The Hunting Party by Linkin Park

 

This sixth installment in the varied Linkin Park discography sounds like it came out in 1995 or so, which is a good sign. Said by the band themselves, The Hunting Party is a spiritual predecessor to their debut release, Hybrid Theory – the record which set this California based six-piece in motion. Like 2007’s Minutes to Midnight, it attempts to start off on a clean slate, and while it does come packed with more than a peak or two, it iterates the sentiment – also professed by its immediate predecessor Living Things – that this act tend to change more than they evolve, and that is hardly ideal over the long term.

 

TRACKLIST:
#1. Keys to the Kingdom 3:38
#2. All for Nothing (Feat. Page Hamilton)3:33
#3. Guilty All the Same (Feat. Rakim)5:56
#4. The Summoning 1:00
#5. War 2:11
#6. Wastelands 3:15
#7. Until It’s Gone 3:53
#8. Rebellion (Feat. Daron Malakian) 3:44
#9. Mark the Graves 5:05
#10. Drawbar (Feat. Tom Morello) 2:46
#11. Final Masquerade 3:37
#12. A Line in the Sand 6:35

 

PERSONNEL:
Chester Bennington: Vocals
Rob Bourdon: Drums, Percussion
Brad Delson: Lead Guitar
Dave “Phoenix” Farrell: Bass Guitar
Joe Hahn: Turntables, Samples, Programming
Mike Shinoda: Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards

 

PRODUCER:
Brad Delson
Mike Shinoda
Emile Haynie
Rob Cavallo

 

DATE OF RELEASE:
13th June, 2014

 

SINGLES:
Guilty All The Same
Until It’s Gone
Final Masquerade

 

The most striking feature of the record are its extensive guitar-work and equally complex drum samples in use throughout. Such are the nature of Delson’s riffs that even the hardcore set among the fanbase will have stopped to wonder why they had to listen to the band’s lead guitarist plod away at the keyboards and synths for the past few records if this was parked in the garage the whole while. Mind you, it’s not a revelation carried forth by a song or two either; the opener in Keys to the Kingdom packs in the punch from a few seconds on, and it stays put alongside the pounding percussion from start to finish.

 

Not that the opener is the heaviest on offer – although that would be a simple mistake to make. The Wars and Mark the Graves lower down push out the same delectable vibe, and to good effect. This is in addition to the well publicized collaborations of course, of which All For Nothing features a melodious chorus by Page Hamilton of Helmet fame and would qualify as a personal jamming choice.

 

As is the case with many of these kind of records however, the scramble for being a heavy riffer implodes at some point, and it proceeds to lose some fuel whilst hurtling to the finish line. Drawbar begins this phase, and is a neither here nor there instrumental, and past the novelty of the swinging verses on Final Masquerade, it doesn’t come off as anything more than a filler either. The culmination of it all – A Line in the Sand promises to introduce a touch of well needed smooth melody √† la No Roads Left from back in the Minutes to Midnight era, but that’s before you realize a minute in that you’ve spoken (sung) too soon, when the same old scat chorus courtesy Bennington hits. Though it has to be said that Until It’s Gone a few tracks above does manage to accomplish such a quieter, moodier setting to its credit.

 

From an overall standpoint, the issues that confront this record¬†are besides the overall question mark of Linkin Park’s creative stature in the industry. Artists are often berated for making the same record over and over again, but this six-piece have managed to pull off the complete opposite and have headed to the other extreme in the process. In hindsight, there is little to no flow when playing any of their records back-to-back bar the first two, and it’s anybody’s guess what the next one is going to sound like. Reggae or Jazz, anyone?

 

 

 

 

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