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THE DEAR HUNTER

Crossover Prog • United States


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The Dear Hunter picture
The Dear Hunter biography
Formed in 2005 in Providence, Rhode Island, USA

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 DEAR HUNTER may appeal to some fans of either band.

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THE DEAR HUNTER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

4.12 | 305 ratings
Act I: The Lake South, The River North
2006
4.05 | 291 ratings
Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading
2007
4.05 | 301 ratings
Act III: Life And Death
2009
3.85 | 199 ratings
The Color Spectrum
2011
3.75 | 126 ratings
Migrant
2013
4.09 | 342 ratings
Act IV: Rebirth In Reprise
2015
4.04 | 272 ratings
Act V: Hymns With The Devil In Confessional
2016
3.61 | 28 ratings
Casey Crescenzo & Brian Adam McCune - The Fox & The Hunt
2020

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

4.00 | 17 ratings
Live
2015

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

4.22 | 9 ratings
The Color Spectrum Live
2013

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

4.42 | 26 ratings
Act I: The Lake South, The River North & Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading
2010
4.08 | 101 ratings
The Color Spectrum: Complete Collection
2011
4.42 | 12 ratings
Act I, II & III
2017

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

3.62 | 17 ratings
The Branches EP
2010
4.04 | 31 ratings
Black EP
2011
3.24 | 28 ratings
Red EP
2011
3.22 | 27 ratings
Orange EP
2011
3.91 | 26 ratings
Yellow EP
2011
3.42 | 26 ratings
Green EP
2011
3.40 | 23 ratings
Blue EP
2011
2.86 | 24 ratings
Indigo EP
2011
4.23 | 25 ratings
Violet EP
2011
3.54 | 22 ratings
White EP
2011
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Migrations Annex
2013
3.97 | 29 ratings
All Is As All Should Be
2017

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
4.12 | 305 ratings

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

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars When talking about The Dear Hunter, there's almost no way to avoid mentioning their 6 act concept album and the way Casey Crescenzo weaves his narrative through the music in a way that puts the 2 elements at a far closer level than say, Coheed and Cambria, who quite clearly prioritise writing a song before trying to incorporate story elements into it. To be fair, the approach that The Dear Hunter takes is one that could really easily fall completely flat, feeling more like sacrificing songwriting to attempt to hamfistedly tell a story, which ends up adding to this band's appeal even more once it becomes clear how successfully they managed to meld these. That's not to say that this album is perfect however, as this is a bit rough around the edges in certain respects and definitely feels like Casey was still finding his feet a bit with his songwriting at points. Despite this however, I find a lot of these rougher elements to be quite interesting in their own ways, especially the way that this incorporated considerably more post-hardcore and indie rock elements into its progressive rock sound compared to all of their other work , making it quite unique in the grand scheme of their discography.

The album starts off with an a capella that immediately establishes the dramatic nature of the album, along with Casey's absolutely excellent vocals, all in all, the track doesn't really do too much, but sets the tone of the album excellently regardless. The Lake South similarly serves the purpose of establishing the sound of the album, but this time the instrumental side of things, with lush orchestrations evoking vivid imagery with an almost showtune-esque vibe to it, which I personally like quite a bit, and the way it leads into the first proper track, City Escape is executed quite well. City Escape is the first proper song on the album, and definitely kicks things off with a bang, with a fast paced riff that's extremely reminiscent of The Mars Volta causing the intensity to rise dramatically. Even here it becomes quite clear how detailed a lot of these compositions are, with a lot of different elements working together to craft a really entertaining sound, with hints of piano and backing vocals further cementing the dramatic nature of the band. I also appreciate Casey's vocals here quite a lot, especially during the more climactic moments where he puts on a harsher vocal delivery. The Inquiry of Ms Terri takes things in a more subdued direction while also being far more dynamic overall, starting off quite pleasantly and building up to a bombastic chorus, slowly adding more elements until it all explodes with a distorted guitar riff and his harsher vocals once again. The song continues to escalate in such a way, with each time the chorus comes in being more intense than the last, with the rest of the song doing similarly.

