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Thread: FEATURED ALBUM: Pure Reason Revolution - Eupnea

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    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    FEATURED ALBUM: Pure Reason Revolution - Eupnea

    In continuing to highlight some of the notable releases of 2020, next up is a reunion release from Pure Reason Revolution, who made an impact with many when they released The Dark Third about 15 years ago. Eupnea attempts to capture the magic from the first album.



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    Review from ProgArchives
    Pure Reason Revolution is one of those bands that started off strongly with their album 'The Dark Third' in 2006, an album that would instantly get a lot of respect in prog circles, especially among Pink Floyd fans. Their music mixed those lush PF sounds with their own unique male/female layered vocals, at times becoming very exploratory and giving a space rock mentality. Everyone was interested in where this band would go. Unfortunately, they moved to a more radio-friendly sound, and the follow up albums 'Amor Vincit Omnia' and 'Hammer and Anvil' did not stand up to the expectations set by that debut album. After ten years of becoming basically a memory, everyone had given up on them and had to settle on their one excellent album. Suddenly, the announcement was made that their new album 'Eupnea' would be released in 2020 and that it would be a return to form. Yeah, we've all heard that one before. But I have to admit that I was curious anyway.

    So, I heard the new album once, and thought it sounded really great. But I had to be sure. So I listened more, and things just kept getting better the more I would listen. Not only has the band had a 'return to form', but they have also 'progressed' their sound to include a wider palette of styles making themselves more 'eclectic' in a way, effectively infusing other progressive styles into their music. Jon and Chloe have returned, and in a big way.

    'New Obsession' sounds a few steps more promising than what we have been hearing from the band in their last few albums. There is a level of the poppiness there, but there is a definite return to form, at least somewhat. However, with 'Silent Genesis', the band not only returns to full-form with an amazing 10 minute track, but even steps ever so confidently into both progressive metal and jazz fusion territories as the track continues. The music as a result sounds so much more mature with a track that is even better than anything on their masterpiece album 'The Dark Third'. What an impressive track, and now we hear that the compositional genius of the band has only been laying dormant for several years, only to be awakened with a vengeance on this track.

    'Maelstrom' then takes on a nice, slick and lush sound with Chloe taking the lead vocals alone this time before eventually sharing them with Jon later on. Now, we've got a track that sits quite comfortably among a more artistic pop sound, one that merits a spot alongside some of the better tracks of Alan Parsons Project, but with the unique PRR harmonies. But, it picks up some steam by the last third of the track with a great balance of vocals/guitars/keyboards. Very nice. 'Ghosts and Typhoons' goes back to a longer form track and begins with a sound more reminiscent of the songs on 'The Dark Third', that sound that so effectively brings in the Pink Floyd-ian styles that were explored so well on that album while retaining their unique vocal styling. But, you are not left to just float along for 8 minutes, like you might have been on that previous album. This time, the music becomes heavier and more intense, using dynamics to their advantage to create more depth. Then, to make it even more interesting, you get splashes of some great symphonic styles which later give way to layers of heaviness as it all re-develops to end in a powerful way.

    The rest of the album continues to impress and amaze, especially with the 13 minute title track. When you listen to this, you will know that it is still the same band that created 'The Dark Third', but have even improved beyond that, which is what you would expect from any top-rate progressive band. I definitely had my doubts that PRR could ever come close to their debut album, but not only have they come close to it, they have surpassed it. Now they have done something that I had never expected them to do, create an album that could easily contend for the best album of the year. It is so good to have them back, better than ever! -Tcat



    Last edited by Poisoned Youth; 5 Days Ago at 12:30 PM.
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    Member TheH's Avatar
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    Although it is their second best ablum it is still miles away from The Dark Third. Not bad at all but didn't blew me out of the water.

    Sales might have also not been to good, as many online Shops sell it for blow out Prices (Paid 5 bucks for the Digi)

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    Member LASERCD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheH View Post
    Although it is their second best ablum it is still miles away from The Dark Third. Not bad at all but didn't blew me out of the water.

