Linkin Park
The Hunting Party


2.0
poor

Review

by Josh Fountain CONTRIBUTOR (64 Reviews)
June 11th, 2014 | 432 replies


Release Date: 06/17/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: What happens when Linkin Park tries to reinvigorate their sound by letting all their previous albums melt together in the sun.

Linkin Park has spent the past ten years trying to distance themselves from their massive debut Hybrid Theory. Now, Hybrid Theory is very much a product of its time, and anyone who claims otherwise is a lunatic. It was a perfect accessible representation of nu-metal, which ruled the landscape so entirely that lesser bands like Taproot and Adema were going Gold. Next came Meteora, which was little more than Hybrid Theory 2.0. It seems that Linkin Park realized that because after Meteora, they chose to attempt blazing a different path. It all started with Minutes To Midnight, which showed the band trying to slow down and add a little brevity. There was a problem with that; the problem being that Linkin Park has never really possessed the songwriting talent to pull that off. Their first two albums succeeded because of their unrelenting energy and a sense of enjoyment (the angsty lyrics at a time when angst was printing money didn’t hurt.) There is no faulting Linkin Park for trying to grow up, but the band eventually lost track of how to craft a good song. Their next two albums had albums sales accompanying the waning interest in the band. Linkin Park recently decided that possibly the best option would be to try to recapture the energy they had when they were younger.

Recapturing the energy of one’s younger, hungrier self is always a fool’s errand. It is hard to feel as desperate to make it with million dollar houses and insane bank accounts. The Hunting Party is exactly that folly. Like Metallica with Death Magnetic, the pieces are seemingly there for a callback to glory days, but the execution isn’t there. The opening track “Keys To The Kingdom” is exactly that problem. Seemingly raw and heavy on the surface, it all feels hollow. The worst offender is Chester Bennington; the man is 38 and screaming about “I’m ***ing up everything I see”. Mike Shinoda is almost as bad. His diminished presence vocally in previous years has clearly affected how much thought he puts into his lyrics. Even if pure energy was enough to sate fans of Hybrid Theory, Linkin Park too often shies away from that balls-out feeling that made songs like “Faint” so successful and popular. It is almost like they aren’t confident enough in their faster tempos, and fall back on the mid tempo mistakes (both from song to song and in the middle of tracks like “Wasteland”.)

There are still a couple highlights, however. “War” shows Linkin Park trying their damndest to sound like a punk band, something they largely succeed at, and “Mark The Graves” is a song that works better than anything else at toeing the line between the two faces they’ve shown over the years. Chester Bennington’s vocals about as good as he has ever been here, that being mostly competent with at least falter or missed note per song. The band behind Chester is spotty and frequently overshadowed, with the main highlight and only constant positive presence being the drumming of Rob Bourdon.

Overall, Linkin Park put forth a valiant effort to try and steal back some of their youth and vitality, however too much quite simply does not work. The attempt to try and balance the two disparate bands that they’ve been creates a disjointed listen. The Hunting Party is clearly a step in the right direction for a band that had lost something over the years, but when they had very little choice but to go up, it doesn’t instill a ton of confidence. If Linkin Park had possibly tried a more mature approach, then more credit would be given their way, but at the end of the day trying to mash together one outdated approach with another does not birth innovation. Linkin Park may eventually prove everyone wrong, but the window is closing fast, and trying to prop it open with Hybrid Theory riffs won’t work.



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user ratings (688)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2014


8021 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

A 2 may seem harsh, but almost nothing works as planned.

fallenbird
June 11th 2014


4119 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Your avatar makes me laugh

unaMUSEd
June 11th 2014


1173 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This sort of reads like a 2.5 imo

Digging: Bring Me the Horizon - Sempiternal

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2014


8021 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

That's weird, reads like a 2 to me

unaMUSEd
June 11th 2014


1173 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, after re-reading it does read more like a 2.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 11th 2014


31618 Comments


This reads like .5 of a difference, sort it out

Also: Hybris Theory in the 1st paragraph

Digging: Theo Parrish - American Intelligence

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2014


8021 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Good catch

Dodenakker
June 11th 2014


225 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Good review, definitely how I feel about the record.

Digging: Circa Survive - Descensus

RogueNine
June 11th 2014


1408 Comments


Chester is 38? Suppose I should have known but dang.

unaMUSEd
June 11th 2014


1173 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wow he is 38... I remember when he was 25 and his ridiculous hair back then. doesn't seem that long ago.

NorwichScene
June 11th 2014


1523 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Really liking this album surprisingly

BassDemon333
June 11th 2014


3415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This definetly isn't a 2

TrephineArtist
June 11th 2014


203 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Not that I'm a massive Linkin Park fan but what the hell has age got to do with anything? WTF? 38 is roughly the same age as Corey Brandon from the almighty Norma Jean or Jacob Bannon from Converge, (Durst is in his 40's too) tell me they can't or shouldn't bring the heavy and scream certain lyrics. These bands are very relevant too and age doesn't come into the equation IMO.. You guys talk like it's pensioner age, lol.

After listening a couple of times the album is so-so. Not bad and far from great. I feel that the two previous albums (ATS & LT) flowed very well and for the first time since the debut so this might turn out to be two steps forward and a hundred steps back.

This kind of feels like an answer to the critics of their electronica stuff and a little forced. However there are some good moments and bands need to change things up from time to time, so it was worth a shot I suppose.


ScuroFantasma
June 11th 2014


2532 Comments


Good review, I've still gotta check this out with an average like that.

Digging: Kyuss - Blues for the Red Sun

trackbytrackreviews
June 11th 2014


1885 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The actual cover does not have the Linkin Park & album name on it, so stop changing it please.

Digging: frnkiero andthe cellabration - Stomachaches

RogueNine
June 11th 2014


1408 Comments


Love the art, speaking of which.

SnakeDelilah
June 11th 2014


9079 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

goodbye 3.9 avg :D

Digging: Foxing - The Albatross

MadPat
June 11th 2014


50 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@unaMUSEd What's more scary is, that 2000 was 14 years ago.

MO
June 11th 2014


19077 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

review is fucking spot on. good job bro

Verm
June 11th 2014


1002 Comments


a 2 for this


Sup



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