The Dear Hunter
All Is As All Should Be


4.0
excellent

Review

by tef USER (16 Reviews)
December 29th, 2017 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Is it all as it should be?

Taking a break from the “Act” album series, Providence’s The Dear Hunter release another EP. Examining this format extensively in the past already, this time around Crescenzo et al took ideas and themes for songs from a number of hardcore TDH fans that the band has been acquinted with for years (not limited to the realm of backstage beerfests and smelly touring buses), and made these into a short song cycle, “All Is As All Should Be”.
With a total running time of 26 minutes and the longest track only just over 5 minutes long, it stands in stark contrast to their last two albums.

Musically however, the album is quite similar to the last two “Act” albums (IV en V). Comfortably moving between styles, the music as always is characterized most by Crescenzo’s amazing voice and the colorful instrumentation. Most of the progressive rock meanderings are left out this time around with opener “The Right Wrong” being the hardest rocking track here, and follow up “Blame Paradise” being the only track really exemplifying TDH’s prog background. With its angular synth motifs and weird verse vocal melody it takes some time to get used to but in the end proves to be one of the best tracks on here.

“Beyond The Pale” and “Shake Me (Awake)”, seem to be two parts of one long epic song that were later cut up in two separate songs for the sake of the EP format. The former being a quiet, not very uplifting (and maybe a tad boring) track, the latter takes all of TDH’s pop rock sentiment and pours it into a magnificent earworm. It has a typical TDH happy/melancholy melody with evenly twofold lyrics about the longing for a more meaningful existence on the one hand and a seize-the-day sentiment on the other.
With an album title suggesting a sense of comfort at a given time, the song lyrics are contradictory on more occasions than mentioned above; Lyrics like:

“…the valley between who I am,
And who I want you to see,
Is too vast to bypass….”

“..Will no one witness me"
Do I exist, or did I fall into darkness"...”

(from “Witness Me”)

and,

“…Come shake me awake,
And pull me far away,
From the endless circles I’ve been running in,
I’ve had about all I can take,
So take me far away,
To a life that’s far less ordinary…”

(from “Shake me (Awake)”

suggest to the listener that the protagonist might be somewhat uncomfortable in his current state.
On the other hand there’s lines like:

“…despite all my skeletons,
I see, all is as all should be…”

(from “The Right Wrong”)

“…but at the end when you’re looking out through my eyes,
You’ll see that all is as all should be..”

(from “All Is As All Should Be”)

that suggest a certain degree of resignation in the protagonist. This duality is certainly felt throughout the album and not in a god way. It feels uplifting at times and meaningful and deep at others. The theme that’s supposed to tie the EP together works a bit counterproductive and unfortunately acts more as a divisive force than a binding force here.

All this doesn’t take away from the fact that this is one very enjoyable listen with a couple of standout moments and very enjoyable musicianship throughout. The EP as a whole however falls into the mediocre category of TDH’s output. Given the super high quality of the rest of their discography, this “mediocre” EP is still way better than most albums released this year and thus will probably make it to my end of the year list for 2017.



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user ratings (144)
Chart.
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
BlackwaterPork
December 29th 2017


4327 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

‘Bout time dis got a review

Digging: The Ocean - Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 29th 2017


4638 Comments


I haven't managed to get into this as much as I wanted, don't know why. I have to listen to it more maybe.

Digging: The Ocean - Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic

Drifter
December 29th 2017


14398 Comments


"hardcore TDH fans that the band has been acquinted with for years"

Acquainted*

Piglet
December 29th 2017


7783 Comments


nah don't worry insomniac its about as good as a pet goose

furpa
December 29th 2017


463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fair review but I'm not sure you totally understood the concept of the EP. You mention conflicting sentiments in the lyrics, but the lyrical content of each song was prompted to Casey from each different person he contacted, thus each song remains completely unrelated to every other one. The project wasn't meant to act as a single cohesive release (like the Acts and most of TDH's other work). Every song is very much intentionally different from the last, both tonally and thematically.

tef
December 29th 2017


196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The title comes back literally in two of the six tracks. Forgive me for thinking that’s not coincidental ImO this is not just six songs without any common ground.

As I understood basic song ideas were prompted by close fans, the lyrics seem more Casey’s own work... they do read like personal lyrics to me.

sempiturtle
December 29th 2017


1518 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

The fans did indeed provide Casey with the lyrical theme of each song, but no actual lyrics.



Also this isn't musically similar to the last two Acts at all, most obviously due to the complete lack of orchestration that was the focal point of those albums' instrumentation.

tef
December 29th 2017


196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don’t hear any drastic change in sound between this and the previous two albums; maybe it’s me, maybe not...I’m going for the latter

sempiturtle
December 29th 2017


1518 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Except I just gave a reason as to why it's objectively different from the previous albums lmao

SowingSeason
Moderator
December 30th 2017


28384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

I'm glad someone reviewed this, have a pos. I'm not certain as to how much input the fans had into the lyrics if any (probably none), but I love the concept of taking fan experiences/ideas and creating unique songs based on their requests. The songs were just alright for me, the only one I keep coming back to is Blame Paradise. Still, it's TDH, so there's no bad songs.

Digging: John Nolan - Abendigo

AaroN911
January 4th 2018


2223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Solid EP and I cannot wait for the next Act!

Digging: Direct Hit! - Crown Of Nothing

Drifter
January 4th 2018


14398 Comments


@sempiturtle He's just saying it sounds similar overall. Just because strings are gone doesn't mean it doesn't have the same bright and colorful rock sound.

tef
January 8th 2018


196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks drifter

neekafat
April 16th 2018


12997 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

How much does this sound like their other stuff? Because it's good but pretty generic pop-rock

DinosaurJones
April 16th 2018


9960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's all right. Probably my least favorite of their work, tbh tho.

neekafat
April 16th 2018


12997 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

you just gave it a 4.5...

DinosaurJones
April 16th 2018


9960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I just dropped my rating as I gave it another listen and realized the hype was a bit high for me.



I'm an unabashed TDH fanboy though.

neekafat
April 16th 2018


12997 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So I should expect better things if I delve deeper is what you're saying?

Drifter
April 16th 2018


14398 Comments


Yes

neekafat
April 16th 2018


12997 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Lmao me and Dino just dropped that avg



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