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The Dear Hunter - Act I: The Lake South, The River North CD (album) cover


The Dear Hunter


Crossover Prog

4.06 | 345 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
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.

TCat | 5/5 |


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