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THE DEAR HUNTER

Crossover Prog • United States


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The Dear Hunter biography
THE DEAR HUNTER was originally a side project by guitarist and vocalist Casey CRESCENZO of post-hardcore band THE RECEIVING END OF SIRENS. On leaving that band, CRESCENZO worked on THE DEAR HUNTER fulltime, producing 'Act 1: The Lake South, The River North' as the first part of a six-album concept concerning the life of a boy at the turn of the 20th Century. After its release CRESCENZO recruited Luke DENT (Keyboards), Erick SEMA (Guitar), Sam DENT (drums) and Josh RHEAULT (bass) to record the second part of the hexology 'Act 2: The Meaning of, and All Things Regarding Ms. Leading' and toured extensively to promote its release. During this time RHEAULT and the DENT brothers left the band, leaving only CRESCENZO and SEMA.

Having recently announced that they are also working on a nine album concept based upon the seven colours of the rainbow and the two tones, black and white, indicates that THE DEAR HUNTER are not light on ambition, the next step is to see if they can deliver against such bold claims.

Falling somewhere between THE MARS VOLTA and COHEED AND CAMBRIA, THE DEER HUNTER may appeal to some fans of either band.

The Dear Hunter official website

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MigrantMigrant
Equal Vision Records 2013
Audio CD$8.54
$4.47 (used)
The Color Spectrum: The Complete CollectionThe Color Spectrum: The Complete Collection
Box set
Triple Crown 2011
Audio CD$24.65
$27.99 (used)
Act I: the Lake South the River NorthAct I: the Lake South the River North
2014
Vinyl$32.62
Migrant RepriseMigrant Reprise
Sound Pollution 2014
Audio CD$10.44
$16.27 (used)
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Triple Crown
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THE DEAR HUNTER discography


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THE DEAR HUNTER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.20 | 148 ratings
Act I: The Lake South, The River North
2006
4.01 | 166 ratings
Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading
2007
4.02 | 180 ratings
Act III: Life and Death
2009
3.84 | 135 ratings
The Color Spectrum
2011
3.65 | 51 ratings
Migrant
2013

THE DEAR HUNTER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE DEAR HUNTER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

THE DEAR HUNTER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.33 | 15 ratings
Act I: The Lake South, The River North & Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading
2010
3.98 | 60 ratings
The Color Spectrum: Complete Collection
2011

THE DEAR HUNTER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.61 | 10 ratings
The Branches EP
2010
3.94 | 14 ratings
Black EP
2011
3.16 | 13 ratings
Red EP
2011
3.12 | 11 ratings
Orange EP
2011
3.83 | 11 ratings
Yellow EP
2011
3.24 | 10 ratings
Green EP
2011
3.15 | 8 ratings
Blue EP
2011
2.48 | 10 ratings
Indigo EP
2011
4.10 | 12 ratings
Violet EP
2011
3.43 | 9 ratings
White EP
2011

THE DEAR HUNTER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Act I: The Lake South, The River North by DEAR HUNTER, THE album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.20 | 148 ratings

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Act I: The Lake South, The River North
The Dear Hunter Crossover Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy

4 stars This is an interesting indie prog album that like other similar bands like The Tea Party mix different sounds from different bands to come up with something that is pleasant but still obvious where the influences lie. THE DEAR HUNTER seems like it has serious influence from Muse, The Mars Volta and Pocupine Tree to me. This musical entity began as a side project of Casey Crescenzo who wanted a place to put all the musical ideas that didn't fit into his band The Receiving End Of Sirens. After he left the band it turned into a full time project. Casey plays all the instruments except he recruited Nick Crescenzo on drums and a few others for some other musical touches.

ACT I: THE LAKE SOUTH OF THE RIVER NORTH is the debut album and incorporates many different sounds and musical ideas centered around the concept of a story set at the dawn of the 20th century revolving around the birth, life and abrupt death of a boy known only as 'The Dear Hunter.' The idea was that the story was supposed to be a six-part album series of which three have been released so far. Not sure if the other three will see the light of day or not but this is a decent beginning.

This album contains everything from a cappella to full on rocking out and strange piano and symphonic segments. It all flows quite well from beginning to edge and although the influences are well out in the open it nevertheless doesn't diminish from the overall sound since they are all woven together quite seamlessly. The emphasis on this album is really on the strong melodies that are dark and haunting. Great debut that makes me want to check out the following releases.

