorious Cupid' and some really trippy parts. Old fans might consider the band dead, but the fans that consider themselves 'open-minded' will not be disappointed in the slightest bit. Highly recommended album.

Try playing this in your college apartment, even the 'toughest' of guys will be dancing to this album. And half will ask for the name of this band, happened to me.

Report this review (#221732)
Posted Thursday, June 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is one of those albums where I expect most people who review it on this site either aren't going to understand it and/or dismiss this as an electronic (fill-in-the-blank-non-progressive-genre) album. It really took me awhile to pull myself away from that realization, mostly because it seemed originally that PRR was going the route of some trance Radiohead copycat, except poppier. In reality, that is anything but the case. Sure, there's more of a feeling of trance music here than anything on The Dark Third, but if you listen carefully, the psychedelic style is still present. It's just buried under several waves of electronic music. For those who have already heard The Dark Third, the first time you hear Amor Vincit Omnia you will either hate it immediately or, like me, not be sure of what Pure Reason Revolution is trying to do here. This album fits every meaning of the word "grower" for me.

The music is, yes, poppy electronic music. But it still has a feeling of the blending of a rather large number of genres, and isn't that what progressive rock is about? While The Dark Third was more of a psychedelic feel with some electronic influence, this album has more of an electronic feel with some psychedelic influence. It's the polar opposite of the band's debut. This is even prog you can dance to. And while this is one of the strangest combinations of music I've seen in awhile, it really does work if you manage to put the time into it and have the ear for this sort of thing. Like PRR's debut, one of the major strong points of the album is the vocal harmonies. They're very catchy yet powerful and really add a good deal of emotion to each song. For the longest time I wanted to give this nothing more than 3 stars, but I think it's finally clicked for me. I may have to go back and listen to their debut some more as well, because the 3 stars I gave it may not be enough. The only thing about this album that really bothers me anymore is the use of electronic vocals on Disconnect. They annoy me every time and I'm not really sure why. I can give this 4 stars. If you liked the band's debut or can appreciate electronic music that's noticeably poppy, then give this album several chances. I'm so glad I finally did.

Report this review (#221793)
Posted Friday, June 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I was kind of eager to offer up my opinion on this highly controversial sophomore release by PRR, having read the rather truculent put downs by many hard-core proggers and wondering how deep was the chasm with the rather fabulous and well-received "The Dark Third". I must say that I can see why they are frustrated, after all many do not really enjoy the more electronically slanted material that hints at Kraftwerk or even Depeche Mode. I personally deeply enjoyed Ultravox and John Foxx back in the lean days of prog, ergo I have little distaste in my mouth for more "techno" oriented music. The harsh synth screeches leap out immediately with the gritty "Les Malheurs", definitely closer to the classic synth-pop of David Gahan and crew (which would assuredly please my departed PA reviewer "febus", a massive admirer of Depeche Mode!), yet adding the slick vocal harmonics that make PRR an original entity. We are far from symphonic, neo or eclectic progressive rock there is little doubt but at least they had the audacity to dare altering their sound, discarding the Floydian influences almost entirely. "Victorious Cupid" remains firmly and resolutely rooted in electronica, looping rubbery synthesizers pounding aggressively while the various voices combine to weave their classic vocal harmonics. "Keep Me Sane/ Insane" is a brief ditty, the piece blends into "Apogee" with plucking strings hissing within the vocal cascades, suddenly exploding in a monolithic guitar heavy barrage of sound (Part 3 , "Requiem for Lovers"). "Deus Ex Machina" is the piece de resistance here, an atmospheric rant that is immediately appealing, a stellar mind-thumping and body-bruising composition that extols the special virtues of this courageous band of youngster-progsters. Urgently aggressive and blatantly angry, the sound is pungently ultra-modern, rebellious synths are almost industrial when united with the punkoid guitar and apocalyptic drums. "Bloodless" is another charmer, suavely sinuous vocalizations with intricate piano and strings. The mid- section is simply brilliant with tones closer to Massive Attack (with whom there are a few passing similarities), the backing vocals are completely spell-binding inducing a swirling hypnotic effect that is sheer bliss. The choppy "Disconnect" falls straight into Kraftwerkian territory, robotic vocoder voices repeated ad infinitum until the high-pitched lead vocal kicks in amazingly, swerving this into the classic PRR harmonic brew we need to admire for its sheer prowess. "The Gloaming" is the near 10 minute epic that conspires to take this into another direction again (closer to late 90s New Zealand-band Babble), with intricate vocal harmonies that build on repetition, hard beats propelling them ever forward and a final section where the electronic "whoops" really create a gloomy climate that is hard to dismiss. "AVO" is the acronym title cut, a genial piece that rekindles all those elements that are the hallmarks of the PRR sound, incredibly astute singing, piano and synths weaving in frolic trance, drums gently marshalling the rhythm ever forward. I found myself enjoying this album way more in the car CD player, racing down the autoroute with the volume on high than in the cottony confines of my audiophile basement. While not as dreamily prog as the previous masterpiece, they have caught us all unaware and hence surprised by their "cojones", opening themselves to disturbing the status quo by "progressing" elsewhere. Good for them, what's next, a Roxy Music style of romantic art-rock? I am game anyway because Love conquers all. 4 skins
Report this review (#222228)
Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
1 stars Can I just say that I don't get it? I thought the debut from Pure Reason Revolution showed great promise in Progressive Rock and I was pretty excited to see how this band had evolved on Amor Vincit Omnia. What ended up happening was that I put on a techno album by wait, this is the new Pure Reason Revolution! I can't stand techno/trance music, so I am completely thrown off by this record. There are some good things, however. I love the vocal harmonies, which is one of the things that drew me to this band in the first place. Sometimes the songs are pretty catchy...but there is hardly anything in this record that could be called progressive rock. Maybe progressive techo, or something to that effect.

