Classic Album Review

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Pure Reason Revolution - "The Dark Third"

ALBUM REVIEW: Pure Reason Revolution – “The Dark Third” 2007 Europe Release

BEST TRACKS: Golden Clothes, Twyncyn / Trembling Willows, Voices in Winter

FCC Violations: none

Recommended if you like: Space rock AND Symphonic metal 

 One of the best progressive rock albums to be released in 2006, but went largely unnoticed. The Europe Release in 2007 is the important one to obtain given that it has 5 added tracks that can only be found on that release and are some of the best tracks on the album. 

Some background is that Pure Reason Revolution was formed in England in 2003 and have released 3 full-length studio albums since then. The Dark Third is their first and probably their most essential album. If you have any interest in both space rock and symphonic metal, this may become your new favorite album. 

According to Wikipedia, the “dark third” is a reference to how a person spends a third of their life asleep, and this comes out in the spacey themes that pervade this album.

Produced by Paul Northfield (who has produced albums from many other progressive outfits such as Dream Theater and Rush), this album takes virtuosic instrumentation and a capella and crafts it into a rainbow of different emotions. One moment you’ll feel reminiscent for the past, and the next you’ll feel an epic march toward the future. I have always described this album as “if the members of Pink Floyd decided to start a symphonic metal band and add a female vocalist.” In fact, one of the tracks from this album “The Bright Ambassadors of Morning” is a direct reference to one of the greatest Pink Floyd tracks of all time, “Echoes.” 

The beginning of The Dark Third is a long wash of spacey guitar riffs as it works its way into the 2nd track “Goshen’s Remains” where the female vocals come in, the music slows down, and builds into an intense wall of sound, which continues to persist throughout most of the tracks. Of course there are parts where things get slowed down, but that delectable intensity never quite ceases. One of my personal favorite tracks on the album is “Voices of Winter / In the Realms of the Divine” which exemplifies this duality perfectly. The first side of the track being more low-key “astral folk” and then moving into the second half which uses the themes from the first half for a crazy build up into another crash. 

Another track that exemplifies the “eclectic”-ness of this album is the last track (European Release only) “Golden Clothes.” This track is 7 and a half minutes long but contains 3 themes that go from light to dark and back with ease, and contain an impressive mixing of genres ranging from classical, to alternative, to metal, to electronica.

Give this album a shot if you are interested in anything that does a lot of genre-mixing, but even moreso if you enjoy space rock and symphonic metal. 

 -ArtZoid (Host of The Election)