Sound — 8
Oh, Linkin Park, how I missed you. That Nu Metal Sound was great! But Minutes to Midnight was such a let-down. Now, you're back with an incredible sound and great vocals! This album ties itself together very well, with small 1 minute - 2 minute segments of either a speech or a quick little tune, by Hahn. 01. Requiem: a great way to kick off the album, deriving a quote directly from their single, The Catalyst. With some vocalizing in the background, and ambient noises all the way through. The girl's voice however, is a little creepy. 8.5/10 02. The Radiance: this is the first of a few very short, about a minute, speeches that are on this album, very interesting to listen to. Also, very powerful speeches so it add's to the experience. 7/10 03. Burning in the Skies: the first full song on the album. Nice beat, and the lyric's accompany the instruments very nicely. Although, I think this song could have been better if it had their old Nu Metal sound, but it's still good. 8/10 04. Empty Spaces: the shortest bit on the album. Only 18 seconds, it's not really needed in my opinion. It's just crickets chirping, and gunfire, and people yelling. Pretty useless in my opinion, but a cool intro to the next song. 6/10 05. When They Come For Me: this is a very interesting song. Starts off with some rapping by none other than Mike Shinoda. Then when you expect Chester to come in screaming, he comes in singing melodically. It's kind of cool, and the beat is really incredible, but something's missing. 8/10 06. Robot Boy: starts out with a piano intro, it's not a very exciting song. It's just a nice calm song to listen to. The title really has nothing to do with the song. It's alright for the most part, just seems a little out of place. 6.5/10 07. Jornada Del Muerto: a very interesting piece by Mr. Hahn. Sounds really cool, but its only a minute and a half long, so I wish it were longer. But it's kind of cool so I forgive them. 7/10 08. Waiting For The End: starts out with a cool guitar riff, then when I start to think, "Hey, maybe this will be a Nu Metal song!", and then my hopes get shattered by Mike. Comes in rapping and it doesn't sound that bad. Then Chester comes in, yet again, singing Melodically. I like him more as a screamer personally, but he is a truly incredible singer. The chorus of this song really proves this. 8.5/10 09. Blackout: the intro to this song reminded me of Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer, so much, I thought my ipod shuffled. Until Chester started singing. And I finally got to hear Chester scream again! The verses are really good and he sounds good, but the chorus in incredible! Finally he sounds like he used to. It's great. Then in a great Nu Metal guitar 'riff', if you can call it that, Chester comes in screaming, and it sounds great! Then Chester and the guitar fade out, and it becomes a slow song. I was so overly disappointed when this happened. Mike came in singing, and then the guitar came back, but Chester didn't scream for the rest of the song. But no matter what, this is still a favorite from the album. 9/10 10. Wretches and Kings: this song was released about a week ago, and I love it with a passion, it's got a good beat and the guitar sounds really good, even though it doesn't stray from a few different riff's, it still sounds really good. It's got a couple speeches in it which I could care less about. But Chester does sing the chorus which is a highlight in my opinion. All the verses are done by Mike though, so that was a little sad, but he did them well, so it was okay. 9/10 11. Wisdom, Justice, and Love: another speech. This one by far, is my favorite of the speeches, its really cool, and it is very powerful, and the piano accompaniment really sets a mood. His voice fades out into sort of a distorted voice near the end, and all he says is, "Cannot be reconciled for wisdom, justice, and love." It sounds cool is all I can say. 12. Iridescent: the previous track really leads into this. Mike comes in singing some very good lines. And he actually sounds really good, the Chester starts singing, and it all gets even better. A very meaningful song, and very powerful. It's also got great background music attached to it that complete the piece. Very good. 8/10 13. Fallout: another semi-speech, quoting the lines from "Burning in the Skies". It's kind of cool, and sounds neat. The Distortion fades around the end, and you're left with Chester's amazing voice. 7/10 14. The Catalyst: I never really liked The Catalyst that much, I first heard it and just lost a lot of hope for this album. I just feel that it's definitely not one of the best songs they've ever made, I mean, it's decent, but nothing to get excited over. The drum-beat seems too electronic, and just generic really. And personally I don't like the electronic beep's and boop's throughout the song. It does get good when the guitar comes in though. 15. The Messenger: the shortest real song on the album. It's Chester's acoustic song, and he does an incredible job. It's nice and calm, and he sings incredibly. Just a very heart-felt song, and paired with Chester's vocal style, it's just a blur of awesome. A great closer to a great album. 9/10 You can tell that Linkin Park is maturing as musicians but sometimes I wish that wouldn't happen. Their new sound is really good, but isn't quite as good as their Nu Metal sound. Although, I still like it a lot.
Lyrics — 9
Chester never fails to impress, especially with this album. Some songs sound a little forced but it's all quality lyrics so I really enjoyed it. It's definately one of their most impressive album's, lyrically, to date. The lyric's are very well written and are great to hear coming from Chester, or Mike. A few lines especially really stick with you. Almost the whole song, "The Messenger", stick with you and just play through in your head throughout the day which is alright, cause it's a great song. Needless to say, I really enjoyed the lyrics from this album, and they accompany the music very, very well throughout. The only time I could think of that had needless lyric's would have been in the song "When They Come For Me" For a lot of time at the end, while Chester is belting out some really good lines, Mike is just in the background rapping, "Try not to get jumped, motherf***er!" or something like that. It's just pointless but besides that, the albums lyrics are incredible.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, I really Liked this album, it has it's downsides like every album, but it's still good. I've been a Linkin Park fan since the beginning and I've always liked them, even through their Minutes to Midnight phase. I liked them more, when they were Nu Metal, but they still write good music! And they can still perform and pull off really what ever they want.