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The Dear Hunter - Act V: Hymns with the Devil in Confessional CD (album) cover


The Dear Hunter


Crossover Prog

4.13 | 312 ratings

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5 stars 24th February, 2021: The Dear Hunter - Act V: Hymns With the Devil in Confessional (progressive indie rock, 2016)

This has really grown on me in the last 18 months after initially not making much of an impression, to the point where today I raise it to the illustrious 9 category, and declare it my favourite Dear Hunter record. The biggest hurdle you have to overcome here is that it's overlong - which it is - but once you get used to its length and the fact that it stays reasonably true to the borders of Casey's prior work, the songcraft begins to shine through. This has his best arrangements, with the orchestra used brilliantly in both bombastic and minimal ways, and doesn't ever feel like a tacked on gimmick. The songwriting here is more subdued and it's true that there are no genuine standout tracks, but every single one has at least two or three brilliant musical ideas, and that's coupled with his genius at reprises and recurring themes. The fact that the two weakest songs here - "Mr Usher" and "The Haves Have Naught" - are also arguably the biggest discussion points in terms of genre, shows that there really aren't that many flaws here compositionally.

Having come into this album being a fan for a long time meant that I didn't fully see its musical genius because stylistically it's fairly safe, but this has Casey's best choruses, best performances, best arrangements, best reprises, and is such a good conclusion to the saga that I honestly don't think I need an Act VI.

9.2 (12th listen)

Part of my listening diary from my facebook music blog -

Gallifrey | 5/5 |


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