Review Summary: Out of Ashes teaches us that Chester Bennington is much better fit with the nu-metal atmosphere of Linkin Park than the mainstream rock feeling of Dead By Sunrise.
I've been a longtime fan of Linkin Park
. I've followed them ever since they broke through with Hybrid Theory
in 2000. OK, so I didn't know they existed until around 2004. But I still grew fond of Hybrid Theory
, and I found the heavier atmosphere of their follow-up, Meteora
(2003), even more satisfying. Now here's what surprised me - the mellow, poppy atmosphere of Minutes to Midnight
(2007), which was more of an experimental effort for them. Still, Minutes to Midnight
never grew old on me - on top of that, one of the album's singles - "Given Up" - is easily one of my all-time favorite songs.
So, what significance is Linkin Park to Out of Ashes
? I recently saw that Dead By Sunrise's debut single, "Crawl Back In", hit the Top 25, and I went, "An underground newbie band is getting a chart hit? Well, congratulations for them!" But these aren't newbies. You see, Dead By Sunrise is the side project of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington. As soon as I found that out, I thought, "I MUST listen to this online!" And I did.
I had fallen for the atmosphere of Linkin Park's previous albums. I could excuse (and maybe even commend) Minutes to Midnight
for straying away from Linkin Park's trademark sound and still sounding good. But this? This is inexcusable. I had expected a melodic, alt-metal sound. What I got was a Chevelle-meets-Daughtry load of crap. I admit that I do like "Fire", the album opener, for being a heartfelt love song. But Chester seems to force every word he says, while the rest of the band plays along, almost without emotion, like robots. After that, "Crawl Back In" has SOME potential, but not all that much. Again, it's a hollow, awkward mainstream rock number.
Come to think of it, just about the whole album rolls up into one giant, lumbering, hollow, awkward mainstream rock number from start to finish. Middle tracks "My Suffering" and "Condemned" are rather forgettable fillers, although I do applaud them for utilizing Chester Bennington's all-too-absent screaming. Then again, they sound the same. The whole album sounds the same. Just listen to "Crawl Back In" and "Give Me Your Name" back-to-back - you almost won't recognize they're separate tracks. "Walking In Circles" is probably the only sufficiently decent song on the album, and even THAT sounds like it's forced, and weak. The whole album is forced and weak.
I hope Linkin Park's upcoming album sounds a lot better than Out of Ashes
. Chester sounds like he's forcing himself with every lyric he sings on a mainstream rock song. His voice flows much better on works of nu-metal.