While 1878 is the longest song here, it's also funnily enough the one that I feel has the least going on, with the main positive trait of it being the excellent, at points almost dreamy atmosphere, with the really gorgeous piano melodies in particular evoking some very vivid imagery. A bit of a shame that the song itself ends up being somewhat repetitive, because this one definitely had the potential to be a masterpiece. Pimp and the Priest is what I consider to be the best song here, doubling down on the orchestral side of things and bringing in the brass instruments as well to make for what's essentially the theme of the villain of this concept album series. There's a certain swagger to the song that I absolutely love, and the song is just all around so entertaining, sounding both extremely sinister, yet fun and lighthearted at the same time, can't express enough how much I love this song and the way that it embodies the band and all their theatrics. His Hands Matched His Tongue closes off the album remarkably well, starting off very softly with some acoustic guitar and a more melancholic tone, spending the majority of the length of the song just building up to an incredibly intense, climactic and emotionally charged end to the album.

While a bit rough around the edges with some minor things, notably occasionally carrying an idea for slightly too long, leading to a few sections that can feel a bit off, I still find this to be a remarkably crafted album that planted the seeds for the band's later, more well realised and refined albums. The way it so perfectly balances between narrative and music, with each component serving to elevate the other is truly impressive to me, and gives the album, and band as a whole quite a lot of charm. This is a great album and one that I'd heavily recommend to those who enjoy other modern prog bands that incorporate indie and alternative rock into their sound such as The Mars Volta or Coheed and Cambria in particular, and the band would almost only get better from here.

Best tracks: City Escape, The Pimp and the Priest

Weakest tracks: 1878

 Act IV: Rebirth In Reprise by DEAR HUNTER, THE album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.09 | 342 ratings

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Act IV: Rebirth In Reprise
The Dear Hunter Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

5 stars After a six year intermission, The Dear Hunter finally returned to the rock opera in six acts written by frontman Casey Crescenzo. This time, the release would get noticed as the album debuted at 38 on the Billboard Top 100. By this time, word of mouth got around and people were suddenly ready for the continuation. And, once again, DH delivers in a big way.

Act III was a little worrisome, even though it was an excellent album, songs were short and not as developed, but Act IV comes back in all the former glory. Act III had a lot of story line to cover, so a lot had to packed in there, yet even then they did a great job and that album should not be ignored.

In Act IV, all of the emotion and intensity has not been compromised. Casey's voice is still amazing and the music and production is amazing as always. Prog is still in the mix too, songs are not predictable and always rich in change, originality and quality. In this album, one thing is even better if that is possible, and that is the orchestration really shines through in this one, giving things even a more dramatic flair. Just when you think there can be no more improvement, it happens. The songs are also better developed again, even the shorter ones.

The story remains to be complex and interesting as the protagonist lives through more ups and downs. He continues with his stolen identity of his half brother, and even his step mother and fiancée know that it isn't him, or at least that something has changed, they decide to play along. Unfortunately, his step mother dies shortly after her acceptance. Many other things happen, but all of this story is available on line, so I don't want to repeat it all here.

I can't really add anything more that hasn't already been said in my other reviews of the other Acts. This album is excellent and this entire project is a masterpiece. Casey and all of the musicians, producers and technicians have done another amazing job here, and they have delivered another 5 star masterpiece.

 Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading by DEAR HUNTER, THE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.05 | 291 ratings

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

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

5 stars This is Act II of an amazing 6 act rock opera. The Dear Hunter's first album was the prelude to this project, and now the story continues, but this time Casey Crescenzo has recruited a full band to help out, and this gives the album even more depth than before. Two of the members from the band "Circa Survive" have joined into the line-up this time around.

This album starts right where the last one left off. At the end of Act I, there was a short hidden track of what sounded like an orchestra working up to something and then basically cut off. This is continued in the Overture to this act, and gets us ready for another great collection of movements for Act II of this rock opera.

Just like before, each song is packed full of emotion and passion, and continues in the appropriate rock opera style with a lot of progressive elements and techniques. While it is true that there is a little more of an alternative flair to this album, it doesn't take away from the overall greatness of the music. If you feel you have a problem with this, then you need to realize that this adds a needed depth to the album. The production is still excellent. The music is outstanding. And there is enough ingenuity and exploration that it should make prog lovers happy.

