The Dear Hunter is a progressive rock band originating from Providence, Rhode Island. The band’s new installment titled “Act V” is from a six album series about a man going through his childhood up until the first World War. The whole story is really up to interpretation, as the band hasn’t said anything in accordance to the story. Therefore, the only thing the listener can use to piece it together are the lyrics and overall feelings of each song in the separate Acts. The first album is about the protagonist’s childhood with his mother Ms. Terri. The second is about when he falls in love with Ms. Leading. The third album is when he joins the first World War. The fourth describes when he assumes the identity of his half brother. And finally, the fifth album is about him confronting his nemesis, The Priest and The Pimp.
The album begins with what sounds like pianos, harps, violins, and background noises, then, it transitions into acapella. The overall feel starts out as very ethereal and omnipresent, feeling very otherworldly and large. It takes a very sudden turn into louder, more technological noises with guitar after the intro, lapsing into something more rock reminiscent. After which it lapses into something more calming and quiet, along with more background sounds. The vocals echo as previously released music from The Dear Hunter. It starts into something that sounds folky with more guitar and vocals. In the middle, it starts getting heavier, louder and more focused in its sound.
One of the strongest songs on the album is a piece labeled “The Revival” which was their second released single after “Gloria” and preceding “Light.” “The Revival” is one of the two songs on the album that has a lyric video, which is commonly provided for their singles before the whole album is released. In the video, the pews of a church, the tree from the album cover, and a line of women from the brothel dancing towards the camera are all visible. The song itself is slightly longer than than the others in the album. At five minutes, the song provides a variety of genres. It starts out loud and fast, softening slightly at the chorus, and three minutes into the song becoming much quieter and relaxed. The ending is just as hard and fast as the start, as it transitions into Melpomene.
The transitions within the songs are done really well, but can sometimes be slightly choppy and seemingly out of place, giving a jarring transition that may take you out of the experience. Overall, the album is much longer than normal, by about ten to fifteen minutes. Their next album, “Act VI”, is said to be unlike the others in the series, to be completely different musically. If you enjoy experimental rock and story-oriented music, this album is certainly worth your time.
Disclaimer: This is purely a review of the artistry of the music and in no way condones the message that may be behind it.