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Album Review: Linkin Park Explore Heavier Territory With ‘The Hunting Party’


Few band’s have reached the dazzling heights of commercial  and critical success experienced by Linkin Park. The band’s longevity can certainly be contributed to their fearlessness when it comes to musical experimentation. The band’s latest album, The Hunting Party, takes their synergy, not only with guest appearances but among the band members themselves, to an exceptional new level. This highly spirited album proves the band still have plenty of creative fuel in their tank.

Linkin Park – “The Hunting Party”

‘The Hunting Party’ is Linkin Park’s sixth studio release, due out June 17th on Machine Shop Recordings / Warner Bros Records, and serves as the followup 2012’s ‘Living Things’ and their 2013 remix collection ‘Recharged.’ The album finds the band returning to their roots in many ways, as well as paying homage to some of their eclectic influences. It is this exploration, a musical soul-searching if you will, which provides a spontaneous, raw and energetic feel throughout the listening journey. The collaborations featured on the record are a who’s who of musicians known for their authenticity and overwhelming contributions to their respective genres. One of the first released tracks from the album, “Guilty All The Same,” features the fiery vocals of hip-hop legend Rakim, with compelling results (the kind that immediately intrigued me when I heard the single). Helmet’s Page Hamilton is also along for the ride. A rock legend in his own right, he provides the razor-sharp chorus and old school riffs of “All for Nothing.” Tom Morello lends his considerable axe skills to “Drawbar,” a jam sure to make any fan of his work with Rage Against The Machine continue to keep their fingers crossed for new material. “Rebellion,” featuring a guest appearance by System of a Down’s Daron Malakian, is one of the most ferocious track on the record. The song oozes edginess and erupts into a riff-fest which truly gets the blood pumping. “War” is without question the heaviest song on the new album and is relentlessly powerful; a clear standout track on the release.

Overall, the album is much heavier than the band’s last few releases. However, it isn’t heavy for the sake of being heavy. What stands out to me as the biggest success of this album is it’s free-flowing nature. The songs do not feel overproduced or forced in any way. The inclusion of studio snippets and outtakes between songs give the album an even more unpolished feel. As a long-time listener of their music and attendee to their live shows, it seems Linkin Park may finally becoming a little comfortable in their own skin. The band’s playing is certainly tight and frontmen Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington are clearly at the top of their game for this release, weaving in and out of the sonic elements that have forged the band’s signature sound. It is exciting to see a band of this caliber challenge themselves as they have done continuously through the years. With a little luck, this album will serve as another solid springboard for this talented of artists to continue their trek forward.

RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

Check out the new video for “Until It’s Gone,” the second single from The Hunting Party , which drops on June 17th. The video is directed by Linkin Park’s DJ programmer Joe Hahn.

The tracklist for Linkin Park’s new album The Hunting Party is as follows:

1. ‘Keys to the Kingdom’
2. ‘All for Nothing’ (featuring Page Hamilton)
3. ‘Guilty All the Same’ (featuring Rakim)
4. ‘The Summoning’
5. ‘War’
6. ‘Wastelands’
7. ‘Until It’s Gone’
8. ‘Rebellion’ (featuring Daron Malakian)
9. ‘Mark the Graves’
10. ‘Drawbar’ (featuring Tom Morello)
11. ‘Final Masquerade’
12. ‘A Line in the Sand’