It's not often you hear a progressive rock record shared in the form of an EP, but The Dear Hunter are always ready to push the standard. The band has delivered a new EP with a lot of freshness to it, standing out from what you'd typically expect from a prog rock record. The Dear Hunter sounds animated in All Is As All Should Be, adding a theatrical grandiose to their masterful sound.
Progressive rock is an "intelligent" genre, to describe it likely. Artists love to build stories out of their records, and All Is As All Should Be is no exception, though there is not necessarily a specific narrative behind it. As the band described, this EP is one for the fans. It's the essence of the band's fans, almost like a thank you for the support over their decade-spanning career. There certainly is that lively, happy sound as if the band was celebrating something, such as on the warm, catchy 'Shake Me (Awake)' with its sweet harmonies and punchy dynamics. It is preceded by 'Beyond The Pale,' which helps lead the song into its enchanting atmosphere.
All Is As All Should Be isn't the first thing you'd imagine when hearing the term "progressive rock," and that's perfect. The genre itself is fairly rigid despite its expansive stratosphere. There are moments where the album does adhere to what you'd expect more; the dark masquerade of 'Witness Me' adds that special, brilliant sound to it, while the darker 'Blame Paradise' takes a more definitive stance. The entirety of All Is As All Should Be plays sort of like a play. You can feel the livelihood of it, which is of course a key part of every progressive rock record, yet here it feels much different. Perhaps a result of it's alternative influence on tracks such as the opener 'The Right Wrong' with its fun verses and bright choruses and the closing ballad, title track 'All Is As All Should Be.' The record has a very fresh and inviting sound, perfect for setting the tone they wanted to.
The Dear Hunter sounds animated in All Is As All Should Be, an EP that celebrates the fans and thanks them for a career that by all means shouldn't have worked out. At the end of the day, All Is As All Should Be is more than just a humbling record to the fans. It's proof that anyone can accomplish anything. You don't need the support of a million people or thousands of dollars pumped into promotion. You need people who believe in you backing you, and from there you'll find real happiness.
Favorite Tracks: The Right Wrong, Shake Me (Awake)
Least Favorite Track: Beyond The Pale
Rating: 79 / 100
Stream or buy All Is As All Should Be on Apple Music: