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The Dear Hunter - Act I: The Lake South, The River North CD (album) cover


The Dear Hunter


Crossover Prog

4.12 | 259 ratings

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3 stars A significant first step into perfection.

I never heard any of his earlier work wiht The Receiving End of Sirens, so the Dear Hunter project is my first introduction to this modern genius Casey Crescenzo. In one listen, Casey's sense of great melodies will capture you. The first acapella prologue "Battesimo Del Fuoco" kicks off the six part concept strongly. No matter what you are doing once the CD starts spinning you just can't resist this beauty and really stop to 'listen' to the music. In retrospect, I believe this track sets up the whole tragic atmosphere of the story. Very good vocal performance by the guy and his 'family'. The next piece "The Lake South" is a short brass band interlude which makes it quite odd for a prog act, but then it segues into the powerful and eclectric "City Escape", which mixes punk angst and sophisticated dramatic emo vocal and a few abrupt changes. Casey tries to employ quite a bit of acapella towards the end of this track. Very good track but the chorus is repeated a few too many times. Track 3, the oddly named "The Inquiry of Ms Terri" alone would make this album a worthy of 4 star at the very least. It starts calmly but don't let that fool you. The chorus (Touch, taste Feel it ripping me down) mixes a bit of blues, and the riff (can't believe this hasn't been done before), while overly easy palm-muted power chords, is a real killer and, tadah, the next verse (The inquiry of Ms Terri, the Expiry of mysiry ...) is even better! The vocal 'progresses' from soft to a scream, which builds up to the next chorus. Brilliant! I played this track on the internet and my wife, hearing just this very bit, told me to just buy this CD. It seems as if Casey doesn't want to spoil his best melody so he just use this part only once in the song (of course it is transferred to the calmer instrumental section). I don't think he would be able to top this one, (and while Acts II and III are also very melodically strong, nothing comes close to this one short section of this song). It IS the one song that makes an album. 1878 could be the weakest track here. It's a big challenge as the previous track could easily be the band's strongest and so the comparison is indeed unfair. It has some good moments, but not really memorable. The jazzy hammond/ guitar dual around the 4.50 min mark is no virtuoso solos but it serves as a clear link to progressive rock in this EP. "The Pimp and the Priest" begins with a cabaret-like intro and the A verse utilises the cabaret music rhythm. The brass band accompaniment throughout this song is executed very well. As with many great prog albums, a brilliant wrap-up is needed. "His Hands Matched His Tongue" what an odd title to an excellent finale. But the album doesn't end there, no. The River North is a short lullaby-like piece serves as the ending of the album. Although it's marked as a 4.03 minute long track, the instrumental piano (?) was only about 2 minutes long, with more than one minute of silence afterward. Then almost a minute toward the end, you get to hear the hand clap as if a play comes to end. Then there's a brief theatrical music that will just segue into the first track of Act II that would follow in 2007. I just can't help that this album at around 38 minutes is simply too short. The melodic strength of this album alone would merit a four star easily, but i can only give it three due to inclusion of the few weaker tracks and the short time. Don't let my stars rating confuse you, this will make an interesting and fulfiling listen, no matter which genre you may love.

terryl | 3/5 |


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