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 Migrant by DEAR HUNTER, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.65 | 51 ratings

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Migrant
The Dear Hunter Crossover Prog

Review by bloodnarfer

2 stars The kind of music I'd love to hear on the radio, but not from the Dear Hunter

With Migrant, the Dear Hunter has migrated into a new sound. They seemed to have stepped into the realm of generic. The Dear Hunter has always straddled the line between prog and indie effectively, but this album would feel more at home on the indie rock shelf. Many of the songs are just that. Songs.

The album starts of strongest with Bring You Down and Whisper, but the following songs fail to reach the same level of interest. Bring You Down is a great intro to the album, and really got my hopes up for what was to come. Whisper is a good song with a catchy melody, and I would LOVE to hear this come on the radio at some point, but coming from the Dear Hunter, its simply a little disappointing. Most tracks lack the standout elements that have made the Dear Hunter great and unique, and as a result the album falls into mediocrity.

While I enjoy this album, its definitely not the best of what Casey and gang have to offer. For that, check out Act II or the Color Spectrum. Perhaps I am being overly critical by giving a two star rating, but I really expected more. Decent album with good songwriting, but seems most prog elements (and excitement) have been lost here. Fans like myself will surely enjoy it, but I would not recommend this as a starting point for those new to TDH. Maybe you could listen to it with your hipster friends who generally don't like prog? 2/5 Stars.

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 Migrant by DEAR HUNTER, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.65 | 51 ratings

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Migrant
The Dear Hunter Crossover Prog

Review by The Truth
Collaborator Post and Math Rock Team

4 stars It is interesting to consider how Casey Crescenzo is drifting further away from alt-prog with The Dear Hunter and shifting back to what sound like his post-hardcore roots. What makes this interesting, is the fact that his music nevertheless sounds fresh and original. Not progressive, but he still produces albums that give the listener thoughtful and heartfelt tunes.

Migrant is sort of the epitome of this, the songs are catchy beyond all catchiness. We see pieces on this record that could have very easily fit in one of the excellent Color Spectrum EPs yet may even have a better production quality to them that they benefit from greatly. Some moments recall the first three acts of the concept album series but for the most part, Crescenzo stays fairly basic in his songwriting which is by no means a bad thing.

Just give the album a listen, you'll enjoy it. You may not be drawn in to it by some fantastic storyline like you were with the old records, but I guarantee, you will enjoy the songs.

4 stars for a solid record.

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 Migrant by DEAR HUNTER, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.65 | 51 ratings

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Migrant
The Dear Hunter Crossover Prog

Review by Gallifrey

4 stars The Dear Hunter were formed out of the ashes of post-hardcore band The Receiving End Of Sirens in around 2005, with vocalist Casey Crescenzo looking to create a more conceptual and progressive rock based band. Crescenzo came up with the 6-album concept of the Dear Hunter, and completed three of the six albums before getting bored. And after 2011's 36-song "The Color Spectrum", which entitled of 9 four-song EPs on each of the colours, The Dear Hunter have released their first album without a concept, "Migrant"

Although I do love a good concept to keep an album together, I feel that Casey and his men were leaning on it a bit too much, and this album definitely shows them stretching lyrically and musically. Although the early Dear Hunter releases certainly dwelled on the progressive and alternative scenes, "Migrant" is a straight-up indie rock record, and one of the best in recent years. Taking influence from the orchestral and chamber indie of Sufjan Stevens and Fleet Foxes, Crescenzo has created a wonderful standalone record, with as many wonderful pop hooks as progressive touches that gained him a following in the first place.

Opening single "Whisper" is a shoe-in for one of the top songs for 2013, with the sort of delightful chorus that I'd love to hear grace modern radio waves, if only they paid attention to the music scene. This entire album reeks positive energy, in fact. Album opener "Bring You Down" is one of the best feel-good songs I've heard, and the orchestral backing influenced by the aforementioned Sufjan Stevens throughout the album really works toward The Dear Hunter's newer, more uplifting style.