Most people that have reviewed this album consider it excellent, and it is. There is a lot more variety here than what existed on the first album and to me this only adds to the album's greatness. The music is one step above the artists that people like to compare them to, like better than Muse by a long shot, and Dredg in continuity and development. There are those that lament that prog is dead or that this isn't to their liking for whatever reason. I guess everyone has their own tastes, but whether they like it or not doesn't make it not progressive music. Some are quick to pass judgement that it sounds too alternative, and quite frankly, I see nothing wrong with that. This is progressive music after all, so expect some progress. If you've only heard it once, then you haven't really given it a chance yet. It gets better with repeated listens, and I find that is the case with all progressive rock, no matter what year it was released. As far as dabbling in other styles of music, just remember that Queen is the master of variety, and that is also what made them progressive because almost everything they did prior to "The Game" was excellent no matter if it was lounge music, ragtime, opera, or rock. Same thing here. Every thing on this album is tasteful, well performed and produced.

The main problem with the first album was it was too short. Well this one makes up for it in a big way. Originally, 2 hours worth of music was written for the album. It was cut back to 80 minutes so that it could be issued as a single disc, thus keeping costs down for consumers. You can't tell that by listening to it though. And expect a lot of surprises here, like violins, brass and harmonies popping up in unexpected places. This music never gets tired because of the variety and for the most part, staying away from the typical pop formulas. The verse, verse, chorus, instrumental break, verse, chorus formula is mostly avoided, but melody and quality is never compromised. And there is always something interesting and intriguing around every corner.

The story is great, a young boy growing into maturity and trying to discover love and acceptance, and trying to understand his mother's profession (who passes away at the first part of the act) and how it connects to him and what his destiny is in life. The passion and emotion is all there, as it should be in a great rock opera. Casey has one of the most dynamic and emotional voices in music and he knows how to use it and not abuse it.

Anyway, most people seem to love this music, but for me the test is the test of time. Does the music sound dated almost a decade later? No. Does it still have the same impact? Yes. Is everything apparent at first listen or does it get better each time you hear it? It does get better, it grows better the more you hear it, and there are always things you discover each time you hear it. Those are true tests of great music. Oh, and it's full of progressive traits that aren't forced or seem fake and after 80 minutes, it never gets boring which is really tough to do for some substandard progressive bands. I can't give this anything less than 5 stars again, it is up there with the masterpieces of progressive rock and should be as such because of it's ingenuity and it's elements of progressive composition. This is not music put together in a few days, this is the work of a lifetime, developed and perfected in a compositional manner and not in the typical cookie-cutter, shallow pop music style. This is music for the ages, not for the moment.

 Act III: Life And Death by DEAR HUNTER, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.05 | 301 ratings

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Act III: Life And Death
The Dear Hunter Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars The story continues and now we are at Act III of the six act rock opera by The Dear Hunter. Casey still has a full band though with a few line up changes. In Act III, the songs are shorter on the average and none of them hit the six minute mark this time. There is a lot more narrative to the story in this act, and I don't know if that is the reason why or if they were just cutting things back to make it more accessible. Since I really don't see any quality in the music cut back, I would rather believe the first option.

Because of the shorter songs, there seems to be less development going on, but things still remain at a high quality. As the story of the main protagonist quits his relationship with the hooker, joins the military and is saved from death, he finds his father, learns he has a half brother in the military also who is actually the soldier that saved him. His half brother up getting killed. His father shows no emotion and this enrages the main character who ends up poisoning his father. The main character takes on his half brother's identity since they looked a lot alike in order to go live with his step-mother. His life is falling apart and he is on a downward spiral.

The songs continue to be emotional and dramatic. Harmonies are beautiful, melodies are amazing, the vocals are as great as ever, instrumentals and arrangements are superb all as they were before. A little something is missing though, and I think it is the lesser chance for the songs to breathe and develop. It's not a major problem in this case, as everything else is spot on, and again I think it is because there was so much more story to cover in this album. The songs move from one style to another, but there is still a feeling of cohesiveness in all of this.

After this album, The Dear Hunter would take a break from the story, so the last song acts like a nice build up before the intermission. The band would next release the box set called "The Color Spectrum" which would consist of a collection of 9 ten inch EPs with 4 songs each based on the colors of the rainbow plus black and white. Then there would be a stand alone album. The story will continue after this point.

This rock opera continues to amaze and features some great music with a lot of progressive rock and dramatic singing. This particular part of the story seems to lack development among the songs, and that lowers the rating here one star. However, this was the first album I owned by the band and I was still impressed enough to get the rest of the series. Imagine my surprise when the other albums were even better than this. I don't regret ever buying this one though. It's on white vinyl and I paid $30.00 for it, now it's worth $200.00, so that makes it even better. So, a little drop in the rating at 4 stars, but still an excellent addition to any collection.

