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The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise

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  • The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise

    So, over the years I've heard of The Dear Hunter and tried (without much effort) to get into them, but I'm admittedly picky, and found the vocals and sound very... piercy... I guess.

    Well, I gave this one a chance, and... holy shit. This thing wonderfully melodic. It's an opus. I'm in. Oh boy am I in.

    Reminds me a bit of Silverchair - Diorama, but even more... thematic. Wonderful stuff.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntHFxkX0fxU

  • #2
    Re: The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise

    I've given everything they've put out a shot since Act II in 2007.

    In every case -- Act II, Act III, Migrant -- I'd absolutely love 2-4 tracks, but find the rest to range from decent to boring. The proportion on The Color Spectrum was similar: about 8 songs out of the 36 that I truly enjoyed.

    Act IV is definitely the first record of theirs I can listen to front-to-back on a regular basis. There are a few tracks I find weaker than the others, but I truly enjoy the majority. Hope he continues down this path of more melodic experimentation and less of the really folksy side.

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    • #3
      Re: The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise

      Honestly, besides the first Act, I find this to be his weakest album. Middle of the album falls really flat for me, kind of a ho hum finish and songs with a pop appeal rather than his more thoughtful writing (call me a hipster, I just don't think Casey is very good with pop structure). Doesn't say much, though, cause I think so highly of everything he generally does, so I still enjoy it. Act III is still the best thing he's put out.

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      • #4
        Re: The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise

        I'm a fanboy, so I still enjoyed this album a fair amount. But among their catalog, I would probably only put it ahead of Migrant.
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        • #5
          Re: The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise

          Agreed, I also LOVE everything Casey Crescenzo does. Act IV is towards the bottom of my preference list with The Dear Hunter. It has plenty of stuff on it that I like but it still doesn't stack up to the rest of their catalog in my opinion.
          Originally posted by Ars Sycro
          I have a type. I like hot bitches.

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          • #6
            Re: The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise

            It's grown on me a lot and there are a lot of awesome parts and callbacks and stuff, but yeah, probably the weakest of the Act records for me. The lyrics seem a bit uninspired. III was a hard *ahem* act to follow though.

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            • #7
              Re: The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise

              IV > TCS > II > III > Migrant > I

              But as I said, the folksy noodling that occupied roughly half of all the pre-Migrant records just doesn't do it for me, so I'm sure longtime superfans who loved that stuff feel differently.

              I'd say the middle section on IV - "Is There Anybody Here?," "The Squeaky Wheel," and the Bitter Suites - is the big departure from almost everything they've done, and I think they're absolutely fantastic. I'll take the crazy melodic whirlwind over subdued two-chord acoustic numbers any day.
              Last edited by Corroded Halo; March 7, 2016, 09:43 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise

                Originally posted by Corroded Halo View Post
                IV > TCS > II > III > Migrant > I

                But as I said, the folksy noodling that occupied roughly half of all the pre-Migrant records just doesn't do it for me, so I'm sure longtime superfans who loved that stuff feel differently.

                I'd say the middle section on IV - "Is There Anybody Here?," "The Squeaky Wheel," and the Bitter Suites - is the big departure from almost everything they've done, and I think they're absolutely fantastic. I'll take the crazy melodic whirlwind over subdued two-chord acoustic numbers any day.
                This is my opinion too. The middle of IV is the best part of the album. Even though I think it's all great, the weakest part is really just a couple songs at the end of the album. (not the last song, that one is awesome)

                As for the older stuff, I'm giving it a shot. I'm starting on act III now and having the same old hard time getting past the forced growls and yells, but it's a bit easier now that I've dipped my toes in act IV. We'll see how it goes and my verdict. Maybe I'll try the color spectrum first.

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                • #9
                  Re: The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise

                  Nah, I don't think that's it, because I hear the noodling throughout Act IV. The growls aren't really forced either, you just may not care for his style and that's fine. It took a bit for me to adjust to it, so I'm not at all suprised when people say they don't like certain aspects of his voice, or even his writing in general as, yeah, he noodles a lot and even though I'm a big fan, sometimes I'm thinking "That wasn't necessary."

                  For me, it's not necessarily the center, it's from after Waves through A Night on the Town. There are 3 songs there that are practically the same song, and each of them aren't very interesting. Night on the Town runs too long (I love long tracks, but it doesn't stay interesting all the way through) and ends kind of awkwardly. After that, it picks back up until Knight of Swords, which I just can't get behind, it's painful. I'm almost embarrassed for Casey when I hear that song. I like The Line and Wait, but the momentum is dead for me at that point so I don't care. I do love the closer, though, really good. I just think the momentum dies at a few points in the album and I find myself losing interest and overall not really caring. Which is a bummer. And I'm definitely being overly critical as I write this for sure, cause I listened to the album on my way into work today. I definitely enjoy it, I just am not in love with it.

