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

THE DARK THIRD

Pure Reason Revolution

 

Crossover Prog

3.74 | 249 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Despite what several critics have said, I don't see many elements of Pink Floyd (or psychedelic / space rock, for that matter) in this music at all. The sound is more or less a blend of contemporary rock and elegant blankets of vocals, with generous dashes of electronic music. It is rare that I find a band so full of grace in their music, and I am pleased every time I listen to it. The showmanship is kept tastefully minimal, as the band prefers to blend rather than exhibit the talents of the individual musicians, which is to say, one will not find much in the way of guitar or keyboard solos here. The tone spans from quiet and drowsy to hard-hitting. The title of the album refers to the third of our lives we spend sleeping. The music is deliberately repetitive in places, incorporating elements of trance music. The vocals are the strongest aspect of this album, with an abundance of counterpoint melodies and unforgettable tunes. Perhaps the only negative thing about this album is that by the time the sixth or seventh track rolls around, the listener may be bored with the same sound; it is true that this album retains virtually no variety whatsoever. That, in my opinion, is made up for by the stellar sound that makes this album stand out as a wonder of contemporary music. This review is with respect to the US release.

"Aeropause" Urbane rock music with a driving beat, clean guitars that echo in the background (calling forth the melody of the next piece), and slide guitar that sings like a siren make up the introductory instrumental.

"Goshen's Remains" The preceding instrumental flows directly into the first vocal track. Chloe Alper has a mesmerizing voice, and the vocal melody here is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the sophisticated layers of vocals and counterpoint Pure Reason Revolution brings. Electronic percussion is an important aspect of the song, and a sweet violin makes a brief appearance.

"Apprentice of the Universe" An electronic passage from the previous song brings the listener to the third track. This time, Jon Courtney handles the lead vocals. As with before, the melody is memorable after only one listen, and this is a highly satisfying track.

"The Bright Ambassadors of Morning" From the previous song flows this extended masterpiece. The hauntingly delicate voice of Alper calls out, and the instrumentation is evocative of Celtic music, most notably that Loreena McKennitt ("The Mummer's Dance" comes to mind). After the introductory music comes to a close, the song proper begins, and is the heaviest moment so far, but still embellishes the sound (again, with layers of voices) with electronic sounds. A repeated pair of lines serves as the basis for the rest of the musicians and vocalists to build over. The repetitive instrumental section in the middle is similar in flavor to the "Wurm" section of Yes's "Starship Trooper." The band returns to heavy rock for the finale of the song, but does not end it without returning to the refrain or bringing the listener back to the haunting voice from before.

"Nimos and Tambos" Over a steady beat, guitar and vocals work with each other to give the impression that the listener is in for a pop track; this is not so. While the music is somewhat more accessible, it is no less sophisticated than anything that has come before.

"Voices in Winter / In The Realms of the Divine" Similar to the first track, clean electric guitar and slide guitar perform in tandem to introduce the soft vocals, the male voice more prominent than the female. As always, the vocal melody ingrains itself on the hearer's memory after only one listen. While the songs are merged together on one track, there is a clear distinction between them. This is by far the heaviest thing on this album, with raging guitar and screeching violin.

"Bullitts DominŠ" Tasteful guitar and organ, and soon electronic drums, serve as the basis for the verses. The chorus (again displaying Alper's glorious vocals) is decidedly heavier.

"Arrival / The Intention Craft" Another compound track features droning guitar and melodic electronic sounds. The growling bass works well on this heavy track. Again, the vocal harmonies are phenomenal, and there is some call-and-response business that serves as the chorus. The last minute offers some refreshing variety, with some sedated piano and voices.

"He Tried to Show Them Magic! / Ambassadors Return" Immediate vocals kick off the final and longest song. Gritty guitar dominates the music, and the vocal refrain from "The Bright Ambassadors of Morning" makes a reappearance. The almost metallic aspect departs for a while, leaving the listener with a drifting violin and piano segment, which fade away to usher in the final, hidden song (that appears after five minutes of silence).

"Asleep Under Eiderdown" The hidden song, while displaying little variance from all that came before, does mildly incorporate some mellow jazz elements. Otherwise, it's a simple song, but nothing so special as to require a five minute prelude of silence.

Epignosis | 4/5 |

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