Hammer And Anvil is Pure Reason Revolution’s third album and will be released later this month. Again, the band heads into a very electronic and hard direction of sound despite their progressive debut The Dark Third. So this album is rather in the vein of the second one, Amor Vincit Omnia.
Most of the tracks are upbeat electro rockers, sometimes sounding like a mix of The Prodigy and Depeche Mode – but this doesn’t need to be bad. The only sad thing is that the beat often rules too much: rhythmic changes are missing. By the way, the album sounds very danceable, indeed. A hint at the mainstream, perhaps? Sometimes it’s hard to tell.
But there still are progressive elements on this album. Take the great track Open Insurrection with its slowly rising power, for example. Sadly, these elements are outnumbered. Some song passages sound very good, but suddenly the beat strikes back and takes away all these great ideas.
Then there are songs like the opener Fight Fire, which sounds like a sped up Muse single, or the closer Armistice which reminds me of 80’s electro/new wave bands. Blitzkrieg even features unoriginal techno beats.
What can’t be denied are the powerful vocals that rescue some tracks from being uninterestingly average. Whether they are solo or harmony – the vocals always sound great.
The mix of electronic and progressive sounds didn’t work out so well on Hammer And Anvil. And some songs are so different from each other that they don’t work on the same album. It’s as if other bands have contributed tracks. All in all Hammer And Anvil is simply incoherent.
written by Wolfgang Merx