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CD REVIEW: LINKIN PARK – The Hunting Party

music_linkin_park_hunting_party

Label: Machine Shop / Warner Brothers Records

Release Date: June 17, 2014

Rating: 10/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

2014 has brought about some changes.  At heart, this is still the Linkin Park we have all come to know and love, but this is more rock oriented and more aggressive than their last few efforts.  Disc opener “Keys To The Kingdom” opens with Chester giving a cool screaming lyrics, buzzed and muffled with effects, while the drums give rockers hope for this disc.  The guitars kick in and we are treated to a great rock track that moves between Mike Shinoda’s and Bennington’s vocals.  “All For Nothing” features Helmet guitarist and vocalist Page Hamilton.  This track gives us more drums and guitars as well as some great rap-rock vocals that these guys have perfected over the years.  This track is built for a live audience and should go over huge in front of crowds on the Carnivores tour later this summer.  “The Summoning” is a cool segue way piece that takes us into the track “War.”  With hints of the opening track, this song is more aggressive than the band has been in a while.  The real star of this track is a monster solo that kicks in and really takes over the pace of the song.  Between the thunderous rhythm section and the killer vocals, this song turns everything up a notch.  “Until It’s Gone” peels back the rock and rap genre from the band and gives them a moment to really showcase some keyboard and synth sounds that add to the dimensions of this disc and keep everything fluid.  This anthemic track is sure to get lighters and fists in the air.  “Drawbar” featuring Tom Morello is a beautiful piece that bridges the different style tracks on this disc and gives us a track that allows the band to play and experiment while keeping true to what it is they do.

“Guilty All The Same” brings Rakim to the table with the rest of the band on a great track that again features killer beats from behind the drum set.  The guitars and bass take their time catching up, but by time they get there, the song is like a train running full speed down the track.  When the vocals kick in, the song takes on a new feel and this track goes full charge when Rakim lays his rap over the bridge.  “Wastelands” is more classic LP rap-rock, heavier on the rock component.  The guitars are full and the drums pounding.  Throw the dual vocals from Shinoda and Bennington and you have a heavy track that helps carry the disc into its second half.  “Rebellion” adds System Of A Down’s Daron Malakian to the mix.  The song is a cool hybrid of rock and rap, much like the rest of the disc, but the way the vocals from Mike and Chester play off each other gives this song a different vibe.  The laid back approach from the former perfectly offsets the latters growls and screams.  Moving into “Mark The Graves,” the band gives a heavy hand to the bass lines and allows them to dominate the track from opening intro into the verse.  Once the vocals kick in, we are treated to something special.  The way the track is mixed to allow the fuzzy guitar to dance underneath the verse while contrasting the heavier chorus and bridge show another side of the bands arrangements.  “Final Masquerade” is one of the stronger tracks on the disc, due in part to Bennington’s lead vocals and the muted instrumentation behind him during the verse.  The chorus and bridges give another glimpse at the rock prowess of the band.  As the band comes together behind the vocals, it is obvious these guys still have the desire to play together and the goods to back it up.  Disc closer “A Line In The Sand” wraps this package nicely and makes you want to start the whole journey over again – I have done so 4 times already while contemplating this review.  Although at times the track seems to be mellow and muted, don’t let the band fool you – in no time, the drums are taking charge, the bass is thumping along, and the guitars are chugging in unison with the rest of the band while the vocals duet and give you one more glimpse into the dynamic of this band and what makes them great.

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Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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