Exposé Online banner

Pure Reason Revolution — The Dark Third
(One Haven/Red 82876845082, 2006, CD)

by Jeff Melton, 2008-01-01:

The Dark Third Cover art

Pure Reason Revolution is part of a new breed of British Neo-progressive acts balancing neo-folk vocal phrases with familiar engaging art rock trappings. Led by guitarist Jon Courtney and bassist Chloë Alper, the band wears diluted spacey Pink Floyd motifs on their sleeve while delivering strongly realized vocal phrases closer to that of Steven Wilson's best work for Porcupine Tree minus the tricky riffs. The band is big on epic theme development from loose ambient sound structures but they are still in their infancy when honing a unique identifiable character. Tracks such as "Apprentice of the Universe" demonstrate mastery of a slow building groove with Enya-like harmonies, which may turn away as many ears as turn them on. Crafted pop is also one of the band's strong points, with "The Bright Ambassadors of Morning" being a vocal highlight in the vein of Polyphonic Spree. At times the band approaches the best work of Tears for Fears on pieces such as "Voices in the Winter" and "The Intention Craft." This University of Westminster quintet caught the ears of the NEARfest planning committee sometime in 1996, resulting in a 2007 stateside appearance which brought the group a fair amount of attention. I'd like to hear the band again in a few years once they've had a chance to grow their muse and channel it into a clearer more refined direction.


by Mike McLatchey, 2018-06-21:

So there are quite a few versions of this album in different orders and such, but really when I think of this album, I'm primarily thinking of certain songs: "Aeropause," "Goshen's Remains," "Apprentice of the Universe," "Nimos and Tambos," and "Bullitts Domine" primarily and some of these don't show up on certain versions. Anyway The Dark Third was an album I played a lot during a very bad time. It's a bit of a cliché I think to say an album gets you through and it wouldn't be true here, but it was definitely something that captured my feelings at the time both sonically and lyrically, an album I essentially connected very deeply with. I think for a moment in time this band created a sort of Pink Floyd meets Beach Boys meets Fleetwood Mac sound that no one else had really done and at their heights (the songs above) the young band created some timeless material before their muses took them in a more techno direction. The overall sound is very cosmic, as if each episode sort of moves from one dream state to another, and the vocal harmonies are crafted with a lot of depth, the melodies extremely catchy but not too sweet. I find it a bit hard to listen to now due to what it evokes, but I'm no less impressed by it when I do. It's a good example, also, of an album where I think the best songs are so good they tend to overwhelm some of the others (for example I like "Bright Ambassadors of Morning," but the chorus gets repetitive) and I've often just pulled it out and played the songs I like. But overall the approach was strong I still think of it as a modern classic.


Filed under: New releases , 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Pure Reason Revolution

More info

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Steve Tibbetts - A Man about a Horse – My current thinking on the subject of a new Steve Tibbetts album that sounds pretty much like the last four Steve Tibbetts albums is: “Bring it on!” I suppose it would be different if there was...  (2003) » Read more

Sahara - Sunrise & For All the Clowns – Formed from the ashes of Subject Esq., Sahara got lost among the mass of other mid-70s German prog groups (Grobschnitt, Novalis, SFF, et al.) in spite of their good distribution, though they didn't...  (1995) » Read more

Ensemble Nimbus - Scapegoat – Ensemble Nimbus plays a sort of electric-acoustic chamber music. Percussionist Hasse Bruniusson of The Flower Kings and Sammla Mammas Manna is joined by Håkan Almkvist on guitar and other...  (1999) » Read more

Tor Lundvall - Empty City – There’s Copeland’s Quiet City and some years on The Muffins’ Open City. And countless preceding and following metaphorical interpretations of the City as a force in shaping the human...  (2008) » Read more

Bruford Levin - Upper Extremities – Upper Extremities serves as one of the new Crimson off-shoot projects while the next incarnation literally plays its way into existence. Bill Bruford and Tony Levin have conceived and executed a...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues