Pure Reason Revolution - The Dark Third

9 songs
64:50 minutes
***** ***


"The missing link between Pink Floyd and the 21st century", is what their label says about them. If I were to be really mean, I'd say this is like Wish You Were Here was rerecorded by a band with the really god-awful haircuts of London based brit rock bands of the early 21st century. Fortunately PRR are more rooted in the Seventies spectrum of progressive rock, although they gloss it up with a spectacular production that reminds of bands like Archive and Porcupine Tree.

The album title relates to the eight hours of sleep we undergo every day, and to the dreams we have during that time. This makes for some really unstraightforward songwriting and cryptic lyrics, which can be seen as a highlight or a default. I go for the former. The non-linear structures take advantage of the very peculiar vocals that are most of the times complex choir types, a bit like the unwashed hippies The Mamas & the Papas taking inspiration from medieval prog rockers Gentle Giant. Funnily enough, PRR's producer used to work with Gentle Giant in the past, although also with Suicidial Tendencies, but that's a different story.

Most of the time, PRR play relatively normally long songs, but the twelve minute epic The Bright Ambassadors Of Morning, with more than sixty vocal tracks (welcome to the digital millennium!), shows the true power behind PRR's compositional strength.

The Dark Third is an exquisite modern prog album with a very special take on the vocals. Sometimes a little less singing would have emphasised their choir style better, but on the whole, this is a work that doesn't need any comparisons to other contemporary rock bands. The symbiosis of hippie music, retro prog and glossy production is rather unparalleled today.

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