This Dear Hunter article was written by Adam Barrett, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Jake Willis
It has been six years since The Dear Hunter’s previous album, and now it’s time for the fourth act in the tale entitled ‘Act IV: Rebirth In Reprise’. Following the previous three acts, we are welcomed to the opening of ‘Act IV’, which details the story of “The Dear Hunter” and portrays the tale of a boy of the same name.
Thus far in the story the listener has learnt about the character known as “The Dear Hunter”, a boy conceived from prostitution whose mother suffers an early death, forcing the boy to travel looking for information about the life his mother lived. In doing so he enters in to a doomed relationship with a prostitute; joins the army and discovers his father and half-brother, witnesses his half-brother’s death, poisons his father, assumes his half-brothers identity and leaves the army hoping to find his step mother and live with her.
The album is a very clear return to form for The Dear Hunter and seems to have taken musical influences that range from classical, all the way through the musical spectrum to styles mimicking music that would have been featured in silent films in the early 20th Century. This creates an atmosphere on the album that gives it not only a very unique sound – both musically and sonically – but serves to give the album musical “scenes” almost. It is this crock-pot of musical influences that Casey Crescenzo takes from which gives the album such a distinctive feel, breathing life and vitality into ‘Act IV’ and engineering a sound that isn’t often heard in rock.
Each song has something different and unique to offer, which further adds to each song being equivalent to a different scene in the story. From tracks like “The Old Haunt” describing the death of his assumed mother (this guy doesn’t have much luck does he?) to “A Night On The Town” which opens with guitar riffs and rhythms straight out of a carnival celebration; describing the boy’s drunken escapades to “Ouroboros” where he has run for mayor for the city and his identity is found out by a corrupt Pimp and Priest.
The story however feels rather disconnected, as the album (and the albums describing the story of “The Dear Hunter” before it) seem to be more of a selection of important events in the boy’s life that shape and mould him in to the person he becomes at the end of the album. A more intricate insight into the story would have not gone unwelcomed, but when there is only so much you can fit on to a CD it’s certainly a minor complaint.
“Act IV: Rebirth In Reprise” is out now via Equal Vision Records.