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PURE REASON REVOLUTION

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Pure Reason Revolution picture
Pure Reason Revolution biography
Founded in London, UK in 2003 - Disbanded in 2011

PURE REASON REVOLUTION is a British Rock group formed at Westminster University in 2003. Trying to fit PRR into a specific genre would be a difficult task, which is one of their attractive qualities. Space rock mingled with some modern-day rock, vocal harmonies and popish tunes together with heavy guitar riffs, catchy musical lines with more complex song structure. All of these exist in their music. As their official website states: "Their music incorporates elements of progressive rock and grunge rock, while its vocal harmonies are reminiscent of The Beach Boys. They have been variously described as 'Astral Folk' and 'New Prog'. Members have a shared appreciation for the work of bands such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and the Super Furry Animals.

The roots of the band stretch back over a decade to when Reading based friends Chloe Alper (23) and John Courtney (25) paths crossed while playing in a succession of teeneage bands. They were children of the grunge generation. At university Jon met Greg Jong (vocals and guitar) who was later replaced by Jamie Wilcox and keyboard player Jim Dobson. Together with Chloe and Jon's brother Andrew on drums, Pure Reason Revolution was born.

In April 2004 Poptones released their debut single "Apprentice of the Universe" through Alan McGee's Poptones label. A year later came "The Bright Ambassadors of Morning", a more than 12 minutes epic, which received rave reviews. It was followed by "Cautionary Tales for the Brave", a 30 minutes mini album, released in October 2005 on the band's own Holograph imprint, via Sony/BMG. April 2006 sees the release of their full length album "The Dark Third", through New York based Nu-Haven Music, Via Columbia. It was produced by Paul Northfield (Rush, Porcupine Tree, Gentle Giant, Hole). According to Jon "it is a concept album that investigates the supposedly sharp boundary between dreaming & wakefulness.

==Assaf Vestin (avestin)==

Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com : PRR incorporates elements from several fields creating sophisticated soundscapes and progressive music.

See also: HERE

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The Dark ThirdThe Dark Third
One Haven 2006
$17.89
$3.49 (used)
Amor Vincit Omnia [Digi-Pack]Amor Vincit Omnia [Digi-Pack]
CD+DVD
Superball 2009
$9.18
$9.24 (used)
Hammer And AnvilHammer And Anvil
Superball Music 2012
$4.90 (used)
Cautionary Tales for the BraveCautionary Tales for the Brave
Sony/Bmg Int'l 2005
$59.98
$11.98 (used)
Intention CraftIntention Craft
Single
Sony 2005
$72.97
$27.64 (used)
The Bright Ambassador of Morning - Pure Reason Revolution - EU Pressing [10The Bright Ambassador of Morning - Pure Reason Revolution - EU Pressing [10" Vinyl Record]
Holograph 6756076
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Amor Vincit Omnia by Pure Reason RevolutionAmor Vincit Omnia by Pure Reason Revolution
imPOrt
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The Dark Third by Pure Reason RevolutionThe Dark Third by Pure Reason Revolution
One Haven
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$12.90 (used)
The Bright... by Pure Reason RevolutionThe Bright... by Pure Reason Revolution
Holograph
$105.06
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PURE REASON REVOLUTION discography


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PURE REASON REVOLUTION top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.74 | 247 ratings
The Dark Third
2006
2.96 | 121 ratings
Amor Vincit Omnia
2009
2.86 | 67 ratings
Hammer And Anvil
2010

PURE REASON REVOLUTION Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.96 | 14 ratings
Live At NEARfest 2007
2008

PURE REASON REVOLUTION Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 3 ratings
Live At Scala 09.12.10
2011

PURE REASON REVOLUTION Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

PURE REASON REVOLUTION Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.72 | 4 ratings
Apprentice Of The Universe
2004
1.78 | 8 ratings
The Bright Ambassadors Of Morning
2005
2.46 | 8 ratings
The Intention Craft
2005
4.14 | 28 ratings
Cautionary Tales For The Brave
2005
3.75 | 5 ratings
In Aurélia
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
In The Realm Of Divine
2006
2.70 | 10 ratings
Victorious Cupid
2007
2.16 | 6 ratings
Valour EP
2011

PURE REASON REVOLUTION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hammer And Anvil by PURE REASON REVOLUTION album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.86 | 67 ratings

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Hammer And Anvil
Pure Reason Revolution Crossover Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Hammer and Anvil was a strong and irreversible step to self-destruction for Pure Reason Revolution!