                  Edit: Just to clarify, totally realize that's all preachy, personal taste bullshit above. The more people that get into any Dear Hunter, the better in my opinion.
                  Last edited by Gnomad; March 10, 2016, 08:15 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise

                    The only boring folksy track I found on IV was "End of the Earth." That's usually a skip for me.

                    I was referring more to something like "The Delphi Express" or "Go Get Your Gun," or a lot of the Yellow/Green/Blue stuff on TCS. I guess I'm just not open-minded enough when it comes to certain genres. But hearing tracks like those for the first time, I remember just sitting there thinking: "is this supposed to be enjoyable or something?"

                    "King of Swords" is cringe-worthy, of course, but it almost feels like it isn't to be taken seriously. Which is how I've always felt about those really goofy folk tracks, too.

                    "The Line" is definitely a folk-influenced song, but it's pretty melodic and well-done; I like it.

                    Am I crazy hearing a major Pet Sounds influence in IV? The whole baroque pop thing seems to be awfully prominent, especially through the middle section of the album.

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                    • #11
                      Re: The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise

                      Still working on the older stuff... initial impressions are: less dynamic(besides the growls adding some, but I'm not the biggest fan there) a little bit.. droney. I don't want to say repetitive, but maybe it's the lack of strong chorus on the older stuff that's now present in IV? I need to listen more. but I will say the beginning few and the end few of III is growing on me.

                      But anyway, in the meantime: what about the composition and instrumentation on IV. Nobody's mentioned. This is top notch stuff is it not? I only hear pale shades of it on previous material. The older albums songs can flow together in a more traditional sense, but man, these compositions and then what becomes segues are really genius on this album.

                      Side note: it's interesting to see people's opinions; those coming from people who started from the beginning, and those (well.. me) working backwards. Makes for an interesting discussion.

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                      • #12
                        Re: The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise

                        @Corroded Halo
                        I skip End of the Earth. I actually typically like his folksy track, but you're right, that track is pretty boring. Delphi I get, but I love Go Get Your Gun and the Yellow/Green/Blue section of Color Spectrum is my favorite part, haha. Totally see where we disagree now. It's nothing about being open minded, just not your taste. You're open minded enough to give it a shot, you know? For King of Swords... this is how I feel about the that theory. And wow, you nailed it. In fact, he did a cover of God Only Knows before he started recording Act IV. Nice catch.

                        @FeebleFables
                        It could be why I enjoy the older stuff more, I like the understated sound he used to have. I think he's too dynamic now, there's too much going on. All of the pieces fit together well, but none of it shines, it just comes out bland to me in a lot of places. However, droney? Yeah, I actually feel like I know exactly what you're talking about with that. Super valid. As for the composition, have you heard Amour and Attrition? It was a symphonic piece he recorded a couple of years ago, I really enjoyed it. You might want to check it out.

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                        • #13
                          Re: The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise

                          Casey and TDH have always had a big Brian Wilson/Beach Boys and Pet Sounds-era influence though. 1878, Saved, His Hands Matched His Tongue, Smiling Swine I hear it clearly on among others.

                          So I guess I don't find any of the moments that show that on Act IV to be a new influence, per say.

                          As for King of Swords, Casey did a chat/podcast about a year ago or maybe it was over last Summer, I forget when, but he talked about how he wrote a lot of overt radio-attempted pop songs when writing for this album, which he was thinking of bringing to a larger label and try doing the pop/radio game. But he decided to scrap it. But I and many of the other fans online have thought that King of Swords namely was the 1 track that found its way onto Act IV.

                          Personally, I love King of Swords and I love it when he writes overtly catchy/poppy songs in most cases, and really would love to hear the others that he may have demo-ed that didn't end of up being recorded or were recorded but not used for this album.
                          Last edited by SoundscapeMN; March 13, 2016, 07:05 AM.
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                          • #14
                            Re: The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise

                            Act V: Hymns with the Devil in Confessional released September 9th.

                            http://hymnswiththedevil.com/
                            http://thedearhunter.merchnow.com/
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                            • #15
                              Re: The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise

                              YES!!!

                              ...but some bad news sprinkled in there. Act V will be the last "rock" Act album. Whatever that means. But that also means this is the last Act tour.
                              Originally posted by Ars Sycro
                              I have a type. I like hot bitches.

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