Pure Reason Revolution - Hammer And Anvil (2010)
(alternative rock / electronic)
It's been a long way down a slow, steady slide from the near-eponymous release of 2006, The Dark Third. The band tried something with Amor Vincit Omnia but the album didn't end up as a major success, so they decided to try the same thing again. And again, without a major success. Their debut was a freely-flowing atmospheric piece of art with its distinct sound that separated them from post progressive rock groups. Hell, it was possible to call them progressive back in 2006 but now they're stuck in a whirlpool of mediocrity and a compelling force driving them towards a lighter, easy-to-listen style.
The thematics revolve around the concept of war and the emotions surrounding it. The heavy industrial sound on songs like Last Man, Last Round give good back-up supporting the theme musically and with abstract, yet clearly meaningful lyrics of songs like Patriarch carry their weight into the theme as well. The majority of the songs end up sounding catchy and Black Mourning with its groovy riff defines the album's hit product: a fairly short track that's easy on the ears but doesn't come equipped with any major artillery.
The only nuclear bomb that Pure Reason Revolution manages to drop on you from Hammer And Anvil is Open Insurrection, which makes the band sound like the same group I fell in love with originally. There are some remnants of the former glory but The Dark Third remains as the magnum opus of Pure Reason Revolution.