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Pure Reason Revolution - Above Cirrus CD (album) cover

ABOVE CIRRUS

Pure Reason Revolution

 

Crossover Prog

3.76 | 71 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars So glad to see these creative musicians keeping at it after their previous ten-year break before 2020's Eupnea reunion.

1. "Our Prism" (3:34) awesome heavy prog soundscape with great, powerful singing and textures. Great opener. A top three song for me. (9/10)

2. "New Kind of Evil" (8:32) feels like something found on the cutting room floor from after the Dark Third sessions. Odd pieces spliced together with incomplete-feeling development throughout. (17/20)

3. "Phantoms" (3:51) interesting electronic opening giving this a 1980s sound but once the multiple voice tracks join in and chorus is presented it starts to click. Love drums effects and aural twists and textures in the second and third minutes. Gives me a kind of 21st Century Nirvana meets Bowie feel. Another top three song. (9/10)

4. "Cruel Deliverance" (5:56) a song that seems to start without a beginning, to appear/form as if out of nothing, and then to develop chaotically, as if without a plan or without intention. Truly an interesting feel! And yet it comes together behind the repetitive choral delivery of the title phrase. Good stuff. Interesting eerie stuff in the end recitation. (8.75/10)

5. "Scream Sideways" (10:10) great four-minute intro reminiscent of the Dark Third atmospheres-into-heavy prog soundscapes. Not quite as compelling once the first vocal section takes over, but then, at 5:50 a full-on left turn into PINK FLOYD territory takes over before the heavy guitars, raspy vocals, and rich multi-layered harmony vocals join in. To add to the oddness of this composition, the vocal chorus fades at the end of the seventh minute, replaced by a hollow drum machine, which then fades, and then bluesy-heavenly piano play with ethereal multi-voiced (gong- like) vocals over the top before a very heavy MOTORPSYCHO-like instrumental passage takes over at the 9:00 mark. I've got to admit: this is not a song structure I would have predicted from PRR or any band. Risky, brave, and odd. Does it work? I'll tell you after another five or ten listens. (17.25/20)

6. "Dead Butterfly (7:09) for the first 1:10 we are treated to piano with gorgeous mutli-track, multi-voiced harmonized vocals. Then heavy guitar chords crash in to help usher in the drums, keys, bass, and guitars for the main body of the song (and the future choruses). The verses are then sung over electro-pop synth fabric with drums and Jon's very heavily treated lead vocal. The electronica sounds and textures used here are quite unusual: I'm not sure if they're retro or totally fresh/new. Some cool codas and diversions within. I find it hard to get past the near-Led Zeppelin/Collective Soul guitar chord phrasing is a bit hard to get past though--even though you eventually get used to it. (13.25/15)

7. "Lucid" (6:49) piano and Jon's solo voce open this one before cool power up segues into great song construct-- great balance between power and delicacy, emotion and atmosphere. Plus, incredible b vox by ChloŽ. Definitely a top three song for me. (13.5/15)

Total Time 46:01

More than Eupnea, the band is definitely back on track--back to realizing the potential displayed by their 2003 debut, The Dark Third. I only wish we could hear more of the lovely voice of ChloŽ Alper in the lead, but, still, the rich harmony vocal arrangements here are way better than Eupnea and almost as good as those from the early 2000s. And the sound engineering and production here is a big step up from Eupnea. Not sure what to make of all the vocal clips at each song's ending--what is the band trying to say/convey here?

B/four stars; not enough to make this a universal recommendations for all, but it is an excellent prog record that many people will love.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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