Review Summary: Linkin Park is Back with bang! Be ready to be Hunted!
Finally linkin park brings some sanity (or insanity) to their music.Its a great sign a welcome one for an LP fan like me. I always liked what they did after Meteora but not that much. When i heard Shinoda stating that new album will be loud and visceral, i wasn't taking him seriously especially after what they said and did about 'Living Things'.
Then 'Guilty all the same' came out and every thing changed. It starts of with huge intro clocking at 90 seconds. The heavy metal guitar riff and agressive drums lead us to a beautifully sung chorus by Chester. The track slows down a bit when Rakim enters with his rap verse after which song again picks up in energy and ends with guitar driven outro.
The album starts of with distorted robotic voice of chester. Soon the drums hit and you are up for head banging straight away. Shinoda breaks in with his aggresive rap verse and by the time track ends with ''wo - o - woah" you are left excited in anticipation. Keys to Kingdom' serves as perfect opening to the album.
Second song is 'All for Nothing', the best track of the record featuring Page Hamilton. Page sings the chorus on this track which is a good contrast to Shinoda's rap vocals. The song has a nice breakdown in the middle as it ends with a piano outro.
After Guilty All The Same, we head into The Summoning which sounds totally weird and should have been avoided. The Summoning never goes any where and does nothing for a deserving build up leading to the War.
When 'War' hits you with its punk rock sound you know what they summoned for! It starts with a 1-2-3-4 count and soon becomes a superheavy punk rock track with a prominent guitar solo which sounds more like metallica.This is one of best songs of album despite being weak lyrically and most unlikely Linkin Park song, not many will recognise its linkin park.
Sixth track 'Wastelands' is the trademark rap rock song of Linkin Park. Starts off with a great rap verse and great guitar riff, the song is done in by a weak chorus which is similar in structure to that of 'Guilty All The Same'. Although the song still is catchy enough to become an anthem and a prominent feauture at live performances.
Then comes 'Untill It's Gone', The band is on familiar grounds with this one. It starts with synth riffs providing a great atmosphere and ambient sound turning it into monster ballad but the repetitive lyrics totally ruins this radio-ready single. Probably the weakest track of the album.
'Rebellion' which sounds like a toxicity era SOAD song makes up for previous song. The palm muted guitar riffs by Daron and surprisingly good sung vocals by Mike brings the song to life. The breakdown shows Malakian’s fast riff,with a fast synth riff and explodes with Chester’s growls of REBELLION! REBELLION! This will easily become a fan favorite.
'Mark The Graves' showcases Chester's vocal range. It starts out heavy but soon turns into a softer ballad , quite similar to Blackout from ATS. It is more of an experimental track with a good guitar solo near the end of it
'Drawbar' is second instrumental where Tom Morello was wasted, his presence is not felt in this mostly piano driven interlude.
'Final Masquerade' is the only genuinely soft track. A low tempo song with mid tempo beats and palm muted guitar . It features some of better lyrics of album. Chester's vocals are as brilliant as ever. A complete radio single.
The final song 'A Line In The Sand' is the most interesting song off the album, starts off with atmospheric sound it feels like a song from 'A Thousand Suns' but you are fooled and one minute into the song the song turns heavy but soon annoys you with a guitar riff at 1:32 which is ripped straight from 'Guilty All The Same'. The song end in similar atmospheric ambience it started with. Its is a great song to end a real good album.
All in all this is an album Linkin Park wanted more than anybody else and they did great!