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Act III: Life And Death

4.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 23, 2009
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$17.10 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 11 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Act III: Life And Death
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  • Act I: The Lake South the River North
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  • Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading
Total price: $44.08
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Editorial Reviews

Following up where Act II left off Act III is more melodic record with the heavy parts heavier, and the soft parts more serene. Set in a WWI era, "Act III" documents the metamorphosis of a fictional central character as he makes the transition from innocence to impurity. Look for them on tour with Mewithoutyou. RIYL: Circa Survive, Thrice, Chiodos, Mars Volta, Coheed & Cambria.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 23, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Triple Crown
  • ASIN: B00274SIJ2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,747 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
'Act I: The Lake South, The River North' was a brilliant taster - a 39 minute EP. 'Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading' was an awesome, sprawling, 77 minute progressive epic. And now we come to Act III: Life and Death - the third chapter (of six planned) in a fictional character's story continues from Acts I and II into the fiery abyss of World War I.

Let's get the rating out of the way first. I adored the first two chapters and would not hesitate in giving them 5 stars. But as a result, I should really give this album 6 stars (or reduce the other 2 to 4.5 stars should I review them here) as this surpasses anything that Casey Crescenzo has produced to date. It is one of the catchiest, most melodic rock albums I have heard for years. It's not quite as progressive as Act II but the range of styles, instruments and arrangements on display here show a maturity that has developed in Casey's writing and as a result, this record arguably has a more commercial edge, albeit the quirkyness remains with some very atmospheric sound effects between some tracks.

Now whereas it's easy to draw comparisons from Casey's previous group The Receiving End of Sirens and similar indie rock fare such as Circa Survive and also from modern prog-heads such as The Mars Volta and Coheed and Cambria, those groups might mean little to those who rely on UK radio airplay to whet their musical appetite. With Act III: Life and Death it's easy to draw comparisons with a wealth of more commercial musical talent with which most will be familiar. Here's my rundown of all tracks:

1. Writing on a Wall - Opens the album with the most beautiful accapella harmonies before piano joins in.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I own Acts I-III, all of which are stellar releases, amazingly high quality music. This is heavily produced, highly emotional prog-pop. A lot of it plays like old time show tunes, or like Broadway musical tunes. There are multilayered harmonies (gorgeous), punctuating horns, and soaring string arrangements, alongside inventive guitar and keyboard parts. This Crescenzo guy is a genius with first rate writing, playing, vocal skills. He recorded Act I demos with just his brother and his mom, I guess.

On any of these three releases is some of the most beautiful rock music you will hear this year. I guess there's a story and six albums planned to tell it, but I could care less about that, the quality of this music is quenching, independent of a story. Really great.
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Format: Audio CD
We hold these truths to be self evident, that all musicians were not created equally. In the case of The Dear Hunter master mind Casey Crescenzo, this is especially true. Amongst the legions of mediocre artists bleeding over into todays music scene, a virtuoso such as Crescenzo is certainly a breath of fresh air. It's a shame that a great majority of people have never heard of Crescenzo, or his band.

For those unfamiliar, The Dear Hunter is like the illegitimate musical love child of Elton John and Pink Floyd-add a creative ragtime/jazz/prog blend with strings and the occasional Beach Boy's-esque vocal layering thrown in for good measure, their sound is a wonderful amalgam of many different styles and instrumentation.

Their current Album, Act III: Life And Death, is the third part of a planned six act concept opus. While many bands have crumbled under the weight of gasp, a concept album, Crescenzo flourishes. With each subsequent release being better than the last, The Dear Hunter (or TDH) is one of the rare groups out there that are consistently bettering themselves instead of remaining stagnant.

The TDH's previous album, Act II: The Meaning Of & All Things Regarding Ms. Leading, was critically praised and helped catapult the band (somewhat) out of obscurity. Act II offered a wide variety of musical styles and sounds, and it was clear that this album was Crescenzo's playground for experimenting with his brand of music writing. In comparison, Crescenzo went for a more streamlined approach for Act III, but this is not a bad thing; the album as a whole sounds more cohesive than their previous efforts.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Initially I came across the Dear Hunter by mistake in one of those Amazon "if you like this, than maybe you'd like these" type pages. I saw the Dear Hunter and I checked out some samples from both Act I: the Lake South, the River North, and Act III: Life and Death. My immediate reaction was "this is a really interesting diverse display of musicianship, as well, it's catchy and enjoyable."

The album itself far surpassed the samples on Amazon, and I found myself immersed in this conceptual story while enjoying a wide variety of genres of music. The Dear Hunter as a band do well at combining 40's, 50's, 60's, classical, contemporary, rock, and even bluesy cruise type music that you would expect to hear on a tropical getaway. They are immensely talented and the singer doesn't annoy you with experimental styles. As well, a lot of the songs flow together and give you a semblance of something more than a cumulation of random sounds on a cd.

I reviewed this album and ACT I: the Lake South, the River North much the same initially, however, here are the differences:

As far as the band's progress, this album shows a very tasteful maturity, all in the midst of telling another fantastic story, I believe, a continuance from the previous two albums. The sound is great, the music is emotional, the substance and lyrics are great.

As far as I've gathered about this album (without reading the plotline) is that it takes place in the midst of a war, and may be a story of a character writing letters to those he loves ... at least that's what I gather thus far.

I love most every song on this album, however, my absolute favorites are: Writing on the Wall, Tank, In Cauda Venenum, Mustard Gas, and Life and Death. Well worth your time!

-cary-
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