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The Dear Hunter - Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading CD (album) cover

ACT II: THE MEANING OF, AND ALL THINGS REGARDING MS. LEADING

The Dear Hunter

 

Crossover Prog

4.03 | 277 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TCat
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.

TCat | 5/5 |

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