The Hunting Party review by Linkin Park

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  • Released: Jun 17, 2014
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.1 (114 votes)
Linkin Park: The Hunting Party
2

Sound — 8
Well, well, well. Linkin Park have written a rock album? I was beginning to think that this would never happen. After the bands previous 2 works "A Thousand Suns" and "Living Things" as well as last years remix album "Re-Charged" it seemed that the guitars of last decade were officially a thing of the past. The Electronic direction had divided many fans, some claiming that the band had sold out or even that they were dead and buried as a rock band. 

I'm not sure how true either of those statements is but I think they have been utterly refuted because this is a release which is full of energy, urgency and a vigor that this band has arguably been missing for the best part of a decade.

It has been fairly well documented that after "Living Things" after some demo's of more tracks in a similar vein to the 2012 album there was a u-turn and quite a radical one at that. The result is 45 minutes of pretty much breathless rock music in it's purest form. Riffs galore and big choruses expressing anger about the world they see in they're mid-late 30's. 

Linkin Park have never been especially known for their music being the most technical but it is safe to say we can finally see that they have improved on their instruments over the years. The fact that they have been putting in full-blown guitar solos is a welcome addition, while nothing ground-breaking.

Lyrics — 8
The vocals are a rather mixed bag. Chester Bennington has always been known to be a talented singer in terms of being able to mix huge cleans and very convincing harsh vocals. While the harsh vocals are still impressive (take a listen to punk-like "War" if you don't believe me) his cleans have lost a bit of the power he was getting in particular on 2006's "Minutes to Midnight." They are hardly terrible but it's just not quite the same. 

Mike Shinoda on the other hand is this album's big revelation. He has started to fully realise the potential in his clean voice previously seen on songs like "Castle of Glass" or "The Catalyst" and has come across with arguably a stronger vocal delivery at this point in terms of his singing. His rapping has always been fairly consistent but his flow continues to improve with age. 

A big thing the band have said in the build up to this album is that the things 18 year old's are angry about are different to what men in their mid 30's are angry about. This is very evident in the way they have tried to write in a way that is both youthful and reflective of where they are in life. For example "Guilty All the Same" is in equal measures a song being generally angry about people but then featured rap, performed by Rakim, unleashes a specific attack on the area of the music industry they have occupied for the best part of 15 years.

Overall Impression — 8
As far as comparing this album to other music in mainstream rock at the moment I would say that it is actually quite hard. It has been a while, in particular in mainstream American rock for an album to have this much passion, energy and edge to it. Choosing a best song on the album is quite hard, going from "All for Nothing" (featuring Page Hamilton of Helmet) to the heavy swagger of "Wastelands" to the simplistic beauty of "The Final Masqurade" to the plain epic album closer "A Line in the Sand" there is so much to choose from. 

And that's not to say there is a drop in quality anywhere in the album, it's not just the most solid album they have released in nearly a decade but in my opinion it may just be the best work the band has produced. It is perhaps an indication that a band can take a step backwards in terms of song-writing style and not be worse of for it.

