"The Hunting Party" Full Review - LPAssociation/AltWire

Discussion in 'News' started by Derek, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. #1
    Derek

    Derek LPAssociation.com Administrator LPA Administrator

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    When I first listened to a six-song sampler from The Hunting Party back in April, I described the new music as “some of [Linkin Park's] most electrifying and aggressive sounding tracks to date” and predicted that the album would “polarize the fan base” upon its release on June 17th. At the time I was making those statements without an inkling of how the second half would sound, but after my recent experience with the band’s latest record as a whole, I can safely say this is one of Linkin Park’s bravest and brashest sounding records to date.

    Of course, with a record as talked up as The Hunting Party has been, one would hope the album lives up to the hype. For much of 2014, Linkin Park spent their time in interviews unabashedly lamenting the current state of rock music, expressing their hopes to bring back the aggression to the genre. On The Hunting Party, they have unequivocally backed up those statements.

    Rather than taking the easy route by making a ‘back to the roots’ album, Linkin Park have taken the road less travelled by purposefully pushing their music in new directions, crafting a brand new musical identity that brings back an edge and ferocity that had not been seen in their music for almost a decade. This iteration of Linkin Park is fresh yet familiar, mature yet aggressive, well-crafted yet jarring. While there may be the occasional nods back to their Hybrid Theory past, the band spends most of the new album’s 45-minute running time introducing you to a wiser, bolder and more in-your-face Linkin Park. While A Thousand Suns may have introduced fans to the introspective and wildly creative side of the band, The Hunting Party shows Linkin Park moving way from their pop leanings and studio polish, opting instead to crash alternative radio’s tea party with a take-no-prisoners approach to rock music.

    Take the early punk rock influenced "War" for instance, a track so abrasive, unexpected and out of left field that you could easily forget this was Linkin Park. This is an act that the band repeats on numerous occasions throughout The Hunting Party, continuously creating sounds and styles that seem foreign in the Linkin Park soundscape. Another example is the genius "Mark The Graves", where Chester sings over a constantly evolving instrumental, complete with guitars reminiscent of the band's 2007 Minutes to Midnight. The band jumps into a time machine for the 80's-tinged stadium anthem "Final Masquerade", which contains one of Chester's best melodic vocal performances to date. Lastly, the epic album closer "A Line In The Sand", which clocks in at over 6 minutes, has Chester channeling Thrice's Dustin Kensrue vocally, with the track managing to sound like an amalgamation of all that the band has learned thus far, combining all of their talents and abilities into one truly hard-hitting track.

    The letdowns are few and far between. I certainly would have liked to see more of a prominent contribution from Tom Morello on “Drawbar”, whose talents feel restricted on this song which never truly takes off. It feels more like an outro to “Mark The Graves” than a standalone instrumental. Some of the songs feel like they could use an extra 2 to 3 minutes of fleshing out to truly achieve their potential. These bite-sized songs still hit their mark, but some end abruptly and leave you wanting more. That could be construed as a good thing to some.

    What’s perhaps the most interesting about this album is how the songs are tied together. Pieced together by interludes (at times Muse-esque, at times comical, and at times completely random and unexplainable), the album actually seems to increase in experimentation as it progresses. Much like with LIVING THINGS, the album’s strongest part is it’s second act (beginning around “Rebellion”) where the band throws their gloves off and completely jumps into uncharted territory, with a series of songs that offer their biggest surprises since A Thousand Suns.

    I went into the listening process for this record expecting that with all the interviews and the band’s boastful claims that this album could never possibly live up to the hype it had generated. But instead, the band’s conscious decision to innovate rather than replicate has paid off. It completely surpassed every expectation I placed upon it. That’s not the hype or hyperbole or superfan in me talking either. In fact, I tried to be as critical as possible, but even with healthy skepticism I still found myself blown away at certain key moments. It has been days since I first heard the record, and yet my appreciation for The Hunting Party has not worn off. This is an album that challenges both hard rock radio, and their biggest “hard rock critics”. It’s well-performed, well-composed, and while it might not go down well with the fans of the band’s more pop-oriented sound, it will however win them plenty of new fans in hard rock circles alike.