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 Act III: Life and Death by DEAR HUNTER, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.02 | 180 ratings

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Act III: Life and Death
The Dear Hunter Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars A pleasant collection of more Beatles-like indie-pop-oriented prog all composed and organized as the third installment of a six-album concept story concerning the life of a boy at the turn of the 20th Century. Though I have not been drawn in to much of the other Dear Hunter discography, this one is pretty engaging and not too dull or repetitive. To me this is a lot like MUSE and DOVES.

Favorite songs: "Life and Death" (5:46) (8/10), "The Tank" (4:39) (8/10), "What It Means to Be Alone" (4:50) (8/10).

3.5 stars rounded up for great production sound, creativity, and ambition--and for the reminder that when we die, we die alone.

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 Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading by DEAR HUNTER, THE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.01 | 166 ratings

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Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading
The Dear Hunter Crossover Prog

Review by Riuku

5 stars This is easily a five-star album. A lot of effort, creativity, great musicianship, emotional AND very thought out. I think it's the best of the 6-album concept so far (out of the 3 that exist). The first one definitely has the stand-out 1878, the strongest contender, but this album offers so much more and never quite stops growing on you. There is a lot to discover, both in the lyrics and music.

That said, on to the separate song reviews: The Death and the Berth-opens with a promising film-score like piece of music, but then quickly becomes a surreal and beautiful violin piece. This violin foreshadows what will happen later on in the album, and it stuns you with its beauty, quickly getting you ready for this musical journey.

The Procession-a neat song, one of their heavier ones. Sounds similar to the City Escape from the first album, not better or worse. It's definitely very well thought out, however, and there are surprisingly a lot of things to find here. The lyrics are also very well written and do their purpose in the story (which I will not explain here, but look it up. It's definitely interesting).

The Lake and the River-a real gem of a song. The transition from The Procession to this one is mind-blowing and fun. This song starts with a surreal wonderland like feel...or one way I imagine it is like being inside a toy box. Weird, it must be the percussion used on this track. At around 3 minutes you are treated to some awesome stuffs, then it slows down, and at 3:40 you get a menagerie of shifting time signatures, then this beautiful 5/4 beat with sick bass. The song then slows down for a bit and repeats some of the chorus (again, strong lyrics.) The last two minutes, it goes into a somewhat depressing piano theme that is quickly interrupted by...what sounds like country/folk music and some train noises in the background. This part is extremely interesting, there's not much music out there like it, and the way it speeds up and transitions into the next track is solid gold.

The Oracles on the Delphi Express-this song is pure ballroom evil. Kinda scary. Reminds one of Genesis, specifically Willow Farm or certain segments of The Lamb. Similar lyrics too, and delivered with sweet sarcastic vocals. This song is a fun ride with an interesting bass drum pattern at 1:37 and some evil King Crimson like guitar. Then at 2:07 it gets to a fun jam. Great stuff here, and so far a lot of variety on the album.

The Church and the Dime-again, the transition between this track and the previous are flawless and not even noticeable. Might as well just be one song, this whole album. It kinda is. Either way, we arrive at what I think is the weakest track, but it is not a bad one. It just seems less inspired than other ones, but includes many interesting moments nonetheless, and is lyrically essential to the story. At no point does it drag, it's actually quite fun to jam to, but as a separate song, it's not something that would turn your attention to the band. The vocals are really passionate and the brass section does add a lot though.

The Bitter Suite 1 and 2-a surreal, ethereal opening. Pay particular attention to the chord changes. The vocals and lyrics are beautiful. When the drums come in, they lay down a solid and original beat. The cool part about this song is the transition to part 2, where it gets kinda jazzy and there's this really cool rhythm. This comes in at about 3:45. Sounds like something from the streets of New Orleans and at the same time Genesis-like.

The Bitter Suite 3-again, some more surreal sounds and vocals. The vocals can be strange, sometimes they sound a little cheesy, yet sometimes they sound heavy on the heart. When you imagine the character in the story saying this, it becomes much more powerful. And who is that drummer, he's not some crazy virtuoso like Gavin Harrison or Aaron Spears or Jojo Mayer, but his drums are heavy on the heart, and he is no doubt ridiculously talented. That persistent cymbal will eat at your soul! The beautiful music in the background will cure it though. The last minute and a half of this song is the greatest part, and solid beautiful post-rock gold, with some heavy A Perfect Circle meets Radiohead type atmosphere. That bass line also becomes more prominent and perpetual even. The stop is abrupt and beautiful.

