Rebirth in Reprise, the highly anticipated fourth installment in The Dear Hunter’s epic six-act series of albums, is just that: epic. It’s been just over six years since the six-member-strong group released “Act III: Life and Death,” and Dear Hunter fans have been eagerly awaiting its release.
After the release of their first album, I gave it a number of listens over the years, but never kept up to date with them. About a year ago, I randomly listened to their 2011 release, “The Color Spectrum,” reigniting my interest, so I am listening to this album as a ‘born again’ fan.
Perhaps The Dear Hunter’s most distinctive quality is their progressive sound. This is more than just a rock band. Of course their sound is rooted in rock, the cinematic edge they provide has always been what sets them apart from so many other bands. The band proves they are masters of their craft with this release.
The Dear Hunter has never been modest in their abilities to produce wonderfully layered compositions that you could get lost in if you really wanted to. Their music has never been for the simplistic listener, with some acts sounding like a film score at many times. That charm is still retained in Act IV, but also includes lots of new sounds that kept me more interested this time around. This release sounds like the most expansive, yet cohesive product in the series. Each song is more different, sometimes vastly different, from the one before it. It contains everything we have ever loved from The Dear Hunter. Dramatic orchestras, the emotional choruses, and fresh keyboard work from Andrew Brown, of which this is his first recording with the band. They also sprinkle in some of the electronic elements out of their arsenal on songs like Wait, and At the End of the Earth.
There are some exciting sounds that I am glad they are exploring. Uplifting, upbeat, danceable sounds that you can hear on much of the second half of the album, with tracks like The Squeaky Wheel and King of Swords that sound like no Dear Hunter songs I’ve ever heard before. This new sound is perhaps the most exciting part of this release. It shows that after frontman Casey Crescenzo has been fronting bands for over 10 years his abilities to lead the creation of such immersive collections of sounds has only been sharpened.
As the album finishes off with a sonic cliffhanger, you eagerly anticipate the next release like the next episode of your favorite TV show, but you know that the album has a staying quality that will keep you occupied well up to the band’s next release. This is an album that will not only please their most die-hard fans but also bring in a lot of new fans, so if you have been wanting to get into them, this is a great place to start. If you have been a fan, this release won’t disappoint.