The name is Chris. Nice to meet you all. I like warm walks on the the beach, Batman, and Irish whiskey.
Linkin Park is back and better than ever with their sixth official release, “The Hunting Party.” The album is set to release on June 17th, but was released to stream in North America on iTunes. I’ve had the opportunity to listen to it multiple times to give my two cents. Of course I’m still set to buy the album next week, but I wanted to discuss and give my opinion track by track. Honestly, these guys brought it this time. After their last release “Living Things,” Linkin Park went back to the guitar heavy roots they started from. No, this is not “Hybrid Theory/ Meteora part 2,” it’s mixed with different elements that make this release their best since Meteora.
I loved A Thousand Suns. That was probably their most groundbreaking and most diverse album they have created. Every album Linkin Park creates is a footprint towards bigger and better things. They are constantly changing things up and evolving. With that, let’s go through the album, track-by-track.
1. “Keys to the Kingdom” - Chester’s distorted scream at the beginning (“I’m my own casualty. I fuck up everything I see.”) makes this one of the most shocking starts to an album by them. Once his part is done, the guitars and drums jump in to make this one epic opener to the album. This track will please the “old LP” crowd. Mike Shinoda comes in charging with his rap verse with no remorse. This is one of the best tracks on the album and will get the crowd jumping and moshing on tour.
2. “All for Nothing (Feat. Page Hamilton)” - Mike starts hammering again with his rapping. (No i’m not your soldier, I aint taking any orders. I’m a five star general, infantry contoller…”) Page Hamilton from the band Helmet stars in this track singing the vocals as Chester is in the back. I can see people thrown off by that, but Page adds so much to this song. I can’t hear it with anyone else. He makes that chorus, plus Chester singing “All For Nothing!” Brings much more into the track.
3. “Guilty all the Same (Feat. Rakim)” - We know this song, the long intro, the Rakim rap, the intense verse of “Show us all again who you think we should be.” This is definitely aimed at record companies, so-called “fans” who bitch and moan about the bands direction. (You don’t think the band knows who you all, listen to “When They Come For Me”) Rakim’s verse is very brutal and honest. I was a little thrown off at first that it wasn’t Mike, but like with Page Hamilton in “All for Nothing,” it’s perfect. Rakim was part of that group that LP is at. Rakim raps, “But I’m still me. Like authentic hip-hop and rock, 'Til pop and radio and record companies killed me. Try to force me to stray and obey, and got the gall to say how real can real be.”
4. “The Summoning” - An interlude track building with random hard guitar hits, and screams crescendo into some talking before the most shocking song on The Hunting Party.
5. “War” - Wait…Linkin Park just went full Punk? This is awesome! Heavy hitting guitars and drums. Chester’s screams and fast vocals are spot on. The guitar solo by Brad Delson makes him stand out more as a guitar player. You’ll hear more of that in the rest of the album. At the end you’ll you be going “Waaaaarrrrrrr. Dessstrooooyyyyyyer.”
6. “Wastelands” - This is just an in-your-face, classic Linkin Park. Mike raps with some nice pads and drums. Chester’s vocals mixed with the slight electronics you hear in the back compliment the tone well. Although with the intense songs on the album I can see how this can possibly get forgotten in the mix of songs, but that’s not to say this track is not amazing. It mixes every tone from every album they have made. That’s what makes “Wastelands” epic.
7. “Until It’s Gone” - This was the second track revealed by Linkin Park and it’s one of the softer tracks on the record. This song is calmly sung by Chester in which the lyrics are probably the most repetitive and cliched in their library, but it’s not all bad.
"I’ve heard it said a thousand times, but now I know. That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone"
It will make for a great ballad for everyone to sing live.
This is the “What I’ve Done,” of The Hunting Party.