    Sales might have also not been to good, as many online Shops sell it for blow out Prices (Paid 5 bucks for the Digi)
    It was bad timing. It was released right when COVID19 hit and all retail brick and mortar were closing up. Sony was left with a ton of inventory they had to move so it was deeply discounted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheH View Post
    Although it is their second best ablum it is still miles away from The Dark Third. Not bad at all but didn't blew me out of the water.
    )
    Pretty much my exact same thoughts. I really like it and it was one of my favorite albums of 2019, but for me "The Dark Third" is a masterpiece and it did not come close to that level.

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    I think it's a really good album, and got the nod from me as my #2 album of 2020. I hadn't thought about comparing it with the Dark Third, but that was a special album, it's true.

    neil

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    Member yesman1955's Avatar
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    Not disputing what TheH said, but every online store I checked was selling the CD version for $14.98. TheH may have lucked into a short-lived EOY clearance sale.

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    That was my introduction to PRR although I'd heard of them back when The Dark Third made quite a buzz in the prog community, but I didn't check them out at the time.

    I really enjoyed Eupnea, it's been a lockdown favorite and probably my pick for the best album of 2020. I still think they could use a bit more soloing at times, it seems guitars and keyboards are mostly used for chords and textures. I could also do with a less overwhelming drum sound in the mix.

    I tried The Dark Third next and found that Eupnea was in fact a very direct continuation of that album in terms of sound. I only listened to The Dark Third about three times but I feel like every song is identical and uses the same musical devices, which ends up being boring (IMO of course, I know it's a favorite to many). I find Eupnea much less monotonous but it might only be due to its shorter length making it more palatable.

    I think I read somewhere that they are already working on a follow up. Maybe they want to capitalize on the good press they got with this one, even though it probably sold less than it could have due to the pandemic. I hope the new one brings something else to their sound otherwise I'll probably be bored.
    Last edited by LeFrog; 4 Days Ago at 04:27 PM.
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    Member gearHed289's Avatar
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    I stumbled across this band through Spotify. I bought this one (full price) and the Dark Third reissue together. I really like the different influences I hear. Has anyone seen them live? The stuff I've found on YouTube honestly isn't the greatest. I sometimes feel like the gal should do more of the singing.

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    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gearHed289 View Post
    Has anyone seen them live? The stuff I've found on YouTube honestly isn't the greatest. I sometimes feel like the gal should do more of the singing.
    They played NEARfest one year. I had never heard them before, and was indifferent about their performance and material. Didn't hate 'em, didn't like 'em either.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    They played NEARfest one year. I had never heard them before, and was indifferent about their performance and material. Didn't hate 'em, didn't like 'em either.
    Saying as someone who actually liked/appreciated The Dark Third, that was one of the worst “live” shows I’ve ever seen. More Memorex than live.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by TheH View Post
    Although it is their second best ablum it is still miles away from The Dark Third. Not bad at all but didn't blew me out of the water.

    Sales might have also not been to good, as many online Shops sell it for blow out Prices (Paid 5 bucks for the Digi)
    Which shops? I'll buy.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by gearHed289 View Post
    I stumbled across this band through Spotify. I bought this one (full price) and the Dark Third reissue together. I really like the different influences I hear. Has anyone seen them live? The stuff I've found on YouTube honestly isn't the greatest. I sometimes feel like the gal should do more of the singing.
    I saw them quite down the bill at a mainstream U.K. festival, around the time of The Dark Third. It wasn’t really their crowd, indeed not really much of a crowd as it was afternoon, and a festival shortened set. I loved the album and enjoyed what I saw, but would have preferred a small club, a partisan crowd and an evening gig.

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    Member TheH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crawford Glissadevil View Post
    Which shops? I'll buy.
    My German online Dealers would be of no use to you as P&P would exced anything saved in Prices.

    Checked Prices again and it looks like I was lucky. Prices are up again but still on a lower Level.
    (Germany has a much higher Price Level at CDs than the USA)

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