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


The Dear Hunter


Crossover Prog

4.03 | 277 ratings

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5 stars Am I experiencing thing that I did during early 80s when I heard Marillion's "Script for a Jester's Tear" in 1983 where I thought the music really blew me away followed with another great release of "Fugazi" in 1984? I remember vividly that I finally found the band's EP "Market Square Heroes" (1982) was also excellent. My experience with The Dear Hunter is now a bit different because I knew the band only after they released the second album "Act II: The Meaning of, & All Things Regarding Ms. Leading". But I was so sure about this band based on information from my prog friend, so I purchased the two albums altogether. While the first one is basically an EP, I did enjoy the music very well and I gave a masterpiece rating for the EP. Once I was satisfied with the first EP album I then continued enjoying the second album which also favors me a lot. I don't know why, the music of The Dear Hunter seems to match with my musical aspirations. It's just like when I heard Marillion at the first time. Even though style-wise there is nothing similar between two bands, musically, but the experience is very similar. I am very happy having The Dear Hunter two albums. Both are excellent.

As I was totally satisfied with their debut EP, I expected the full-length album should be in a better or the same quality with its EP. I know that this was initially was a side project by Casey Crescenzo with his previous punk band The Receiving End of Sirens which later he left to focus more on The Dear Hunter. And my expectation was fulfilled satisfactorily by the band as the music which focuses on story-telling style has successfully combined wide range of music styles and influences from The Mars Volta, The beatles, ACT, Supertramp, A.C.T., Queen - even though the influence is not that obvious. It quickly grows on me that these two albums by The Dear Hunter does fit my musical taste and I look forward to having another great follow-up album.

While at the EP album Casey used as minimum as possible on session players where he asked his brother to sit on drum stool and his mom on backing vocal department; this album involves many musicians. It can be concluded that Casey Crescenzo had put serious efforts in making the second album much more successful. The result is an ambitious music with great variety of styles and all of them flow nicely from one passage to another, from one track to another. And .. oh my God .. my ears and my mind are filled with joys during the time enjoying this album. Today, I have been listening this second album in its entirety for three times. Marvelous!

The album starts with a silent part under "The Death and The Berth" (0:38) which flows brilliantly to a sudden blast of music under "The Procession" (4:59). This second track is truly dynamic and inspiring in terms of melodies and beats. The musical riffs resulted from the combined guitar, piano and bass guitar is really mind boggling. It then flows brilliantly to the next ambitious composition "The Lake and the River" (9:29) which I presumes something connected with the previous EP. This track defines the true colors of The Dear Hunter especially in creating a combined grooves, chords, notes and wonderful nuances created. Oh by the way, the key characteristics that make the music is so wonderful is the vocal line and the flow of melodies from one passage to another. Yes, I can sense a flavor of The Mars Volta, but there are bits of A.C.T. as well.

Under "The Oracles on the Delphi Express" (4:18) the band creates a "happy go lucky" kind of music with a bit of swing jazz music (not really!) with nice beats. The music sounds like a dialogue accentuated by the voices of piano and dynamic drumming. It's really an enjoyable song. "The Church and The Dime" (4:57) is a logical continuation with the previous track in more ambient way. It also provides a break with a music that is similar to Radiohead style even though not the same at all.

"The Bitter Suite 1" starts with powerful vocal line backed with ambient piano work. It then moves nicely to mellow part as "The Bitter Suite 2" starts mellow and with nice drumwork it moves to higher tones. I can sense the style of "Got To Get Into My Life" (The Beatles) at track 8 "Smiling Swine". It's nice, really. The rest of tracks flow beautifully from "Evicted" (3:44) right way to the end "Vital Vessels Vindicate".

Overall, this is an essential album. On production, the soniq quality is not as good as the EP release. Highly recommended!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 5/5 |


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