My first impression is that AVO had better "ZOMG" tracks (VC, Gloaming), but this one is better on the whole. My opinion will surely change over the course of a few listens though. Fantastic album, #1 of 2010 for sure, to be one of my favorites of all time.
Post by blondeambassador on Oct 18, 2010 13:36:35 GMT
I'm sure it deserves a more thorough review but just to summarise my feeling about it:
I think its amazing from start to finish...it brings together the best of TDT and AVO to make what I see as their most 'whole' album. I know people have said they find certain tracks to be weak but I can't see it...though admittedly I occasionally skip Open Insurrection but only to get to Armistice quicker, which at the moment is the one that is going on repeat. But I know my favourite track will change, it was Fight Fire, then Over The Top, then Valour....etc....
Post by the dark fourth on Oct 18, 2010 17:03:51 GMT
OK, I love this album to pieces. Because I'm not a musical journalist capable of writing the long flowing reams of praise it deserves, I'm going to content myself by doing a geeky list of how much I like all the songs, in reverse order, complete with pointless numbers out of 10 (which as you can see doesn't work very well on an album where almost every song is essentially a 10) :
Over the Top – 5/10 This is the only Pure Reason Revolution song that I would call weak. The vocals are uncharacteristically unimaginative in arrangement (it’s more or less all Jon) and very little changes over the song. I’m only not giving it less than 5 because it’s still well produced and there’re one or two moments which are OK.
Armistice – 8/10 This is a beautiful song and ties up the album really nicely. For some reason I particularly like listening to it when I’m drunk (what does this say about me/it?). It’s not the most engaging though, and the loud bits fall a little flat. I think the last 30 seconds are a better closer than the last 30 seconds of AVO, but the song as a whole is clearly not in the same league.
Never Divide – 8.5/10 Cool song, lots of great hooks, standard PRR really. I’m in two minds about the way the guitar sounds in the chorus – sometimes I think it’s really cool, sometimes it’s too Kasabian. Also the a cappella part at the end is lovely but I think could have been made even better. But it does segue really well into the genius that is Blitzkrieg.
Patriarch – 9/10 It’s testament to how phenomenal this album is that this song is so low on my list. It’s superb. I especially like how it explores really cool chord patterns beyond the normal PRR range. What’s great is that the vocals are really sublime, but the instrumentation is equally enchanting and pleasingly subtle. Bit of a rubbish song title though.
Black Mourning – 9.1/10 This song has re-grown on me recently. It’s fairly simple but such a joy to listen to. Brilliant.
Last Man Last Round – 9.7/10 Wow. What. A. Tune. Listening to this with the volume up in big headphones is one of the finest experiences available to man. So raw and powerful, vivid, dark and moving. The production is insane, the atmosphere is ridiculously intense. And of course the beautiful vocals in the chorus. This song captures better than any other, for me, the staggering nature of war.
Blitzkrieg – 9.8/10 So impressive. Together with Open Insurrection, this song saves the album from being “just” a collection of great tunes and turns it into a coherent and monstrous concept record. Jon/Bellamy really show off their mastery of electro build-ups, and the middle section is probably the best vocal part in the whole album/world. I just wish it were longer really.
Valour – 9.9/10 What can I say? The band at their best. Actually it reminds me a lot of Trembling Willows, but updated for the Deus era. It’s got the same chanting-like verses, the same alternating-vocal choruses. The epic drop at the end is truly mind-blowing. The chorus is probably the most classically PRR (ie amazing) on the album.
Fight Fire – 10/10 Having been one of the few who liked this song from the start, I feel I’m justified in proclaiming it spectacular. So huge! And it’s all the better for being really quite different to the usual PRR mould.
Open Insurrection – infinity/10 This is hands down my favourite PRR song and of course/therefore my favourite ever song. I still think it should have been worked into a 15-minute epic by combining it with Blitzkrieg and extending them both, but even as it stands I don’t think words can grasp how I feel when I listen to this. Normally it leaves me in blissful awe and disbelief. Better make the live set.
What else? I like the prog themes. I like the electro themes. A worthy successor to AVO and TDT, which is about the highest praise I can give. I hope their next album (there *will* be a next album) explores some of the more experimental song structures of Blitzkrieg and Open Insurrection. Jolly good.
Post by blondeambassador on Oct 18, 2010 17:50:56 GMT
Wow, thedarkfourth, what's astonishing is how we can both love the album but almost in reverse ways- if I was to do a track listing like that, Armistice would be up at the top and, as I said, I tend to give Open Insurrection a miss on a regular basis. Not that I don't like it but I find it the least interesting of them...maybe that's the me being less on the prog side of PRR fans coming through...
Blitzkrieg is, obviously, a masterpiece, the middle section steals the show entirely.