59 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Lee Makky
    This is a great album. It may not be exactly like Hybrid Theory or Meteora, but I'm glad they done something that sounds in between their heavy and electronic stuff. Brad has done a good job on this album and the riffs are pretty good. Good job LP!
    SteveDoninger
    Actually Mike recorded most of the Guitar on the record. Mike had to actually push Brad to write some material that he would have wanted to play when he first started guitar. Mike Shinoda is that band, man. The guy is so talented.
    Jimmeister
    I like this album a lot, Keys To the Kingdom, All For Nothing, War and Rebellion especially. I love how Brad's stepped up his game on this one, so much more variety guitarwise and some great riffs in there. This being said I think comparing THP to Hybrid Theory and Meteora isn't going to get you very far. Both those albums are my favourites but the band's changed since then, they're both decade old records after all! People looking for that same aggression on this album may be disappointed, but let's be realistic, these are all 30+ guys now, nearer 40, and I feel their recent music is more refined because of this. THP is less raw, less frenetic, but musically I think it's more advanced. It's still heavy but in a different sense. I'm glad they've gone to a heavier style again without directly trying to recapture that HT/MT vibe, as I'm not sure that'd end all that well. This album's a great combination of both old and new elements of LP as well as stuff we haven't heard from them before eg. War. Don't get me wrong I really like this album but don't put it down by trying to compare it to HT/MT and realizing how it doesn't really match up. It's new, and it's good. Final word: Rob Bourdon DESTROYS this album!
    Nope_City
    I like some of the riffs but the vocals are either boring or just don't fit to the rest of the music
    Nuclearcrayon
    I think Mike's vocals are fantastic on the album, particularly on "all for nothing". But I agree Chester sounds weak on most tracks!
    TryTheKetchup
    Mike didn't sing on All for Nothing.
    opus9
    this band is amazing and deserves all respect for doing something different all the time, for understanding and listening to their fans, 90% of bands are so narrow minded and won't play anything out of their context, this band went from electronica to punk and metal, and every band who has the balls to experiment with different styles deserves respect and recognition.
    Holoogamooga
    I want someone who's never listened to HT or Meteora review this and then listen to those albums.
    Shavyi
    I don't really know what to think about that record. They advertised saying they will bring back the heavy, but actually "Given Up" from the criticised Minutes to Midnight was heavier... Chester sounds really weak, just like he lost the distortion he could do (maybe damages on vocal strings, sorry for him if it's the case). Also, the "featuring"... What a great idea to invite Daron and not making him sing, or Morello and almost not hearing the guitar in the song...
    thenatman106
    "What a great idea to invite Daron and not making [sic] him sing" Maybe 'cause he's a guitarist, not a singer...
    klynch
    After my first listen, I really enjoyed the album. Their most rocking album since Meteora! Though I wouldn't say the album is AMAZING!!!11!Q! Good songs, new direction I'd say 8/10 is a fair score.
    vppark2
    War wreaks Bad Religion in an awesome way. Pretty sure A Line in the Sand is my favorite track.
    alex720
    I personally love this album! Probably their best work since Meteora. "Keys to the Kingdom" and "Wastelands" especially are some of my favorite tracks they've made thus far. Kudos to the band for stepping up the instrumentation big time as well.
    axeslinger0u812
    Color me surprised. Not album if the year or anything, but much better than expected. The album version of Guilty All the Same is significantly better than the rock edit. The rakim (I think?) vocal break actually adds the right amount of variety to break up the bland chorus. I would give it a 7. Probably not listening to it much after this month, and that Morello track is criminal (loved it, but come on- more!) but their best since Meteora for sure.
    Jimjambanx
    I'd still argue that Minutes To Midnight is their 3rd best, that album's pretty underrated, it's, in my eyes, what the future of LP was supposed to be before they went electronic.
    Jimjambanx
    I think it' worth mentioning that some of the vocal lines are copied from other songs. Guilty All The Same's chorus sounds the same as Wastelands', and Wastelands' verse is almost identical to the verse from When They Come For Me off of A Thousand Suns. While it's not their best, it's a solid album and actually makes me excited for what LP has in store for the future.
    a drummer
    All or Nothing really stands out to me. Awesome decision to get Hamilton on board for a song
    JimBonJovi
    Nice to see someone else enjoy 'Wastelands'. The intro/verse riffs are catchy. Love the bridge though too. It takes you back to the Hybrid Theory/Meteora days. Superb album. I hope the next release can follow suit!
    JustStayDown90
    Sounded very uninspired to me. "Guilty All The Same", "Wastelands", "A Line in the Sand", so similar to each other. I could literally sing the GatS chorus over their choruses. The drummer did a lot of snare-kick-snare-kick-snare-kick-snare-kick in most songs, which made things sound even more uninspired. Most songs had the same formula. Rap a verse, scream a chorus.
    travislausch
    I'd still rather listen to this than Beiber. I do agree with you on some points, though their drummer is a touch better than people give him credit for. The album needed a bit more variety, but it's a step in the right direction compared to Living Things. Personally, I'd love to see them mix this rawer rock-oriented style with something like the soundcapes and stuff they tried for on A Thousand Suns.
    JustStayDown90
    "I'd still rather listen to this than Beiber." Almost everything out there is better than Bieber, so that's not really an argument in defense of the album. I think the fact that 9/10 people say "it's a step in the right direction" means most people are not really satisfied...
    Memory In Death
    There's a reason for the similarity between ALITS and GATS. Has something to do with the concept of the album.
    s7peterson
    The way I saw it, a line in the sand was almost a homage to the rest of the album, musically. It took elements from the rest of the album
    d.a. garabedian