"Les Malheurs" has a pretty standard beat that gets tiring to me about halfway through the track. "Victorious Cupid" is probably the only track that I honestly can get into. There is some powerful guitar riffs, and the vocals are truly glorious, and it sounds like something that could have been on the last record. There is a great jam towards the end that really is exciting, and made me hope that the first track was just a mistake and the album would get better from here on out...

But that just isn't the case. "Apogee" is just boring to me with an annoying rhythm that just keeps repeating itself endlessly. It gets better towards the end with some heavenly vocals, but it isn't enough to save the track from mediocrity to me. "Deus Ex Machina" is even worse, sounds like pretty generic pop to me. How dissapointing.

"Bloodless" is pretty boring and gets pretty repetitive. I don't feel any connection to "Disconnect", it is just a bland track to my ears. "The Gloaming" is the longest track on the record, but it seems too long and the techo aspects of it really grate on my nerves. And, then the album ends with another boring track that gets repetitive rather quickly: "Avo".

I'm sorry there isn't more I could say about the tracks, but to me that is the primary problem here, the tracks lack substance. I love the vocals, that is my favorite aspect of this record. The blend of these voices is truly magical. But, I just can't stand the bland techno that is going on behind it. I know there are many who would vehemently disagree with my assessment, but that is how I feel as I listen to this record. Oh well, I guess its just not for me.

Report this review (#225341)
Posted Wednesday, July 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This sophomore full lengthy effort by Pure Reason Revolution is a rather strange effort. While their frst effort was gailed as treading new ground among fans of modern art rock, this latest album seems to be much more of a mainstream-oriented effort.

True enough, there are still tracks here with a great deal of sophistication as far as structural composition goes, but quite a few others are far less refined than what you'd expect from a band with a following among progressive rock fans. But it's the stylistic expressions that raise the eyebrows here.

While a few numbers do get close to the musical territories explored by acts such as Porcupine Tree in an electro-rock kind of manner, it is electro pop and synth pop that dominates this production. Most songs seems to reside somewhere in between Pet Shop Boys and Aphex Twin in sound and style - easygoing, slick melodies with darker and twisted undercurrents. And while the influence of the latter is much more profound than the former, and there's a few nods in the direction of acts like Kraftwerk and The Chemical Brothers too, this album does come across as a disc first and foremost aimed at an audience with a liking for relatively easy listenable music. Much more sophisticated in form and sound than most traditional Billboard acts, but lacking from a progressive or art rock perspective.

It's a well made effort though, with a few really high class efforts, but those looking for highly sophisticated, modern art rock will be disappointed by this CD.

Report this review (#257708)
Posted Friday, December 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
3 stars Few good and interesting ideas, visionary imagination, all ruined by form in which it is presented. Art rock indeed, it's maybe purpose, but most of AR I've encountered had falsetto voices. Or higher frequencies in general. It's here too, but as every good element here, suffers from style in which it's done, setting in which it's situated. Electro-something. Of course that they probably aren't trying to make prog-perfect music (just good music), but why to make it this way. Not only that it became tiring towards the end of album (because it all sounds the same), but also isn't good at all from start. It's like beautiful apple in the inside, but rotten on the outside.

3(-), sometimes the form beats what's inside. And to be honest, except good vocal harmonies, melodic performance, there's not much anyway.

Report this review (#259032)
Posted Sunday, January 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars I really wanted to hate this album because it's nothing like The Dark Third, but it's just so good.

I also really wanted to slightly criticize it, but it's so addicive, I at least need to hear one of these songs every day.