    If you’re looking for a truly blistering and full throttle hard rock experience, you need not look any further than The Hunting Party. Linkin Park have made an honest statement with this record, and while it may be hard to believe this is the same band, believe the hype: this is Linkin Park at their technical finest.

    Final Score: 8/10

    Read the review at AltWire.
     
  2. #2
    Blake

    Blake Leave a Trace LPA Super Member

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    Nice review Derek! Good job at all the work you put in!
     
  3. #3
    dontFindOutMe

    dontFindOutMe Well-Known Member

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    Awesome review Derek.:) One Question though; What score did you give to the other albums?
     
  4. #4
    brady

    brady I am the LPA LPA Super Member

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    Two words... fucking hyped
     
  5. #5
    Derek

    Derek LPAssociation.com Administrator LPA Administrator

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    Back then AltWire didn't exist, but in hindsight I'd probably do LT around 6 or 7, and ATS about the same score as THP. I never give albums a 9 really unless they're a Dark Side of The Moon. 10/10 is something I'll likely never give anything.
     
  6. #6
    Minus

    Minus ohai LPA Addicted VIP

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    But what do you give Meteora?
     
  7. #7
    Gibs

    Gibs The Prog Nerd Über Member

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  8. #8
    JSigcha10

    JSigcha10 Well-Known Member

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    I just got home from the NYC listening party. Would gotten home earlier but walking 25 blocks took longer than I thought hahaha
     
  9. #9
    Derek

    Derek LPAssociation.com Administrator LPA Administrator

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    0/10 Crowns. :kappa:

    Being serious though, and being objective: a 5-6. Back when I first heard it in 2003 it was the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I now feel it is too much of a copycat of the first record. I don't find it the most terrible album ever like you seem to, but I also consider it my least favorite LP record.
     
  10. #10
    JasonJielN

    JasonJielN Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the great review. Wow so excited because you compared this album to ATS, since it's their best work :D
    But Drawbar, I was looking forward to hearing that song. :(
     
  11. #11
    Ben

    Ben Well-Known Member

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    Whoa...ATS and THP the same score?

    CHEW CHEEEEWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!

    Seriously though, I can't take this shit anymore. I need to hear this. Nice review, man.
     
  12. #12
    Derek

    Derek LPAssociation.com Administrator LPA Administrator

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    Compared but didn't state one was better than the other (hence the same score), because it'd be unfair to do so. The two albums are so drastically different...that they practically fall in different genres. That's how different this is from ATS, but still as surprising.
     
  13. #13
    SigmaZero

    SigmaZero Well-Known Member

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    Giggity!
     
  14. #14
    Brandon

    Brandon I was Ree's 100th follower on Twitter.

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    Congrats Derek. I am officially past my apprehension for this album and look forward to it.

    I may even not listen to any more music until the actual release when I can buy the album in stores.
     
  15. #15
    Gibs

    Gibs The Prog Nerd Über Member

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    :quagmire:
     
  16. #16
    Nicholas

    Nicholas Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like Final Masquerade and A Line In The Sand are the two tracks to look out for. Those two are definitely my most anticipated on this album. Not too long of a wait left ether. Still, my expectatioins aren't that high even with the positive reviews so far, while I like the 4 tracks so far (Except maybe GATS) nothing has particularly blown me away yet.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
  17. #17
    JSigcha10

    JSigcha10 Well-Known Member

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    I honestly need to sit down and listen to it again with a good pair of headphones.
     
  18. #18
    Gibs

    Gibs The Prog Nerd Über Member

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    What do you use?
     
  19. #19
    Vic

    Vic No game no life

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    Amazing review! Thanks Derek! Now only a week and a few days for the EU release and fully enjoy this "masterpiece" :D
     
  20. #20
    Derek

    Derek LPAssociation.com Administrator LPA Administrator

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    I just love the unintentional Thrice influences on this album. I feel it happens a few times in different places, and it's very welcome :lol:.
     

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