    Sadly, I have to agree with the claims that the album is "uninspired". Returning to your heavy roots does not mean foregoing smart songwriting and melodies. Chester is all over the place on this album, and none of this melodies are particularly interesting - worse still, they're all almost completely forgettable. The riffs are fine, and the energy is there, but the songwriting is lacking and the melodies are boring and unworthy of this band's caliber. I mean, part of this band's supposed "issue" is that they write big, hooky melodies. But if you look at Hybrid Theory and Meteora, those hooky melodies are still there - they're just layered over heavier instrumentation. Where are those melodies here? No matter what you think of the sonic palette choices made on the last two albums, at least they (for the most part) kept the strong songwriting and melodies intact.
    minusxero
    I like it. It doesn't touch A Thousand Suns in terms of "completeness" and there are certainly some flaws here and there, but it's more solid than Living Things and HT/Meteora (unpopular opinion, I think those 2 albums are kinda shitty). It needed more Mike singing and less Chester vocals if I'm being frank, but it's a nice record.
    derrick.amundse
    Not a fan. Sorry everyone, I'd give it a 2/10. The whole album just seems "uninspired" - all the songs sound the same. It honestly feels like this was an album for the sake of making an album; they were due and needed "anything" to satisfy the masses. I've enjoyed every album for various reasons, but I've listened to this album 3 times already and I'm grasping for something to like and coming out empty handed. I'm sure I'm not alone.
    MusicMan24
    Uninspired? If they weren't inspired by anything, this album never would have happened. You don't just put out an album unless you're inspired to do so. It never would have happened otherwise.
    LeperDog
    I don't understand all the positive reviews the drumming is receiving on this album. It's all pretty basic, and even bland at times. The production is nothing out of the ordinary too. Besides, all the hype Rob Bourdon is getting for training in the gym to be able to play the "complex pieces" and later breaking his back with the marathon recording sessions is ridiculous. This is actually the first time he's done some real drumming. But then again, it's my opinion.
    SOAD_SoG
    Its better thatn the last couple albums that they had released. There are some great songs, and other not so much, especially the singles which I believe are the weak spots (Wastelands, Guilty all the same, Until its gone and Rebellion) War, Lines in the Sand, Mark the graves and All for nothing are great songs.
    mhbscars
    This is a great step in the right direction for the them but I must say that at some parts (especially bridges) the production was somewhat muddy. Still a good job! Favorite thus far is Keys To The Kingdom and Wastelands. Oh and the Tom Morello feature was a bit disappointing (but as I know Tom I'll most likely hear all the cool stuff a few listens later)
    elcapitan1800
    Seriously, what was up with the Morello feature? I have very specific (and high) expectations from a Morello feature.... I understand if they want to do something "unexpected", but that was just boring
    ewolf5150
    haven't cared for LP since meteora and hybrid theory days but heard they made a good record again, so i checked the review out. both of those new songs are ****ing terrible and boring, i was expecting much much more. guilty all the same literally sounds like a 12 year old kid got his first schecter guitar and recorded an amateur riff on his iphone out of tune. Still sounds like pop to me and not what made LP great back in the day
    MusicMan24
    This is a solid release. I think this probably their 3rd best after Hybrid and Meteora. It took me a couple listens to really get into it though, and I'm glad they took a new direction instead of just doing what they did 13-14 years ago. Great album.
    Kueller917
    I don't know. It was ok, but I'm not really feeling it. Ok, there's riffs, but the riffs feel really standard hard rock, nothing to really stand out. Vocals melodies are pretty boring and lower quality lyrics really stand out without the sing-a-long catchiness of their more popular songs. I can't help but feel like I'm listening to an attempt to recapture Hybrid/Meteora heaviness but without the punch and angst that made those albums be remembered. I still hold that they should have continued what they started with A Thousand Suns. Sure, it got over-indulgent at times but it was interesting to see a band with a reputation for pre-teen edgy songs really branch out there and get out of the comfort zone they had always kept to.
    TryTheKetchup
    Funny enough, a lot of people prayed for the riffage coming back and ATS stuff going away, but now it's exactly the opposite...
    JimBonJovi
    It could have been made heavier if Brad tuned down to Drop Dd or Drop C or even Drop B.(Think 'With You, Runaway & Don't Stay') Drop D sounds decent but it didn't really lend to the heaviness. But it also has something to do with recording on a stratocaster, with distortion. Not the greatest sounding thing at that point.
    JustStayDown90
    You're talking about artificial heaviness (achieved by drop tuning to very low keys). Sad But True is in Drop D and is heavy as fak.
    travislausch
    This album is not bad. I mean, Linkin Park is never going to be known for its inventiveness or its bucking of the mainstream, but what they do is good. I've been thinking of writing my own review, but I can sum it up pretty briefly: it is a good album but it didn't live up to the hype. I expected shred and I got rudiments. I expected brutal metal riffs and I got punk. I expected more from the guests and I got minimal contributions. But the songs are solid, they're playing better than they did before, and the songs do have a little more variety (at least if you don't count WE'RE WASTELANDS ALL THE SAME) than HT and Meteora.
    maddog61
    I heard one of the songs on the radio this morning, and I didn't really enjoy it. I kept thinking "Okay, this is the end." Nope. Went on about three minutes longer than it should have.
    biff022
    Wow… you know Lincoln Park is really a roller coaster… these positive reviews really made me reflect on them and realize. Thanks guys…
    Sgt.Business
    Daron screams the break and does background vocals, in an interview he said they showed him the track and he didn't want to do guitar quit making assumptions.
    Jasonbts
    To me it was like the last album in that I listened to the album multiple times and was left with nothing. No part stuck with me or was memorable. One big blur.. I'm glad so many love the album, it's a great change but for me.. Sadly I can't get into it yet