 Act I: The Lake South, The River North by DEAR HUNTER, THE album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.12 | 305 ratings

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

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

5 stars Originally, this album was designated as an EP and it was the first official release from The Dear Hunter. Now it is considered a full out album, even though it still only has a run time of 38 minutes. But, in the case of this album, it is 38 minutes of full on progressive music with more emotion and passion than most bands can conjure up in an hour.

The Dear Hunter is pretty much the music created by one person only and that is Casey Crescenzo with help from Neal Crescenzo on the drums. Casey was originally from a punk band who made the transition fully to progressive rock in a big way right from the outset. He also has some very big musical ideas. This album marks the starting point (or Act I as the album title says) of a six act rock opera. It is basically the life of one specific person from birth to death (and maybe beyond?). Currently, 5 acts of this rock opera have been released, each act taking up a full album. The albums after this debut album were much longer, as this Act deals with the birth and childhood of the protagonist. Other albums were released after the 3rd act as sort of an intermission. One of those projects was called the Color Spectrum where 4 songs were written for each color of the rainbow with the addition of white and black. That is an example of Casey's imagination and just how giant his ideas are.

This album definitely does not lack in creativity and amazing progressive-ness. Even though it's short, it packs quite a punch, and when you have finished listening to it, you swear you've heard an hour's worth of music. And it's all not because everything is packed so tightly either, the songs are given room to breathe and develop. It is so hard to believe this is a first effort because it is so well written and produced, just like he's been doing it all for years. The album starts out with 2 short songs as sort of a preface to the story, and is acapella style with some amazing harmonies and the 2nd is a short instrumental. After that, the next five tracks are 6 - 7 minutes each. Casey's voice is very powerful and dramatic which works quite well for the rock opera style. This is no hokey project, this is the real deal. With a voice as dramatic as Freddy Mercury from Queen and as powerful as Matt Bellamy from Muse, this guy has what it takes. In fact, the music here is everything you wish Muse would be, consistently prog heavy with all of the progressive traits that you love and very very little filler. Muse to me is too same-y sounding, where The Dear Hunter ventures off in so many directions and isn't afraid to experiment with dynamics and variety, and this ends up giving the sound something more akin to Dredg at their best, but with songs with better development.

Get this album and try it, at least check out some of the tracks. Most of you will be glad you did. Just be careful to search for The Dear Hunter because there is another non-prog band (more like indie-folk) out there called The Deerhunter. They're not bad but they are completely different from The Dear Hunter. I can't believe more people aren't familiar with this band and their amazing music. I would consider it among the best new era prog rock that is out there. It is music that should make prog-heads salivate for more, more, more. This quality of music can't deserve anything less that 5 stars and people need to get familiar with the band.

 All Is As All Should Be by DEAR HUNTER, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2017
3.97 | 29 ratings

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All Is As All Should Be
The Dear Hunter Crossover Prog

Review by kurtrongey

4 stars This EP-length song cycle had an unusual genesis. It was based around musical and lyrical suggestions from a set of individuals who were (it's not clear) perhaps associates, perhaps mega-fans of The Dear Hunter. the process is described here - medium.com/@therealTDH/all-is-as-all-should-be-ad3ea9cc4683. The whole set of six songs gives the impression of a loose time travel concept. Regardless, it ends up being a great vehicle for band leader Casey Crescenzo's eclectic, heart-on-sleeve brand of elaborately arranged symphonic rock. In addition to the great songwriting, he's a talented and intense singer and gets to really belt throughout.

The opener, "The Right Wrong," unleashes an infectious chorus hook that escapes from the usual shackles of chorus hook banality and truly soars. The first person lyrics muse on returning to the past to correct relationship mistakes. The guitar arrangements and inventive rhythm section playing are a joy.

Punch two of the EP's one-two punch is "Blame Paradise." Harmonies are all over the place in this quirky tune. Gentle Giantish musical hijinks are foiled by a twisting chorus of considerable memorability and emotional force.

The quietly pounding and textural "Beyond the Pale" meditates on fate, lamenting the unfairness of the universe. It acts as an unlikely transition into the bubbly "Shake Me (Awake)," a plain pop song with a Beach Boys bounce and a suggestion of country pop. It's full of extroverted charm and screams to be a radio hit.

