Pure Reason Revolution
The Dark Third (2020 Reissue)
Ltd. 2CD Digipak, Gatefold 2LP+2CD
"Whatever Pure Reason Revolution produces is going to echo the back catalogue, but it cannot help but be a progression." - Chloë Alper

In their decade as a band, Pure Reason Revolution relentlessly innovated on every release. Their debut was a modern spin on classic prog, as accessible to fans of Tool and Muse as it was to Pink Floyd fans. Amor Vincit Omnia and Hammer and Anvil took them into electronic territory, all while maintaining a common progressive rock thread.

It's fitting then that Eupnea, the long-awaited return from the band, sees them harking back to their earliest days, while rolling in all of the musical experiments and experience they've gathered in the intervening years.

The cinematic soundscapes of Hammer and Anvil? Check. The dark atmosphere and synths of Amor Vincit Omnia? Check. The gauzy psych-prog of their debut? Ch-check.

It's sprawling, with three tracks hitting the ten-minute mark, and one notching up against fifteen. Sure, track length does not equal ambition, but still, it's quite the statement of intent.

So why now? After completing the touring cycle for the debut album by Bullet Height - his electronic duo with vocalist Sammi Doll - Jon took an extended break. "I didn't do any music for six months or more, and then I just really started thinking, 'where am I?', 'who am I?' it was like a musical reset or something. I started back in the studio and what I was doing was much more proggy sounding. I thought, 'well, that doesn't really fit with Bullet Height, but this fits with Pure Reason, it sounds like Pure Reason.'"

Rather than shy away from it, he picked up the phone. "I thought well, I need to speak to Chloë if this is going to be even a possibility... she said it sounded like a great idea.

"The distance from the project gave us reflection time. I think all of us wanted to have a go at some other things, see what they were like and then maybe come back to it," Chloë says, adding that it was clear what the tone of the new album should be. "We wanted it to feel firmly proggy as well as exciting and new, and raw."

That wasn't the only call Jon made. His next was to Greg Jong, the original guitarist of the band.

"I had some demos knocking around for this new stuff I'd been working on and I said, 'look Greg, how do you feel about coming over to Berlin?'" recalls Jon. They collaborated on three of the album's six tracks, with his contribution to the sound of Eupnea best summarised by his past writing & production credits in PRR - "we did the initial demos together that led to the Sony deal, so that would have been tracks like Apprentice of the Universe, Nimos & Tambos, and Bright Ambassadors of Morning."

For some bands, this would simply be retreading old ground. For Pure Reason Revolution this relaunch is a rebirth, producing their most confident record yet, which takes them in a new direction while weaving in the elements that endeared them to fans in the first place