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

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sándor Szabó / Kevin Kastning - Parabola – Like the previous Szabó/Kastning duets, Parabola consists of improvisations utilizing different kinds of acoustic guitar other than the standard variety – 6- and 12- string baritones and...  (2010) » Read more

Glass Hammer - Perelandra – If you're looking for a good keyboard album, then look no further. Glass Hammer has lots to offer in that department. There are some great keyboard parts on Perelandra and the keyboards are most...  (1996) » Read more

Hoven Droven - Hippa – Well, I'm not sure I wanted a "kinder, gentler" Hoven Droven, but that's what we've all got on their 2001 release. It's not entirely acoustic, though the electric guitar is rather subdued, appearing...  (2001) » Read more

Abiogenesi - Abiogenesi – It's should be pretty clear from the outside what you're in for on the inside. Front cover: is it Dracula walking away from his latest victim? Back cover: a graveyard! And inside the the booklet among...  (1996) » Read more

Opeth - Lamentations - Live at Shepherd's Bush Empire 2003 – This concert focuses mostly on Opeth’s “mellow” album Damnation. For the first set, it is performed in its entirety in order (with one other song interpolated). Then they take a...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues