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The Dear Hunter - Act III: Life And Death CD (album) cover


The Dear Hunter


Crossover Prog

4.04 | 289 ratings

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fighting sleep
4 stars There is something so tantalizing and charming about the Dear Hunter's music that has me wondering sometimes why I love it so much.

Each subsequent album seems to make slight improvements on the previous, and I have to admit, if Crescenzo can make any improvements upon Act III, I will eat my hat. And love every moment of it.

Act I was short and unpolished. Act II is polished but wallows in uninspired moments. Now, we finally have the finished product. The only real concern to be leveled at Life and Death is that it seems to revel in the formula of the other two albums. Hopefully, Crescenzo can break into other artistic directions as he continues the saga.

Now, with that exception, Act III is certainly an impressive affair. It starts out with the customary atmospheric intro turning quickly into fiery assault. From the first minute of "In Cauda Venenum", I knew I was in for something special. The song complements a powerful brass section with quasi-Latin organs and drum-work, propelled by laser guitar work into a sudden down-tempo shift into lounge crooning and symphonic accompaniments.

Even more impressive is the sudden switch into "What It Means To Be Alone" which floats along in a wash of orchestra and a shimmering chorus; some of Crescenzo's best vocal work.

The album only continues to astonish from there. "The Tank" dances from menacing strings to marching beats and heart-breaking chorus. "The Poison Woman" is devilish and enchanting, with lyrics that portray a woman who makes her living tricking people into drinking deadly poison. The listener becomes awash in sickly sweet guitar-work and feedback along with haunting vocal harmonies in "The Thief". The two-part "Son" and "Father" is the quietest piece on the album, in which Crescenzo elects to go straight for the heart-strings.

One thing that I love about the Dear Hunter is that they can make anything sound epic. The melodies all sound almost too big for four and five-minute songs. Case in point, "Mustard Gas" is the culmination of every inclination in the group to create monstrously huge melodies. Prog-lovers will undoubtedly gravitate towards this song, and with good reason. It's simply fantastic.

As is the entire album. If you haven't already bought Act III: Life and Death, then now would be a good time.

fighting sleep | 4/5 |


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