The Dear Hunter - Act III

by B. J. Eakin on Jul 27, 2009 at 10:47 PM
R&R Engage (1)

Dear Hunter Act III Life and Death

 

In late last June, Boston's The Dear Hunter released their third full length album entitled "Act III: Life and Death."  They continue to sculpt their series of "ACT"s concept albums that center on a nameless man and his struggles in the early 20th century.  I must say that I had been in great anticipation for this follow-up after such art that was produced in both ACT I and II.  After much digestion, overall I am satisfied with the installment.

If you were looking for a replication of style from the previous ACTs then you will be disappointed.  This album significantly lacks the technical prowess of ACT I and the lyrical art of ACT II.  However ACT III does offer up some new features and depth to one of my beloved bands. 

The beginning of the album begins with a bang as "In Cauda Venenum" revisits the intensity and energy of the past albums.  But that is all you will get!  Track three, "What It Means to Be Alone" makes the transition into wartime for our protagonist.  Oddly we experience a polished and almost pop-y Dear Hunter for most of the duration of the albums remaining tracks.  It is catchy and, no doubt, I enjoy it heartily.  I suppose that they are expanding their fan-base or appealing to radio play by such tactics ("Saved," "Go Get Your Gun," "Thief," "This Beautiful Life") which may estrange them ultimately, but I like to move with the punches.  Each of these songs are worthy. 

But for those who crave a little more darkness that they have supplied in the past, they have prepared songs like "The Tank," "Mustard Gas," and "He Said He Had a Story."  We are able to see vivid illustrations of war-scenes as well as encounters with prostitutes (it wouldn't be the Dear Hunter without em'!, haha).  Our protagonist has clearly developed in age and maturity, but further has lost quite a bit of innocence since the ACT II.  There has been a drastic loss of purity on his part as he coldly uses a woman for his own ends unlike when he was on the receiving end beforehand. 

The final three tracks finalize the album in artistic stride, removing the polished feel and fledging out the storyline once again.  And if you have been confused by the storyline that I have not done justice to in this short review I encourage you to invest an afternoon and listen straight through ACT I and II, you will be thankful! 

Like I said, this album was up to par, but not exceeding expectations.  I would definitely rate it third in relation to the others but the Dear Hunter's bronze is far superior to many other band's gold. 

------

On a side note, the band is still mainly committed to the ACT series but have announced that they will create a nine album series focused on different colors.    Not sure how this will affect the production of future albums, but it is another thing to look forward to. 

Also, the graphic book based on ACT II is still in development by artist Kent St. John.  Hopefully this will emerge soon.  Supposedly there was a limited edition available for ACT III that included a 32 page illustration that was paired with the music, but I cannot seem to get my hands on it.

The Dear Hunter -  "This Beautiful Life" - video

 

Visit The Dear Hunter

look at The Dear Hunter face

grab the tracks on iTunes

 

The Dear Hunter - Act III - Life and Death

1. "Writing on a Wall"   1:38
2. "In Cauda Venenum"   5:29
3. "What It Means to be Alone"   4:49
4. "The Tank"   4:39
5. "The Poison Woman"   4:51
6. "The Thief"   5:01
7. "Mustard Gas"   4:13
8. "Saved"   4:41
9. "He Said He Had a Story"   3:39
10. "This Beautiful Life"   4:05
11. "Go Get Your Gun"   3:15
12. "Son"   2:16
13. "Father"   3:25
14. "Life and Death"   5:45


The Dear Hunter - Act III - Life and Death - Deluxe Edition adds these tracks:

1. "Writing on a Wall" (a capella) 1:40
2. "Untitled 1"   3:40
3. "Movement 1"   1:54
4. "Movement 2"   4:47

 

The Dear Hunter is:

Casey Crescenzo - vocals, piano, guitar, producer
Andy Wildrick - guitar, producer
Erick Serna - guitars
Nick Crescenzo - drums
Nate Patterson - bass

 


"Writing On A Wall" - lyrics

ooooohhh’s
come away young man where the ground is red and you need a mask to breathe
oh it’s been so hard but you’ll like the change if you just roll up your sleeves.
We had tried our best to warn before but it didn’t get you far
now we're here again with a wish to mend your agonizing scar
open eyes young man vigilanty hands and a heart prepared for pain
you will lose much more in this vicious war, past and present stay the same
but the time to come can be altered some if you listen to our song
But we sing in vain, and the fact remains there is nothing can be done.

 

"In Cauda Venenum" - lyrics

We're biting our tongues; biding our time
An apparition awoken with an urge to
own and occupy
"Who ever said this was easy?"
A majesty's massacre floods
the fields of red
blood to your body naturally
rushes the blood to your head

And now with hands aligned
these arms move tonight
and we cry "we can not allow this,
This is terrible"
With ideals we're idle as they
lust for more.
oh if we settle the score.
We've never been so
excited to see you before.

In the cradle we are helpless
but on our feet we are fatal
how we evolve and grow into
twisted beasts with a desire for disorder
OH what a terrible game we play;
replacing the pawn for a body.
And the players? Politicians
who say what they need to say

Now with hands aligned
Arms move tonight
here with abrasive eyes
pain in plain sight
and we cry "we can not allow this,
This is terrible."
With ideals we're idle as they
lust for more.
But oh if we settle the score.
We've never been so excited to see you be...

Oh when I think about your eyes
Oh when I think about your smile
Oh when I dream about your eyes/lies

travel all this way just to find love.

 

"What It Means To Be Alone" - lyrics

Oh, you were born with the sun
And oh, you will die with the moon
Everything you thought you had you lost
But now you'd never lose what you don't have

Prayers from above, never answered quite enough
Now the only one you have is you

With this cruel and bitter heart
You were cold and in love, left here naked in the sun
Run scared from this cruel and bitter world
This has only begun, now the bombs are bursting off

Smoke arose on azimuth glares
bodies brewed and frigid winter air
Where families' sons are robbed beneath their feet, and hearts conceit
"Ab Ovo," the angel sings "Ad astra" our eyes to the sea,
We thought that we had a cause for suffering
and reason enough to die alone

but you With this cruel and bitter heart
You were cold and in love, left here naked in the sun
Run scared from this cruel and bitter world
This has only begun, now the bombs are bursting off

Prayers from above, never answered quite enough
Now the only one you have is

 

"He Said He Had A Story" - lyrics


There was a silver circle sign, and she was standing at the door
we pressed our way right through the crowd, or pace was quickened to her floor,
there was a single feigning light, and there was silk all on the walls,
she had a lot of love to give, I was prepared to take it all

"And what did she do next?"

She had disrobed, and she was waiting on the floor.
She asked me what it was I want, I thought that I wanted it all.

"What did you say?"

I said "Stand up and move your body to the bed."
She quickly stood, and slowly turned, and
here's exactly what she said.

"Please be soft and sweet to me, this life has not been good
you see its hard with such a history buried in mystery."

"And what did you do next?"

I broke a smile reminding that I paid her well.
Her lips returned, and then I felt her hands unbuckling my belt.

"So was it good?"

It felt like heaven, but I'm sure she was in hell-
I made it clear I'd get my money's worth out of the goods she sells.

Break and bind yourself to me, deliver what you've sold
you see that I will only take from you, and use it up.
I'll use you up "What was your name".

What was your name?

1 R&R Engage comment to “The Dear Hunter - Act III”

  1. tiffany and co Says:
    Please be soft and sweet to me, this life has not been good
    you see its hard with such a history buried in mystery.

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