The British Pure Reason Revolution is responsible for a small revolution in the progworld with “The Dark Third” in 2006. On the album, the band combines classic progressive rock with modern influences from electronics and dance. After the two albums “Amor Vincit Omnia” (2009) and “Hammer And Anvil” (2010), they no longer feel inspiration and one year later the members choose their own path. However, on June 22, 2019 during the Midsummer Prog Festival in Valkenburg, the band unexpectedly makes a comeback and this results in the first album in ten years, “Eupnea”.
Eupnoe is the medical term for calm, normal breathing. With such an album title, it is therefore tempting to speak of a long breather (a long break), because of the ten years between the third and fourth album. However, the remarkable title has been chosen for another reason. The new album describes the emotions and feelings of a father when he sees his two months prematurely born daughter fighting for her life in intensive care.
Although the band is moving more and more in the electronic direction with each album, “Eupnea” marks a return to the rock sound from the first album. That certainly doesn’t mean that the influences from electronics and dance have disappeared. The balance on this album, however, tilts considerably less in that direction. Whether that’s a good thing, I’m happy to leave that up to the listener.
The band sounds considerably more mature because of the for Pure Reason Revolution characteristic showdown between (progressive) rock on the one hand and electronic music on the other. It is also considerably less turbulent on this album. The playful, almost recalcitrant sound of the debut album has been exchanged for a more thoughtful approach. The music still sounds familiar, but this time less intense. While “The Dark Third” presents us with a mix of Muse, Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree and The Prodigy that is as exciting as it is exciting, “Eupnea” sounds more like a fusion of the first three bands with Depeche Mode.
The lack of the uplifting, often jumpy character of the earlier albums, can probably be attributed to the ten years of absence between the third and fourth album. However, I think the disturbing theme of the album played a significant role. After all, with such a melancholy subject, it is only logical that the band does not want to be seduced by exaggerated bombast and other frivolities.