The next album I’ll review comes from a band that I have neglected for some time until this week. That band is The Dear Hunter.
The Dear Hunter is the brainchild of singer/songwriter Casey Crescenzo. A talented artist, Crescenzo performs the majority of instruments during his recordings, and having had the opportunity to see him live, performs vocals, guitar, and the keyboard on stage.
This band has lived in my iTunes Library for a couple years, and I have managed to skip over them throughout this time. Even though I have had a positive experience seeing this band live when they toured with Coheed and Cambria and Porcupine Tree, I have only managed to listen to a couple songs this whole time. As of this week, though, I finally told myself I had to stop looking over The Dear Hunter and give them an honest try. Boy, am I glad I did! I have listened to their first three albums, falling in love with their album “Act III: Life and Death.”
The album “Act III: Life and Death” is the third of a six album concept. The concept takes place in the past (from the sound and song titles, my guess is the late 1800’s), and revolves around the protagonist, the Dear Hunter, as he seeks to learn more about his deceased mother. As an advocate for concept albums, I love the intricacy and detail behind the story. Over the three albums that have been released so far, the listener has learned about the Dear Hunter’s history, starting with his birth and as of now end with the death of his father. Although the band is temporarily stepping away from their concept, I am excited to hear what they have in store next.
What I love the most about this album is the unique sound they have. The Dear Hunter cannot be classified as one particular genre. The band can be described mainly as a progressive rock band, apparent in songs like “In Cauda Venemum” (“The sting is in its tail” in Latin), which happens to be my favorite song on the album. The song transitions from the screaming vocals that are apparent in post-hardcore bands, to a verse with a prog-rock bass line, and with horn instruments in the background throughout. I can also argue that the band has influences of indie rock (some bands they remind me of include Portugal. The Man and Circa Survive). Some songs that remind me of these influences include “The Tank” and “This Beautiful Life.” I can also hear influences of folk rock (such as the Decemberists and City and Colour) in the songs “The Poison Woman” and “Go Get Your Gun”. The constant change in rock styles keeps the listener on their toes, and helps describe the concept in greater detail.
I recommend this album to lovers of progressive rock, post-hardcore rock, indie rock, folk rock, or to those just looking for a new, unique sound. The Dear Hunter has released three albums total following the concept of the character “The Dear Hunter,” but has also released two albums on the side, called “The Color Spectrum” and “Migrant.” “The Color Spectrum” continues the trend of unique music, as it changes music style from song to song. Finally, Casey Crescenzo has also recently created a symphony called “Amour & Attrition.” That’s right, a symphony. Take a listen for yourself!
Check out this Youtube video featuring the first two songs on “Act III: Life and Death”: