Pada tret tentang band ini sebelumnya, saya janji mau memuat reviewnya. Pokoke ini album kuwereeeennn!!!
Studio Album, released in 2009
Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Writing on a Wall (1:36)
2. In Cauda Venenum (5:29)
3. What It Means to be Alone (4:16)
4. The Tank (4:39)
5. The Poison Woman (4:18)
6. The Thief (5:01)
7. Mustard Gas (4:09)
8. Saved (4:25)
9. He Said He Had a Story (3:31)
10. This Beautiful Life (4:05)
11. Go Get Your Gun (2:48)
12. Son (5:39)
13. Father (4:48)
14. Life and Death (0:57)
Total Time 56:42
Search THE DEAR HUNTER Act III: Life and Death lyrics
Music tabs (tablatures)
Search THE DEAR HUNTER Act III: Life and Death tabs
Line-up / Musicians
Casey Crescenzo / vocals, piano, guitar, producer
Andy Wildrick / guitar, producer
Erick Serna / guitars
Nick Crescenzo / drums
Nate Patterson / bass
Triple Crown Records
The Best Prog Album of 2009!
Oh man .. don’t trust my words! You just need to prove it until you guide your mind to similar rating like I have given to this latest album by The Dear Hunter ‘Act III: Life And Death’. My straight forward suggestion is: go to youtube or the band’s myspace and try ‘In Cauda Venenum’ and decide what you gonna do. You don’t need to read this lengthy, novel-long review as it wasyes your time. Just make a decision now!
I have known this band quite late when they already released their second album ‘Act II: The meaning Of, And All Thing Regarding Ms. Leading’. But I also purchased the debut EP ‘Act I’. I think their music is quite original in style even though, whenever I listen to The Dear Hunter, I kind like associate them with Cirque du Soleil (the circus music) or Sweden’s A.C.T … the one that I call it as cabaret in prog rock. This last album ‘Act III: Life And Death’ I purchased just couple weeks ago because I thought I was more interested in new album of IQ and Dream Theater. I did not include purchasing ‘Act III’ because I thought it’s predictable. I was wrong! Style-wise, it is similar with previous two albums. But when I look at the subtleties of the music, it is so intricate to me. Despite great music offered with this CD, I also love the CD package in digipak with 14 loose postcards inserted inside the CD inlay. It’s unique and enjoyable as I listened to the CD while reading the lyrics as printed in each individual post card: one lyric per post card. It’s so innovative.
I cannot afford not to write track-by-track review …
Writing on a Wall (1:36) is an inspiring opener that successfully sets the whole tones and nuances of the concept album. It kicks off beautifully with an acapella that reminds me to the Islamic nuance in some mosque activities where I ever joined. It contains solid nuance using choirs, beautiful piano notes strengthened with bass drums as well as snare sounds in marching style. What a fabulous opening, really! Not only that this is a suitable opener for the storyline but it also has a catchy melody. It serves wonderfully as Pseudo Silk Kimono opens Marillion’s Misplaced Childhood, or take the other extreme example in power metal music (if you like it) like “Regalis Apertura” that opens Kamelot’s Karma album. But this time, the opener has wonderful lyrics: ‘Ooooohhh …..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 ..’. Mann ….this is really great!
In Cauda Venenum (5:29) flows seamlessly from the opening track with an energetic music depicting angry mode that serves, at the same time, as motivator to get ahead with war. The music is like a rock opera played by the band in big band setting using brass section as well as other standard musical instruments like guitar, bass, drums, piano and keyboards. The composition is really top notch with fast tempo, great harmonies resulted from instruments being played, beautiful accentuated vocal line plus energetic choirs. The music is full of inspiration and the style is something that I rarely found before. The Dear Hunter is really creative in creating the new kind of music. Casey’s singing quality is of high quality where he can scream and sing low register notes with clear words coming out from his voice. The music is dynamic as it has various tempo and style changes that make the overall composition sounds really brilliant. The great sonic quality of the CD helps elevate the energy of the music. Lyric-wise this song seems like the start of the war : “And now with our hands aligned these arms move tonight. And we cry ‘we can not allow this, This is terrible’ with all the sentiments remembering home and loved one : ‘Oh when I think about your eyes’. Overall, this track is the best one amongst all excellent tracks provided here with this album. The melody is catchy and full with accentuation, the harmonies are great and the structural integrity of the song is solid like an iron!
What It Means to be Alone (4:16) moves seamlessly from previous track with a mellow style. Stand individually, this track might not be attractive as a stand-alone song. But as this song is used as part of the whole story, finally I find joy in listening to it. It moves in medium tempo mood with piano and string section as rhythm section and vocal that tells the story about the choice that does not seem much especially with this condition: ‘Run scared from this cruel and bitter world. This has only begun, as the bombs are bursting off’. I know, I cannot view this song as a stand-alone one because each song in this album serves like a connecting chain from one song to another, telling the whole story of the concept album. As each scene (represented by a ‘track’) is printed nicely on dark brownies post card, it helps build the nuances of the album. I like this brilliant album of inserting fourteen loose postcards in the CD sleeve.
