Review Summary: Killing Time
There's something to be said for the rockist inspired efforts we see this side of the century. While constantly criticized, it's often seen that refocusing music to the simple brand of the guitar can have revitalizing influences for a band. It may stifle creativity, regardless though it creates passion in the eyes of the embittered, torn down by constantly attempting to evolve. Linkin Park's latest foray is of this kin- stripped of almost all processed beats and radio presence, The Hunting Party
is a conscious throwback to the state of rock and hip-hop before the all too hyperbolically detested nu-metal 'killed it' in the early part of the 21st Century.
It takes chutzpah to recognize the wrongs that filtered through on Living Things
, and The Hunting Party
makes sure to right all wrongs in immediate fashion. Gone is the immediate singles that made an embarrassment of Minutes to Midnight
and clunky experiments that ruined valiant exploration A Thousand Suns
, in its place a band that are far more content to enjoy their craft than make it unnecessarily protracted and force a finger on the pulse. Now, Linkin Park is free to invite guests into the studio- the spastic thrash of "Rebellion" (with Daron Malakian) and immensely tight riffing of "All for Nothing" (with Page Hamilton) standing out the most for invoking the passion within Mike Shinoda. It's clear that while the band have abandoned electronics, Delson and Shinoda are given space to exhibit their well honed craft.
It's rarely ever a disappointment, as the likes of "Keys to the Kingdom" and "Guilty All the Same" can attest, but it is questionable of Linkin Park's career as a whole. Unable to incorporate the fantastic riff rock here with the electronica explored on past efforts, there's an air of difficulty to their craft it's obvious they have yet to master. Other throwbacks remain carefree and joyous if not totally banal; hardcore punk rocker "War", obligatory radio ballads "Until It's Gone" and "Final Masquerade". Minus the influence of Rick Rubin, Shinoda loses innovative vision but instead sounds far less labored in his compositions- when the album eventually arrives at the twin-axe attack "A Line in the Sand", it's apparent that the forced attempts at modernity on Living Things
are now confined to history. For what it's worth, The Hunting Party
is at the very least the most enjoyable Linkin Park releases in years.