I wasn't really annoyed by the use of electronics either, I love my pop with the use of electronics (e.g. anything Timbaland produces, Lady GaGa, Imogen Heap etc.). But this album actually turns out to be one of the best electronica albums I have ever heard (I love my electronica as well, e.g. Hot Chip, Massive Attack, Passion Pit, Miike Snow)

Again lyrical themes are present (I don't think anyone burned Avalon, don't think they need to repeat it constantly)

1. Les Malheurs - An amazing starting song with a very poppy chorus and an amazing use of electronics.

2. Victorius Cupid - Easily could have been on The Dark Third. Amazing Smashing Pumpkins influenced song with some amazing vocal harmonies and an absoulte epic chorus.

3. I. Keep Me Sane/Insane - It's very funny, Pure Reason Revolution have been able to make more of an effort in under a minute than most bands do in their whole career. Maybe the best song on the album, I'm not joking, it's that good.

4. II. Apogee/III. Requiem For The Lovers - An amazing song with again another amazing chorus.

5. Deus Ex Machina - An amazing song with a very kick ass chorus and i think it's the first mention of Avalon.

6. Bloodless - The most happiest song of all time. Seriously, I play this every day just to make me more happier than I am, and I am happy all the time. One of the best chorus' in a song I have ever heard.

7. Disconnect - I love the intro with the synthesized vocal line. Again Avalon is mentioned (Roxy Music were not happy).

8. The Gloaming - A very cool pop song with a weird freak out electronica section at the end. Yay!

9. AVO - I am so stupid, I only noticed that this is an abbreviation of the album title. Great ending for an amazing album.

CONCLUSION: I really wanted to hate...BUT IT'S SO GOOD. A masterpiece of electronic music. The best prog band out at the moment.They're next album I am waiting for the next album with very big expectations (Bet you it's going to be amazing). 7.

Report this review (#278044)
Posted Thursday, April 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well, now here's a big surprise!

Ok, I hated this album at first because I sounded nowhere close to the debut, but with every listen I gave it it grew on me until I loved it! And to this day it remains one of my favorite albums of 2009.

PRRs debut album that raised our expectations way up high and what they did was totally unexpected. The Floydish sound, the PT similarities, the space rock elements... all of that is gone. What we've got instead? Electro - pop - prog rock? That's the most accurate definition I can think of. The primary instrument here are the keyboards in all shapes and sizes. The vocal harmonies remained superb but the guitars are now somewhere in the background. I like the songwriting on this album, not a second is dull. I am not impressed with the production of this album, the vocals sound somewhat "blurry" but that's something to get used to. Best song? I would have to say "The Gloaming" with all it's beauty but there is not a single bad song on this album, they even managed to turn a less than a minute long song into a little masterpiece.

I wouldn't recommend this album to hard headed prog fans still living in the 70's because this album is modern and very, very poppish. So, that means four stars I guess.

Report this review (#278375)
Posted Sunday, April 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars After their stunning debut Pure Reason Revolution made a complete turn and decided to launch a career in Britpop. Of course that part of their sound was already present on The Dark Third, but there it was fortified with lots of spacey arrangements and proggyness. So, from a prog perspective, the career move sure won't be applauded loudly, but the worst part of the news is that, even for Britpop standards, this album isn't really good.

The music changed to short pop songs, driven by repetitive pounding beats, short snappy riffs, and a battery of synths and effect to replace the gorgeous spacey guitars. It's an unfortunate downgrade from the previous album and the songwriting is very, very mediocre. Deus Ex Machina is real fun though, catchy, engaging and danceable, but the bulk of the material is poor. No, if I want to hear this style of music I'll stick to Kasabian's debut, which must have been an obvious inspiration here, next to New Order's poppy side. Another huge problem is that despite the musical change, the vocal arrangements and melodies remained identical to the debut, 'identical' meaning that indeed, some vocal lines are probably exactly the same. The phrasing, vocalisations, harmonies have not changed one bit and sound monotonous and uninspired.

Derivative, predictable, unimaginative. No that's not what I want to hear. The problem is not that that PRR turned Britpop, the problem is that it is poor Britpop. Luckily for PRR there are plenty of weaker albums in this style so they still get away with two stars.