I don't know if the co-writer and co-producer of the album Tom Bellamy can be blamed for this abomination, but after the magnificent The Dark Third and the utterly disappointing Amor Vincit Omnia, this Hammer and Anvil was a travel further into the great nothing for the British band.

The style follows the electro-pop-rock of Amor Vincit Omnia, but adding some heavy riffs which bring Rammstein to Mind (Fight Fire) and some rip-offs of other bands like Depeche Mode (Over the Top sounds just like the Martin Gore band) and China Crisis (Armistice, specially the beginning). Here is nothing to be found of the great heavy prog and psychedelic compositions of The Dark Third, leaving only the typical double vocals of Courtney and Alper as the band's trademark.

Best tracks: there is not a good song to be found here, really. But Open Insurrection has the most interesting instrumental development, although being a mediocre songs nonetheless.

Conclusion: Hammer and Anvil was a very bad album of electronic pop rock with a very worrying lack of inspiration, direction and musical coherence. It also contains songs which are almost a copy of other bands, which was a very bad surprise coming from a band which was able to make so incredible tracks like The Bright Ambassadors of Morning in the past.

Is not a surprise that the band disbanded only a year after this disaster!

My rating: *

 Amor Vincit Omnia by PURE REASON REVOLUTION album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.96 | 121 ratings

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Amor Vincit Omnia
Pure Reason Revolution Crossover Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

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: **

 The Dark Third by PURE REASON REVOLUTION album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.74 | 247 ratings

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The Dark Third
Pure Reason Revolution Crossover Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This review is about the double CD edition of The Dark Third, which includes a lot of material from other EP's of the band in addition to the nine tracks that the album originally had on its British launch!

But on its first years of life, Pure Reason Revolution released some EP's before making their first full length called The Dark Third. And this EP's were much in the vein of their debut, so it makes sense that some of these tracks are included in the double CD edition, because the original was some kind of EP's compilation anyway back then.

And what can we find here? In my opinion The Dark Third is one of the best British prog-rock albums of the last decade, with tremendously catchy space-psychedelic-heavy prog songs which deserve to be enjoyed multiple times. The voice of Jon Courtney is perfectly intertwined with the Chloe Alper one, making the vocals of the album really attractive and immediately enjoyable, just like the marvelous guitars and fine rhythmic base.

The songwriting is also outstanding, mixing wisely strong riffs with pure atmospheric prog, much in the vein of Porcupine Tree, that's true, but with enough original elements to give the music of Pure Reason Revolution a unique personality. And the Lyrics? Pure beautiful craziness!

Best Tracks: I really enjoy every song included here! But maybe In Aurelia is my favorite one.

Conclusion: The Dark Third was some kind of compilation of previous EP's of the band along a pair of new songs, and the double CD edition of the album is more of the same. But that's marvelous, because the quality of this first stage of the band was just outstanding and even in the form of a double CD it never gets boring.

Maybe is not the most original band on earth, because they clearly take elements of acts like Porcupine Tree and Pink Floyd. But I find The Dark Third so awesome that I muss rate it with five solid stars!

My rating: *****

 Amor Vincit Omnia by PURE REASON REVOLUTION album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.96 | 121 ratings

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Amor Vincit Omnia
Pure Reason Revolution Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

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.

 The Dark Third by PURE REASON REVOLUTION album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.74 | 247 ratings

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The Dark Third
Pure Reason Revolution Crossover Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars With so many bands in this sixth decade of progressive rock choosing to rework the classic approach of the great bands of the seventies, it's often not easy to imagine how a modern progressive band should sound. The neo-prog movement was noted for generally more pop infused songs that still left room for the complexities of prog rock compositions. The revival in the nineties was a look back to the seventies mostly, and most bands assembled components of Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, ELP, King Crimson, and Pink Floyd in varying degrees depending on their preferences.

Certainly the new player for the nineties would have been electronic music, which by this time had come a long way both in scope of sound and ease of reproducibility. Along with that, many artists became associated with the prog label not because they were trying to write difficult, classical and jazz influenced compositions but rather because they were attempting to do something new with popular music, even if that meant simplifying the playing style.

Pure Reason Revolution's debut fits the bill as one of the modern approaches to popular music that goes beyond the standard radio format without attempting challenging and overly complex songs. The strength of their music here lies in four aspects: the effective use of male and female vocalists; the use of electronica to create atmosphere and at times haunting melodies; the Pink Floyd derivative guitar playing with additional reverb and delay; the tendency to rock out with heavy guitars when necessary.

