Take This To Heart Records have released their 2023 Fall Sampler that includes tracks by Pony, Orson Wilds, Snarls, Magazine…
The Dear Hunter – Act 1: The Lake South, The River North
The Dear Hunter
Act 1: The Lake South, The River North - Triple Crown Records
This is an album with untold potential. An elaborate prologue to a story line that will control the path of the band’s lyrical structure. An intriguing idea turned into a powerful marketing tool while being the brain child of an already established and respected musician (Casey Crescenzo formerly of The Receiving End Of Sirens). It all adds up to build a sense of anticipation and excitement for Act 1: The Lake South, The River North. But sadly, despite a few fleeting moments of musical rapture, The Dear Hunter failed to build on that potential and anticipation and instead created a lackluster, self-indulged album.
The album kicks off strongly with Batesimo Del Fuoco, a song that instantly reminds you of Murder By Death. The song builds up nicely, creating a solid introduction to the preliminary EP by the band before heading into the impressive instrumental, The Lake South. The instrumental gives the listener a sense of foreboding excitement and anticipation. I somehow imagine fairies like Tinkerbell sneaking around at night into a deep dark forest to work on a mysterious project; and for an instrumental to display such a striking imagine in the mind of a listener without any vocals or lead way is simply impressive.
After that, they go downhill a bit, and only pick it up a few times (The Pimp And The Priest makes a strong impression on the listener, as does the closing instrumental The River North). There’s no denying that Crescenzo is an extremely talented musician, but at times you feel as if he’s rubbing that in your face. He tries to do to much, packing too much into the songs, making them almost self-indulging. With all the songs (other than the intro and two instrumentals) clocking in between just below six minutes and just after seven minutes in length, they tend to drag on. With a slow eerie vocal delivery layered on top, the songs somehow drag on even more. That’s not saying the vocals are bad, because they aren’t. Crescenzo has a solid set of pipes, very similar to The Receiving End Of Sirens or As Tall As Lions or even Circa Survive‘s Anthony Green. At times though, they seem to elongated and stretched out as if he’s forcing it rather than just letting it flow smoothly.
There’s definitely a lot of potential here, a few good songs, a complex and incredibly interesting storyline and strong musicianship. The only downfall is that it can be too self-involved which makes it a tiring and painful listen at times. Crescenzo tries too much with The Deer Hunter, showing that he can play many instruments instead of showing the listener a solid song; and while the lyrics connect all the songs nicely, the music separates and divides them.