Report this review (#287693)
Posted Monday, June 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars PURE REASON REVOLUTION followed their space-rock debut with this synth-pop album. I can't call it a follow-up, for there really isn't that much in common with the debut apart from the vocal harmonies. They would go on to do this much better in their third album 'Hammer and Anvil', but the listenable moments here are few. The opener 'Les Malheurs' gets your attention but does nothing with a bold synth line, while 'Deus Ex Machina' promises a great deal but is spoiled by the vocal line. 'Disconnect' could be an OMD track (I was a big fan of early OMD, but this doesn't measure up to that). i have no objection to electronica - in fact I happen to believe that some of it is progressive in any sense of the word you want to use - but it needs to be good. This is not.
Report this review (#409902)
Posted Tuesday, March 1, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Pure Reason Revolution's second album is a shallow attempt at mimicing the conventions of electro-rock, just as their debut album was a fairly shallow New Prog effort with a bunch of borrowed Pink Floyd motifs. I think the reason that it doesn't sit well with me - just as its predecessor eventually came to sit poorly with me after my initially enthusiastic reaction - is that there's a sense of insincerity about the whole thing. I don't feel that Pure Reason Revolution are really committed to this new direction of theirs any more than they were committed to their early Diet Floyd direction; I can't shake the impression that they're just adopting whatever musical style seems fashionably arty to them at the time. After this and their debut I have no idea where Pure Reason Revolution's heart is or what, if any, artistic vision they actually have.
Report this review (#740548)
Posted Sunday, April 22, 2012 | Review Permalink
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
2 stars PRR's debut full album called "The Dark Third" showed a very promising band which was inspired by the sounds of Pink Floyd. I remember being very excited about this band after first hearing that album, but the overall feeling of excitement does tend to cool off over time. There are still good songs on the album, and the musicianship is great along with the unique harmonies, but it does tend to grow stale by the end of the album. But, there was still a lot of promise. However, their second album, "Amor Vincit Omania" does not deliver on that promise.

I respect the fact that the band wants to try other styles, but this was a step in the wrong direction in my opinion. The unique harmonies are there, and there are plenty of electronic hooks that would be great if the rest of the material stood up to the hope that was felt from the debut album. This album however, ventures too far into poppy territory for my taste. It's not a complete write-off, but it is close unfortunately.

Right off the bat, you know you've got a less adventurous sound with the first track. It's just a more electronic trip hop feeling, not that that is completely bad. But the songs that follow don't really venture into new territory, you get the same vocal harmonics as before, and some interesting vocal interplay, but like I said, it started growing stale after time on the previous album, and now it only gets stale quicker. The only prog sounding song is track 4 "Apogee/Requiem for the Lovers", but it's hard to really make it stand out that much because the same overall sound doesn't deviate much. Other than this, you get a trip- hoppy sound but without the tripy-ness. There is a band that does the electronic Trip hop sound while remaining (for the most part) progressive and that band is Archive, but PRR fails miserably at this making a more plastic sound.

Things even get embarrassingly tacky as you move towards the middle of the album, you still get the poppy dance sound. "Disconnect" comes off as an attempt to have a little variety in the sound, but it's just plain awful with a robotic voice which is annoying and boring vocals and goofy synths. There is hope that "The Gloaming" might show some prog traits boasting a + 9 minute run time, but don't get your hopes up much. It's more of an attempt to sound like a rave dance style, but it ends up sounding like a poor 80s disco band.

It's too bad that a band that showed a lot of potential would move in the wrong direction. If they want to explore electronic trip hop, then they should listen to "Archive" to hear a better way to do it. It involves retaining at least some prog elements to keep things interesting and a lot more variety. By the end of this album, you are wondering where all of the highlights are, and if you are trying to remember what any of the particularities of any songs were on the album, you won't be able to, except for how obnoxious "Disconnect" was. I can only give this 2 stars, and that is only because the production is still good.

Report this review (#1950319)
Posted Sunday, July 22, 2018 | Review Permalink
The Crow
2 stars What happened to Pure Reason Revolution?

After one hell of a debut album called The Dark Third and a collection of very good EP's, they returned with a second effort that changed dramatically the direction of the band. The Pink Floyd influenced psychedelic-space rock of the first record gave way to this electronic pop-rock mess called Amor Vincit Omnia.

The result is sometimes funny, very rhythmic and it contains a good vocal production. However, after a pair of hearings and get over the first shock, this album turns to be boring, repetitive and tremendously uninspired, with only pair of true good moments on it.

That is a pity, because this band could really have been great!

Best Tracks: Victorious Cupid (energetic track in the vein of In Aurelia, from their first era), Deus Ex Machina (catchy and stimulating tune with good distorted guitars on it) The rest is more or less more of the same. After the first half, it turns complicated to bear the album and the desire to push stop becomes just too big!

Conclusion: Pure Reason Revolution chose to change completely their direction with this second album. However, this direction turned to be completely wrong, ruining the career of a very promising band, which could have been a truly great prog act if they would have continued to explore further into these musical territories in spite of trying to become the new British pop heroes.

Therefore, Amor Vincit Omnia is a very complicated album to recommend. If you enjoy electronic pop rock you will find that even in this genre the album is not very good, and if you are a fan of their first record, you will directly be horrified.

My rating: **

Report this review (#2083027)
Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2018 | Review Permalink

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