The last two tracks on the album are intensely dramatic affairs with pop sensibilities pushed firmly to the side. "Witness Me" is a musical space waltz that ramps up the sense of tragedy and offers a couple of opportunities for Crescenzo's intense singing to cause goosebumps. The song closes hauntingly with a vocally harmonized mantra of "Keep dreamin'" while a low synth arpeggio ostinato outlines an eerie chord change.

The final, title track dramatically resolves the EP's opener. It's all bittersweet regret and serene beauty, culminating in a grand, martial symphonic coda repeating the title "All is as all should be" as a cathartic refrain.

There's really no way to describe Crescenzo's music and convey the full effect of it. If I called it "conceptual, symphonic rock with pop leanings," one might expect some bland, neo-proggy stuff skirting adult contemporary. To correct the misimpression, I'd say that there's more advanced harmonic and rhythmic know-how here, and a vitality evoking Queen in their prime. It's the kind of songwriting that will grab you on first listen, but repeat plays of this 25-minute gem are richly rewarded.

I'm tempted to give it 5 stars but I've settled for four. Although it's not necessarily "essential" in the epoch-making sense, the craftsmanship, inspiration and and overall enjoyability make this one special.

 Act V: Hymns With The Devil In Confessional by DEAR HUNTER, THE album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.04 | 272 ratings

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Act V: Hymns With The Devil In Confessional
The Dear Hunter Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Now here is a collection of mature, very well constructed, clean, relatively true sounding Neo Prog songs that I can get behind. Great vocal arrangements and very rich song constructions. A class act that has always been solid but seems to keep getting better. The QUEEN-like theatric nature of the music produced here in support of another whole-album concept is truly eclectic. These guys should be staging Broadway productions of their albums!

1. Regress (1:22) (8.5/10) 2. The Moon / Awake (6:09) (8.5/10) 3. Cascade (5:11) (7.5/10) 4. The Most Cursed of Hands / Who Am I (6:42) a two-part song (why not two separate songs?) (9/10) 5. The Revival (5:00) (6.5/10) 6. Melpomene (4:14) (8.5/10) 7. Mr. Usher (On His Way to Town) (4:59) (8/10) 8. The Haves Have Naught (4:12) (8.5/10) 9. Light (4:02) (8/10) 10. Gloria (5:16) (8/10) 11. The Flame (Is Gone) (5:40) my favorite song on the album (8.5/10) 12. The Fire (Remains) (5:26) (8.5/10) 13. The March (4:12) (8.5/10) 14. Blood (4:33) (9/10) 15. A Beginning (6:19) a gentle, emotional song that just might be the best on the album. Great keyboard, orchestral and vocal arrangements. (9/10)

It is unfortunate that the great multi-voiced vocal arrangements that opened the album weren't sustained for Casey's voice can get a little monotonous (despite his efforts at theatrical renderings). The variety of musical stylings and instruments incorporated to produce the Dear Hunter sound is astonishing and commendable. There is still room for improvement, though.

A four star album; a very good album that most prog rock music lovers will probably enjoy.

 Act V: Hymns With The Devil In Confessional by DEAR HUNTER, THE album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.04 | 272 ratings

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Act V: Hymns With The Devil In Confessional
The Dear Hunter Crossover Prog

Review by Skyperion

5 stars I have been a relative new comer to the world created by Mr Crescenzo, having only started listing with any regularity to his albums since Act iv. However that album was quite a revelation to me and thus when I realised that the next act was out I immediately downloaded it and invested time in coming to know the previous albums as well. The striking thing about acts vi and v is the creative imagination they present and the variety of styles. Within its 73 minutes Hymn stretches from rock, prog to blues (and even big band!) - Casey shows his capability in all those areas. The production and musicianship are also top class.

Some highlight tracks would be Cascade, the Revival and A Beginning (one the best album endings in years!). Mr Usher also stands out from the (rat) pack being a slightly lighter track with a great big band sound, yes really, it also has some excellent vocal arrangements.

I have not been disappointed with Hymns with the Devil and over the last few months it has become my favorite album from Casey, furthermore it is currently my choice album of the year.

