The Dear Hunter – Act III: Life and Death

I believe that The Dear Hunter may be the only band to undertake such a massive story arc; “Act III” is the third part of six that former The Receiving End of Sirens member Casey Crescenzo began with 2006’s Act I” (reviewed at ). The disc begins with “Writing on a Wall”, a track that is tremendously important for both establishing continuity with the other two releases in the line as well as establishing “Life and Death” as a significantly different creature than the other titles. This means that the music crafted by The Dear Hunter during the early reaches of “Life and Death” takes on reggae and Louisiana soul to heart, all while challenging listeners’ assumptions about proper time signatures.

“What It Means To Be Alone” continues changing up “Life and Death”, with the overall sound achieved by The Dear Hunter here being much more in line with Cursive and Death Cab For Cutie than My Chemical Romance or Aiden. The shifts in tempo again call forth a Queen type of sound, while the band moves into “The Tank” with a tremendous amount of steam. “The Tank” succeeds based on the strings present at the beginning, along with the pomp-filled energy brought forth by the vocals here. The track may not be destined for single play, but it operates as an essential track in the creation of a disc-wide narrative.

“Mustard Gas” is an epic track on the level of the Guns N Roses track “Estranged”, tying together elements from a slew of previous tracks to make an authoritative, memorable track. “He Said He Had A Story” will be the track that I feel that most new to the band will appreciate the most; the catchy vocals struggle with the funky, chunky bass line in the creation of something special. The Dear Hunter rock and finesse through the entirety of “Life and Death” and give listeners more than enough reason to eagerly anticipate their next release, whenever it may be released. Kudos has to go to the band for continually innovating and evolving their sound over the course of the last three years.

The Dear Hunter – Act III: Life and Death / 2009 Triple Crown / /
Top Tracks: Writing on a Wall, What It Means To Alone

Rating: 8.2/10

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