Smiling Swine-this starts off like a Beatles track and ends up like a Queen track. But this song is so much fun and that guitar tone is great. The cuttime feel is also excellent. The chorus and lyrics are great as well, very strongly written, at about the two minute mark (the Queen sounding part).

Evicted-the feel of this song is the best part. That 5/4 groove is catchy and addictive despite being in an odd time. The snare rolls are particularly great. The lyrics and chorus are amazing, and the soft guitar throughout plays these beautiful little enlightening parts. The "If you need a little cash" part, is again, really moving. The last thirty seconds are also great, these guys have a habit at making beautiful endings.

Blood of the Rose-a very unique track with a chamber music feel. It's catchy, dark, gothic, and it is so interesting that this band can mix things up so much. The track is repetitive, but it serves its purpose and never gets tiring. It's full of these confusing yet beautiful moments with the violins and cellos. And the trumpet is great.

Red Hands-This song brings the beginning of the album back into play. It is so heartfelt and moving throughout and is a track you never tire of. The way he screams out the great lyrics towards the end is beautiful. This is a simple but enjoyable track, and one of the best on the album.

Where the Road Parts-my personal favorite track, because of the part at 2:30 onward. Amazing drumming and amazing post-rock feel with brilliant lyrics/vocals and this amazing sound overall. Listen for yourself. The opening is also amazing.

Dear Ms. Leading-back to Mars Volta type music, like the second track, but with cool violin parts. There is a sweet guitar solo here. Not really virtuoso but still tricky and difficult, and always awesome. Somewhat King Crimsonish.

Black Sandy Beaches-a track that grows on you and grows as it happens. Beautiful ending.

Vital Vessels Vindicate-surreal genesis like piano. Not a really powerful ending, but it is full of allusions to this album and the previous album, and definitely opens up the way for the next.

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 Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading by DEAR HUNTER, THE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.01 | 166 ratings

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Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading
The Dear Hunter Crossover Prog

Review by Ray Stokes

4 stars When hearing an album for the first time I always consider it a good sign if I feel a little put-off, but I still want to listen to it again. That's how I felt with this one, and what threw me off was the vocal stylings (ranging from soft melodic to screaming to whiny) and the quirkiness of the sound, but strangely enough those were also the reasons that had me wanting more. I had to know if the ranging quirkiness actually meant something in the context of the album, or if this was just a collection of songs. I'm glad to say that it does mean something, and it's great.

This is the second album of an on going (three albums as of this writing) coming-of-age tale. This particular chapter explores the narrator's first sexual experience, and the subsequent romance that blossoms (as well as his recovery from his mother's passing at the end of the previous album). This blossoming only comes from his perspective, as the woman he crushes on, Ms. Leading, is a prostitute. It took me many listens to come onto the story, but it was when I did that I started to truly appreciate and love this album.

One of the greatest strengths of this album is the song writing. I believe this to be one of the few albums that gets the idea of the concept album correct; each song tells a little story, contributing to the bigger concept, with no song being shoe-horned in to progress the tale. Each track has it's own sound depending on the subject matter, and the styles change quite a bit throughout, with some recurring themes to boot. "The Bitter Suite 3: Embrace" is when our narrator finally lays with Ms. Leading, and the track starts very timid and shy, but slowly climaxes as the two remove the clothes and go under the sheets, and phases into a spacey guitar section to close. Not much longer after comes "Blood Of the Rose", which is about his discovery of Ms. Leading's profession. This track is a very sombre Spanish styled song that is filled with jealous-spiteful anger.

My favorite track on the album is "Red Hands", which definitely seems to be the hit of the album as it has more plays than any other track on Spotify. This song is the narrators true confrontation, and sending off of Ms. Leading after his discovery of her profession. This track speaks to the naivety and adolescence of the narrator, however the sentiment is no less genuine. "Because you can't be caught red handed if you're not red handed" is the repeated main lyric of the track, and with each delivery it sounds even more serrated and spiteful than the last. It sounds a bit silly because of how forward it is, but at the same time it's so genuine that all I can feel is empathy.

Most prog-heads are going to dismiss this track since it pretty much is a straight-up rocker with hardly any subtlety. The incredibly catchy chorus of this song will have anyone who doesn't run-away laughing at it's sincerity singing in repeat for days. And much of this album lends itself to this semi-poprock leaning as there are no blazing solos, disorienting rhythm changes, or stair case falling drum solos. However, this album is no less progressive for it. As I've mentioned previously, there is quite an amalgamation of styles here, and the fact that they're bundled up into such a nice rocker makes this album an excellent prog-gateway album. There is a tasty lick here and there, and a few sprinkled in atmospheric moments that could leave any budding musical taste thirsty for more.

As for me, I like to bring this with me on car rides and belt along with it. I get wrapped up into the folds of confusion, passion, euphoria, and betrayal that is weaved through each track, and always look forward to my next listen once its over.

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 Orange EP by DEAR HUNTER, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.12 | 11 ratings

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Orange EP
The Dear Hunter Crossover Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Orange EP' - The Dear Hunter (6/10)

Although each of the 'Colors' in this nine-part capably stand on their own, 'Orange EP' feels much like a continuation of what was started on 'Red'. These two EPs offer the most straightforward rock experience of this entire concept. As a result, 'Orange' is one of the less memorable chapters, but as I have come to expect from The Dear Hunter, the music is consistent and enjoyable. For any newcomers to The Dear Hunter, their latest grand project as to write a nine part concept series about each color of the rainbow (and the two shades), and then write a few songs based on the feelings that the colors inspire. 'Orange' is a colour that shares the warmth of yellow and red, but lacks the passion or cheer of either, respectively. The music on 'Orange' captures this idea brilliantly. It takes the rock vibe of 'Red', and makes it upbeat. Bluesy riffs are commonplace here, and contrary to much of this band's work, the production is kept relatively straightforward. 'Echo' is a fine example of what 'Orange' is about; upbeat blues riffs playing underneath Casey Crescenzo's distinctive, theatrical vocal style. As one may have ascertained from the straightforward rock approach, this is the least involving album in the project, and I would say that it is my least favourite of the nine, although there's still good quality to these tunes. The songwriting is not particularly vibrant, but the production and execution is impressive enough to be worth an enjoyed listen or two.

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 Red EP by DEAR HUNTER, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.16 | 13 ratings

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Red EP
The Dear Hunter Crossover Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Red EP' - The Dear Hunter (6/10)

The second in The Dear Hunter's most ambitious project yet, the 'Red EP' is a collection of four songs meant to represent that colour. When it was announced that this band was going to make a nine-album project about every colour on the spectrum, some people- including myself- were doubtful that they would manage to pull it off. Here they are however, with all of them released for people to enjoy and listen. Although the project as a whole is a major achievement, it's virtually assumed that not every 'colour' would be excellently represented. Although the 'Black EP' had a consistent record of strong songwriting and experimental edge, 'Red EP' comes off feeling less memorable, and even tame by comparison. The colour red is generally seen as a colour of anger, but the tone of the music here comes across more as frustration rather than rage.

As is typical for The Dear Hunter, the music fuses modern alternative rock/pop with progressive tendencies, and it comes off sounding adventurous and fresh. Usually, The Dear Hunter are focused on creating epic album,s but these EPs work best as collections of songs. For an EP that is supposed to be about anger, the music is remarkably catchy. The highlight 'Deny It All' has a great hook that stayed in my mind long after the EP was first over. Musically speaking, 'Red' is not particularly heavy or aggressive, but it has a more straightforward rock feel to it. It's not an approach that works particularly well for The Dear Hunter, although Casey Crescenzo's acrobatic vocals and warm arrangements are still here. This more rock-based energy would continue into the third EP, 'Orange'. 'Red' is one of the weaker albums in this vast project, but it offers some great hooks along the way.

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 White EP by DEAR HUNTER, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.43 | 9 ratings

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White EP
The Dear Hunter Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Crossover and E&O Teams

3 stars And then there (were three?) was last colour, white was its colour. The one of purity, even life itself (according to some theories) and one description that amused me - simplicity. Well, that's not a case with this EP, is it ? Let's call it a celebration of some kind, unspecified one. And so it's again joyful music, this time also of a grandiose kind - lush, dense atmosphere (feels like trying to breath in a jungle). This (last) part should basically be what they were doing on Acts I. - III., so fans should be quite pleased by this. Maybe we'll have to wait one more year for a follow-up, but at least we got this.

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Thanks to Dean Cracknell for the artist addition.

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