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Pure Reason Revolution – Above Cirrus (2022)
First album in a couple of years from this most interesting of bands. Always had a soft spot for them since hearing the Bright Ambassadors of Morning and buying it on CD Single!
Anyway, they are back in 2022 with a rather excellent new album. No mean departure from them in terms of sound: same great vocals and vocal harmonies, killer riffs and groovy vibes. There is more guitar on this album, I guess, than some of the previous ones. Very, very heavy in parts. In between all of the mad riffing, there are moments of joyful, spacey vibes. New Kind of Evil demonstrates this perfectly. At 8+ minutes, this is one meaty track!
Phantoms is a fast-paced rocker that faily rips along. Cruel Deliverance is almost ballad like. Very nice track and placed exactly where it needs to be on the album following, as it does, some very intense music.
Scream Sideways, the next track, at 10 minutes, is the longest on the album. After a slow build and some lovely clean guitar breaks, it’s head first into a chugging riff of gargantuan heaviness! Following that, there are some cool vocal passages. And then a super groovy – yes, groovy – middle section with Fender Rhodes vamping away like it’s 1975 or something. Fabulous detour. Terrific track and the abum highlight for me.
Dead Butterfly kicks off with some beautiful vocals from Chloe against an electic piano or some such keyboard instrument. And then it’s back to the heavy stuff! Lots of dynamics on this track. Excellent.
Final track, Lucid, has a great vocal mix and some nice guitar work in the background. Sounds like maybe an e-bow or something was being used. Could be wrong, of course! The softer vocal parts have some great cymbal work going on! By turns heavy and mellow, this is a geat album closer and will no doubt be a live show highlight.
PRR really fall into that category of band with a distinctive sound: you can always identify their music from anyone else’s. I dearesay it’s not to everyone’s taste, but once you acquire it, it scratches the musical itch beautfully. Right now, I consider Above Cirrus to be their best album.