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

THE DARK THIRD

Pure Reason Revolution

 

Crossover Prog

3.75 | 273 ratings

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Teaflax
5 stars I had very high hopes for this album, since the 12-minute single The Bright Ambassadors of Morning and the EP Cautionary Tales for the Brave had been very good indeed. Even so, the quality of this album surprised me.

What is most striking about PRR's style is how effortless it all seems, and how they craft something that is truly unique with very small means. Yet the style seems fully formed and cohesive.

The tricks and gestures of Prog are really not much in evidence here, once you look past the structure of the songs and the album itself. There are no fiddly solos, few odd meters and no mellotrons at all - sound-wise, this is clearly a product of today. But even though it is thoroughly modern, The Dark Third is a concept album, revolving around sleep and dreams. Luckily, the lyrics never devolve into cheap metaphor or clumsy word-play, letting the words just be an integral instrument in the composition.

The album has some shadings of modern Dub Electronica, but most of all it is infused with the sounds of British Post-Prog underground bands like Radiohead, Cooper Temple Clause, Muse and Oceansize. Yet at the same time, seamlessly integrated into the whole, there's the multi-harmony approach of The Beach Boys and early Yes, the spacey Psychedelia of pre-Darkside Pink Floyd, an ear for a melody that is catchy but never banal, and a willingness to throw you a curve-ball or two along the way.

All the while without sounding too difficult. It's a neat trick, and one that I think could translate into some real long-term success, because it offers both some immediate appeal with long shelf life.

I could rave forever about Pure Reason Revolution, because it is for moments like those first few listens to The Dark Third that I still spend so much time searching out new bands and listening to new music. But I am hyper-critical, and rarely does an act come along that so completely crumbles my defenses. I have some minor rational reasons why maybe The Dark Third isn't quite a five-star album, but my emotional heart overrides all that, and it says: Best Debut Album of the 21st Century. Maybe Best Album of the Decade.

In short: absolutely stunning.

Note: The US release of The Dark Third is said to have replaced The Twyncyn/Trembling Willows (which seems to be the fan favorite, at least) with The Intention Craft from the Cautionary Tales... EP.

Teaflax | 5/5 |

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