8. “Rebellion (Feat Daron Malakian)” - Daron Malakian comes in with his System of a Down riff that just melts my face off!! I’M HOOKED!! Immediately I yelled as the song kicked in “Yes!” This is one amazing track. Mike sings in this one! He and Chester’s voices singing “We are the fortunate ones, imitations of rebellion!’ I wonder what it would have been like if Daron sang…no too much to take in. Chester’s screams “Rebellion. One by one we fall apart” and Rob Bourdon’s drums was just epic. That’s the only word I can say about it.
9. “Mark the Graves” - This sounds like Blackout (the outro with Mike singing) then kicks in with some hard rock riffs. It’s a mix of A Thousand Suns with Minutes to Midnight. It’s a great track with some amazing lyrics. “There’s a fragile game you play with the ghosts of yesterday
If we can’t let go whenever, say goodbye. No trace of what remains. No stones to mark the graves.Only memories we thought we could deny.”
10. “Drawbar (Feat Tom Morello)” - Okay, Tom Morello…Rage Against The Machine. However, this is not the hard hitting song I initially thought. This is another interlude track with a quiet guitar and piano. Then the drums come in in a roll, screaming sounds are heard. After it’s said and done, the piano comes in and leads to the next track.This is a track to just relax. This track is the intro to the final act of The Hunting Party. These last 15 minutes of the album need to be one song. This is the finale.
11. “Final Masquerade” - Think “Powerless” with more Rock. “Final Masquerade” is the new age “Numb.” This is one of their best ballads. It outshines “Until it’s Gone.” The lyrics in the chorus, “The light on the horizon was brighter yesterday. Shadows floating over, scars begin to fade.You said it was forever but then it slipped away. Standing at the end of the final masquerade.” This track serves as a calm before the storm that is the final track.
12. “A Line in the Sand” - The final track comes in with a single note building as Mike sings “Today we stood on the wall, we laughed the sun, we laughed at the guns, we laughed at it all.” It’s the epic finale we wanted. Drums kick in, then the guitar and Chester screams “You’re gonna pay for what you’ve done!” It’s the perfect closer to an album I cannot forget. You think it’s over but then it hits you more, then the outro brings everything together. It is their longest track in their library at 6:36.
This album, like A Thousand Suns is an experience with themes circling around it. The Hunting Party has themes of war, battles, struggle, and closure. It’s their best album since 2003’s “Meteora.” I’m giving this album a 5/5. I cannot ask for anything better.
-“Keys to the Kingdom”
-“All For Nothing”
-“A Line in the Sand”
List of Favorite Linkin Park Albums as of 2014: (AS A WHOLE ALBUM!)
(NOTE: No remix albums, “Reanimation”/”Recharged”)
1. Hybrid Theory/Meteora
2. The Hunting Party
3. A Thousand Suns
4. Living Things
5. Minutes to Midnight
Frequently I like to look back at what I have created in the past. It helps me motivate myself. Here’s my list of videos I have created and worked on from 2006 to now. Mostly parodies and music videos. 2013 was a dry year due to me joining to the Air Force but I’m looking to continue what I have done. As far as what’s next, I have no idea. All i know is ideas are swarming around and I have so much I want to do.
(Aveer Production Era)
"What Hurts The Most" - Dec 2006
"I Hate Everything About You" - Dec 2006
"Mr. Roboto" - Jan 2007
"California" - Feb 2007
"The Quest" - April 2007
"Sexyback" - May 2007
"X-Men Rejects" - June 2007
"Never Too Late" - July 2007
"Dead" - August 2007
(Second Place Production Era)
"Leave Out All The Rest" - April 2008
"The Pokemon Marathon" - Sept 2009
"The Silent Hill Marathon" - Jan 2010
"Forgive and Forget" ("Louder Than Thunder") - May 2011
"The Batman Show" - Jan 2012
"Batman vs. The Scarecrow" - April 2012
Unreleased Batman Episode - June 2012
"The Devil’s Tea" by Dillon Haas - May 2010
"Crawl" (Working Title) by Dillon Haas - March 2012