As the music on the album is very cohesive and consistent, there's little point in breaking it down song by song. What you can expect are slow, post rock jangley guitar melodies that suggest Radio Head / Porcupine Tree moments; electronic music that might remind you of Ozric Tentacles without the eastern influences; choir vocals for aethereal effect or one vocalist repeating a line or two as the rhythm melody while others sing different lyrics over top as lead melodies, or vice versa; drums that sometimes hold a steady beat, introduce rhythm changes with sudden bursts, and drums that abruptly stop and leave you hanging with a melancholy jangley guitar melody; and sections of beautiful vocal melodies sung over an all-out heavy rock guitar riff.

I don't mean to say that each song combines all these elements and simply the permutations provide distinction between songs. And the band are keen enough to add piano, strings, cello, and other guest instruments on individual tracks. But you are quite likely to feel that the whole album is a kind of dreamy voyage with moments of near white- knuckle intensity like a trip across the clouds with roller coaster drops along the way. That the songs mostly segue one into the next only enhances this impression of continuity.

The Inside Out reissue I bought includes all the songs from the original American release, plus a second disc of material that appeared on the original UK release. There's a slight difference I feel between the material on the two discs, perhaps similar to how there's a difference between the material on IQ's "Road of Bones" disc one and disc two. It's the same band and the same instrumentation but somehow different. In any case, I am glad to have this second disc because I enjoy it as much as the first.

It's difficult to pull just a couple of tracks out to highlight since I can listen to the album from start to finish; however "The Bright Ambassadors of Morning" has some terrific moments, and "Bullits Dominae" has a wonderful vocal melody and concludes with a powerful delivery of rock guitar and strings.

This may not be what everyone thinks of as progressive rock as it lacks the musical complexity of the symphonic bands and no one comes across as a virtuoso. But I find PRR's combination of pop, rock, atmospheric rock, and electronica an well balanced blend.

 Amor Vincit Omnia by PURE REASON REVOLUTION album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.96 | 121 ratings

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Amor Vincit Omnia
Pure Reason Revolution Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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.
 The Dark Third by PURE REASON REVOLUTION album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.74 | 247 ratings

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The Dark Third
Pure Reason Revolution Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Some albums grow on you over time, despite not impressing you at first; Pure Reason Revolution's The Dark Third is an album which has shrunk on me. I quite enjoyed it when it first came out and considered it a highlight of the New Prog trend that was causing a number of highly original and novel acts to come out of the woodwork. Pure Reason Revolution's musical approach on this album seems to consist of working in sly Pink Floyd references to otherwise uninteresting and underdeveloped songs. The nadir of the album is probably the tedious and repetitive The Bright Ambassadors of Morning, on which Pure Reason Revolution reveal that their idea of "prog" is loudly repeating a distinctive snippet from the lyrics of Pink Floyd's Echoes over and over again until the listener is sick of it. A bit of a shambles, truth be told.
 Valour EP by PURE REASON REVOLUTION album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
2.16 | 6 ratings

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Valour EP
Pure Reason Revolution Crossover Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

2 stars Pure Reason Revolution began to me as a wonderful band with The Dark Third (2006) album. It was a wonderful and marvellous discover. Such a great album.

I was expecting for a new album and when Amor Vincit Omnia (2009) came I was trully astonished by how the band changed and when Hammer And Anvil (2010) came I didn't even bother to listen to it.

Valour EP (2011) was the swan song of the band, an EP that was a collection of early tracks with a brand new track called 'Tempest. I was interested in this EP cause it was a 'pay whatever you want' one and the money was being given to War Child (warchild.org.uk) and The Royal British Legion (britishlegion.org.uk) so I bought it.

But really, some ok versions, and a very good track called 'Gaudete', but all in all, I don't see the point of this as the final release of the band. Sad.

 The Dark Third by PURE REASON REVOLUTION album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.74 | 247 ratings

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The Dark Third
Pure Reason Revolution Crossover Prog

Review by 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 Dominć', displaying the Pixies/Nirvana dynamics, whilst brilliantly imbuing them with a slightly précised 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.

 Amor Vincit Omnia by PURE REASON REVOLUTION album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.96 | 121 ratings

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Amor Vincit Omnia
Pure Reason Revolution Crossover Prog

Review by russellk
Prog Reviewer

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.
Thanks to avestin for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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