The Dear Hunter - Act Iii: Life & Death
After hearing Act II: The Meaning of, & All Things Regarding Ms. Leading, I truly didn't think The Dear Hunter could possibly top what is still one of the greatest albums of the 2000's. In 2009, Act III: Life and Death was released and I was proved... right. Act III truly is a great album that is worth plenty of praise, however I'm sincerely hoping that Casey Crescenzo didn't hit his peak with Act II. All comparison aside, I truly did enjoy Act III, so lets get into it!
As with most records from The Dear Hunter, I found myself skipping over the first track after having listened to the album a few times. As soon as I did, I was pleasantly surprised with how powerful this album begins. The drums on just about every track of this album seem to have been turned up a couple notches overall, and so does Casey's voice for that matter. He still delivers that high pitched ring and vibrato that we've all come to know and love. The vocals seem to have been stressed the most on tracks such as, "In Cauda Venenum" and "The Tank." "The Tank" consequently is one of the greatest songs on Act III in my opinion. It features a very simple yet powerful beat over top of a string ensemble that perfectly compliments Crescenzo's vocals which are particularly beautiful in "The Tank."
The album definitely slumps around the middle, but if you're patient enough to get to the end of the album, you'll be greeted by a satisfying conclusion. The tracks "Son" and "Father" seem to crescendo up to the dramatic conclusion, "Life and Death." The song starts off slow but picks up quick enough with Crescenzo proclaiming, "Oh, what a mess/as everything descends/Oh, what a mess/but everything amends" at the top of his lungs.
All in all, Act III: Life and Death shouldn't be passed over by anyone with a good ear. I would definitely suggest this album to anyone ready to experience an album rather than just listening. While you're at it, get Act I and Act II to see if you can translate the story that continues throughout all three albums and wait for the next two Acts that will finish out the story!
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