The Tank (4:39) starts nicely with string section of violin and cello followed with drums and energetic vocal backed with choir line. The song is structurally dynamics even though not that energetic. Casey’s capability as singer is really great as he can manage his screaming as well as normal singing nicely. The music style reminds me to those of A.C.T. I am emotionally drowned when the lyrical part reaches this : ‘And still he moves on. Arm and iron conquer heart and soul”. As the music moves up with intricate vocal line that moves to higher register notes with this part ‘And what of those in silent disconnect?’ until it reaches ‘ …Relief is just gone tear its time away..’. The music returns then to chorus line beautifully. It’s really fabulous composition.
The Poison Woman (4:18) is a happy-go-lucky song with cheering-up mood as the vocal moves dynamically with a catchy melody backed with choir line. The tagline melody sung by vocal is really great while the accentuation from one segment to another has been crafted wonderfully so that it moves in catchy and memorable notes. Piano, banjo and bass guitar play important role in this great track.
The Theif (5:01) seems to depict helplessness in facing unfavorable situation where no one really wants to give hands. The frustration is expressed in the lyrical phrase: ‘Love seems abandon when cash is king’. The music is quite experimental in nature. It starts with guitar rhythm followed with a music in floating style followed with vocal work. The experimental nature is demonstrated through the sounds of guitar effects as well as those produced by keyboard. The keyboard effects in the middle of the track is coupled with bass guitar solo. The vocal line also demonstrates high register notes in screaming style but still acceptable to my ears.
Mustard Gas (4:09) kicks off suddenly with a screaming vocal yelling ‘Here they are. The wicked. A panic floods the field’ backed beautifully with string section and bass guitar, guitar and drums. At minute 1:40 the music changes dramatically into another style with banjo as rhythm section creating very good segment of music. The combination of catchy melody, balanced harmonies from instruments used in the album and changes of styles throughout the track has made this track very attractive.
Saved (4:25) is an acoustic setting that, for me, provides a musical break as the music is quite simple with minimum instruments. It requires only acoustic guitar, piano and vocal in ambient mood. The melody moves nicely from one segment to another with sometimes backed by choir line. There are percussion work at the end of the song. The lyric is quite intriguing with the anecdote : ‘The private does what the general says. The general does what the president says. The president does what the first lady says … So so they say’
He Said He Had a Story (3:31) is a very attractive song which blends the harmonies, melodies and style changes beautifully from start to end. The most important component is the melody as the story telling goes with the vocal line. The accompanying music changes according to the mood as the vocal represents the plot of the story. The most enjoyable part is when there is a soft guitar riff combined with drum work or those with string section. It’s really a memorable song. I like the one after Casey sings ‘What was your name?’ followed with music riffs. It’s so greaaaaattt …!
This Beautiful Life (4:05) moves wonderfully with excellent vocal accentuation accompanied with dynamic music that supports the storyline. Again, through this composition The Dear Hunter has successfully blended the changes in styles, ups and downs of the story, melody and harmonies in its best way. It’s hard to deny the virtuosity of Casey and his brother and friends here with this song. I am really amazed with this, really.
Go Get Your Gun (2:48) is another example of how genius Casey is in crafting this piece of music and positioning it right here in the album after previous ups and downs. This is another happy-go-lucky song that cheers you up and it’s very inspiring. I am thinking of playing this song in one of my management workshops that I regularly conduct as part of my profession. It’s really a great song, especially with its fast tempo and happy mood.
Son (5:39) is a sad song that starts nicely with an acapella followed with a piece of music that comprises acoustic guitar rhythm section and vocal in mellow style coupled with vibraphone to enrich the texture of the music. As far as melody, this is an excellent one as well. It flows nicely and almost unnoticeable to the next track Father (4:48) which continues the sad ambient. These two songs sound like a one integral part. Well, actually all 14 songs in this album form a cohesive whole as one storyline.
Life and Death (5:46) is basically a mellow pop song but it has meaningful lyrics. It serves its role really well as an ending chapter of the whole story. The most meaning full one is the parts where it has ‘We all have hearts. We all have homes. But when we die. We die alone?’. If we all remember this, we will of course only do good deeds as a saving in an account for life after death. Even though there is no complexity in terms of the arrangement as it typically comprises piano and vocal followed later with other instruments but still maintaining slow tempo. The Dear Hunter seemed to conclude the story in mellow mood after the second track ‘In Cauda Venenus’ runs in an energetic and dynamic way. It’s a beautiful concluding track.
It’s definitely a masterpiece progressive music album and must be the best prog album of 2009. The music is quite original in nature even though we cannot deny there must be influences from legendary bands especially on its basic elements from the like of The Beatles. But that’s OK, there is no band not being influenced by The Beatles, I believe. But the composition is really masterpiece as it has catchy melody in each song it contains while the sum of the whole parts forms a cohesive melody that supports the storyline. Performance of the musicians are also of great importance in this album especially Casey’s talent and virtuosity in handling vocal job in differing styles from low register, high register as well as screaming style. The string section also plays critical role in the music. The structural integrity of each song is excellent. And, very importantly, the soniq quality of the CD is really great and it’s much better than any Porcupine Tree albums. I admire Casey’s attention to detail in executing his duty as producer of the album. Get the CD of this album and play it LOUD! Keep on proggin’ ..!
Peace on earth and mercy mild – GW