 Act V: Hymns With The Devil In Confessional by DEAR HUNTER, THE album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.04 | 272 ratings

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Act V: Hymns With The Devil In Confessional
The Dear Hunter Crossover Prog

Review by javajeff

4 stars My favorite of the five, and the one that got me interested in the series. I have been trying to enjoy this story for some time, but it is quite extensive and required some online help to understand. There are many metaphors used to depict the actions of a boy's life, and you are missing out if you do not have interest in the plot. The musicianship and vocals are stellar, so I wanted to get that out of the way. However, what makes this series unique is the multi-act story that unfolds one album at a time. It is bigger than one album, so it is probably in your interest to spend some time trying to understand it more. I find myself interested in the previous Acts now, but it is a little long for me to take in at one time. Act V is a must have for owners of the rest of the series, but not as suitable as an individual purchase.
 Act IV: Rebirth In Reprise by DEAR HUNTER, THE album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.09 | 342 ratings

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Act IV: Rebirth In Reprise
The Dear Hunter Crossover Prog

Review by crashandridemusic

5 stars I feel I've been waiting for this album for a long time, considering it's the next part of a series of albums left off back in 2009. For six long years I've been waiting for the next installment by The Dear Hunter, who are back at it with their wonderful album "Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise."

"Rebirth in Reprise" continues the concept left off in their previous album, but with a sound that has changed drastically. More than ever Casey Crescenzo and company utilize orchestral instruments, with the basic rock instruments taking a backseat. This doesn't mean the album is lacking in rock- influenced arrangements, as present in the songs "The Old Haunt," "Waves," and "A Night On The Town." But if I were to remember anything from this album, it's the plethora of flutes, trumpets, trombones, and violins that create a much more unique and interesting listening experience. With interludes, interludes, and more interludes, these instruments shine in between tracks, setting the scene for the next song. Reminiscent of albums like "Censored Colors" by Portugal. The Man and "Days of Future Passed" by The Moody Blues, Crescenzo is able to leave an amazing impression on the listener, using progressive and indie rock influences together with classical inspirations. Considering the timeframe of the concept around the story, one truly feels they are back in the 19th century.

If the orchestral instruments paint a scene of the past, then the inclusion of modern instruments like the keyboards and electric guitar add a new layer to the storytelling. "At The End of the Earth" is a great example of how these different ages mix together perfectly, using a classic piano sound and a cappella singing alongside sound manipulation and guitar effects. The single "A Night On The Town" also utilizes this technique, consistently shifting between the new and the old. When a harder chorus finishes, the song transitions to a classical bridge section, only to return to a harder passage. I love how this album incorporates all these instruments together, which regularly complement each other in ways I could never imagine.

Two of my favorite tracks happen to be two of the harder songs on the album: "Is There Anybody Here?" and "King of Swords (Reversed)." I believe "Is There Anybody Here?" captures Crescenzo's best vocal performance on the album, a passionate and steady mid-register voice. His voice reminds me of the thoughts running through someone's head when they are lost, a reflective performance that reminds me of a character on Broadway. I can feel the emotion the main character displays throughout this song. The guitar solo towards the end of the song is also very interesting, and is one of the only solos I can easily recall off this album. With all the classical influences in this album, "King of Swords (Reversed)" turns the album on its head. With a poppy twist, I really enjoyed how out of place this song was, instilling some life into a slower section of the album. Using those classical instruments in unintended situations, I couldn't help but dance around to this song. I hope they play this song live at their concerts, because it will definitely get their audience's attention.

For an album lasting nearly 75 minutes, I am thoroughly impressed with the talent, devotion, and creativity that went into "Rebirth in Reprise." Unfortunately, it also serves as a negative at the same time. Being much slower compared to previous albums, there were times when I checked what track I was on to see how far I was into the album. Despite how beautiful the arrangements were, I couldn't help but anticipate a harder track to shake things up, which occurs only a few times. I can't help but wonder how the band will tour for this album, considering the majority of the album is downbeat and slower. It's a great album to play at work, even though you might not be able to hear much of the album if the volume is down too low. Finally, the album closes off seemingly sudden, almost underwhelmingly. I understand that the closing of each acts are merely closings of scenes in the overall story, but I felt like I was left hanging when the album ended. I would've changed the ending slightly to let the listener know that the album is, in fact, over.

Overall, "Rebirth and Reprise" is a great album. Those not knowledgeable of The Dear Hunter or any of the "Act" albums will have the same feeling as those walking into a movie thirty minutes late, but should still marvel at the creativity and sophistication of this album. I seriously feel like I should be listening to this album in an art museum or at a gala.

Taken from crashandridemusic.com

Thanks to Dean Cracknell for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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