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The Hunting Party Leak + iTunes Stream

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Sorry I couldn't wait for it so I downloaded and listening.Really an awesome album and totally different from their other albums.heavy guitars,drums,scream -Awesome and Mike did great on All for nothing.

Now waiting eagerly for the CD

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My impressions after two listens:

Keys to the Kingdom: I feel like an intro track (something like Wake) would have been nice right before this song. Have that last note ringing out as Chester starts screaming the intro. That would be so damn cool! But alas, I'll take what we get. lol

The riff that kicks in after Chester finishes the first go-around of the chorus really sets the tone for the album. It kicks your balls in the face and doesn't let up from there. Loving the structure as it reminds me of one of my all-time favorite LP tracks: Victimized - in fact the whole song reminds me of a grittier version of Victimized until the bridge. Brad delivers a nice solo and then we get the chorus one more time with some changes to the musical portion.

Overall, this is one hell of an album opener!

All For Nothing: This song is another nice aggressive track. It loses steam a bit in the second verse when Mike tries (unsuccessfully in my opinion) to switch up his flow a bit. Love Page's contribution to the track. Powerful chorus with the back and forth between him and Chester. This would have to be one of the weaker songs on the album in my opinion.

Guilty All The Same: We've had this song for months and I still can't get enough of it. One of my favorite songs from the band and one of the standout tracks on The Hunting Party. Brad flexes his guitar muscles on this one with some awesome riffing and a nice solo in the outro reminiscent of the live Faint outro. Hip-hop legend Rakim comes in with a verse for the bridge that works out so much better than I thought it would when I first learned of the pairing. Once again, I just can't get enough of this track!

The Summoning: A nice interlude. Compared to the A Thousand Suns interludes, it's nothing special but there definitely needed to be some breathing room after the first three tracks as the following song, War, doesn't let up one bit.

War: Another of my favorites from the album. Hearing people compare this to Green Day, Black Flag, and Nine Inch Nails really set the bar high for me and the song delivered. Love the old-school punk rock vibe this has going for it and Brad's solo is one of the highlights for the whole album. This one will be in heavy rotation for years to come for me.

Wastelands: Mike delivers (in my opinion) his best raps of the album. I especially love the "John with no Yoko" line and the delivery on the last couple bars of the second verse is just flawless. The chorus is a bit generic but I love the guitar riff behind it. The song serves as a nice throwback for old-school fans like Lies, Greed, Misery and Wretches and Kings were on the previous two albums but is overall nothing special.

Until It's Gone: This song gets a lot of shit around these parts but I've liked it since day one. They took the verse-chorus-verse structure that they've used so many times and made it interesting with a little tweaks (double-length second verse, no pre-chorus in second verse, etc.) but the lyrics aren't strong enough to elevate this to the next level. One of - if not the - weakest songs on the album comes to a close with a nice little interlude into Rebellion.

Rebellion: Before I go into this one I may be a little biased towards this track. lol Daron Malakian is my favorite musician of all time (I named my youngest son after him!) and when I heard he was collaborating with Linkin Park it was so exciting! Since the release of the Scars on Broadway album in 2008, we've only got three songs from Daron (including this one) so I may be a little excited about this new music from the man. lol

Anyways...this song was everything I dreamed it would be and then some! Mike delivers with some strong verses and my new favorite Linkin Park line - "I want a flood, I want an ocean" comes from the first one. Daron's guitarwork meshes extremely well with Rob's drumming which surprised me a bit. I expected it to sound very jarring hearing Daron over somebody other than John Dolmayan's drumming but Mr. Bourdon stepped in with a superb drum track that really helps pull the song together. I love the way the song climaxes with Chester's screaming bridge - the old man's still got it in him!

Mark the Graves: It's like No Roads Left but heavy (well...combined with the end of Blackout)! Chester delivers some of his finest vocal-work on any Linkin Park track in this one. It's nice and heavy in a way that I never expected to hear from this band. I love the build as we go from soft Chester to "pissed-the-fuck-off" Chester by the end of the song. Definitely a stand-out track that is fairly different from the rest of the album - in a good way!

Drawbar: Tom Morello jams over some piano. Nice soothing track that reminds me of Black Light Burns third album a lot (that's a good thing in my opinion). One of my favorite instrumentals from Linkin Park and I like that Tom wasn't brought in to do something predictable. The song transitions into Final Masquerade with a nice little preprisal (totally a word lol) of the chorus piano bit.

Final Masquerade: Chester delivers another beautiful vocal performance. This song sounds like Too Late (by Dead By Sunrise) crossed with Leave Out All The Rest. Some powerful lyrics in the chorus that really hit home for me. This was my least anticipated song on the album because every preview described it as an "80's rock style ballad" which I guess I can kind of see but it's a lot closer to the typical Linkin Park ballad than it is to the glory days of hair metal. This is another of my favorite songs from the album and a very pleasant surprise.

A Line In The Sand: Love Mike's singing in this one. Wish the song would have built a little more naturally. The way the heavy part just kind of "kicks in" was a little abrupt which I didn't feel necessarily worked for this song. The main riff is a little distracting because of the immediate similarity to the guitar riff in Victimized. I do like the apparent lyrical callbacks as well as part of Guilty All The Same's riff (or what sounds like it anyway) to kind of tie the whole album together.

Album cohesiveness: The album flowed very well from start to finish. The only thing I would have changed would be to add an intro track ala Wake. The way Keys to the Kingdom starts makes it feel more like you're starting in the middle of an album than at the beginning if that makes sense. The interludes really helped with seemingly out of place songs like Until It's Gone and War to really find a home in the album.


Track Scores:
Keys to the Kingdom - 8
All For Nothing - 7
Guilty All The Same - 10
The Summoning - 6
War - 10
Wastelands - 7
Until It's Gone - 7
Rebellion - 10
Mark the Graves - 9
Drawbar - 10
Final Masquerade - 10
A Line in the Sand - 8

Album cohesiveness: 9/10

Overall Score: 8.5/10

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Man, I thought everyone would love All For Nothing. It's my favorite song from the album.

 

It's one of my favorites. At first listen, I wasn't immediately taken aback by it, but after multiple listens to the full album, I absolute love it. Not my favorite on the album, but it's up there.

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Good god where to even begin with this album? Let me just get this out of the way and say - FUCK LIVING THINGS.

 

How in the world does the band have this kind of creativity and talent and then make something like that album? Blah. Let's move on. This is just what I thought on my FIRST listen. But oh man am I impressed.

 

01. Keys To The Kingdom - The electronic screaming catches you by surprise. But then wow the song picks up huge and it JAMS. Punk-y sounding chorus, Chester is blowing the fuck up. Mike's singing sounds extraordinarily great. This song is absolutely disgusting and is the heaviest thing I have ever heard from Linkin Park. That bridge too! Wow! This might be my new favorite Linkin Park song (after Papercut). REALLY impressed. 10/10, or 12/10, or 100/10. Jesus.
02. All For Nothing (feat. Paige Hamilton) - It goes straight into more jams, with a weird interlude (many more to follow, though) connecting the songs. A band member's kid here and another speech sample? Anyway, to the song. Mike singing, Paige is very audible here to me and is very easy to hear. More punk-sounding stuff and then Mike raps. I like this song in the #2 spot. With Keys opening, there was no way this would blow me away but it is a good song. Another piano/odd ending to the song. "Put the heavy shit there." "The heavy shit right here?" - best way to lead into GATS ever, haha.
03. Guilty All The Same (feat. Rakim) - We all know by now that this song just throws the fuck down. I almost wish I hadn't heard it before I heard the album. I would have saved this one if I had the ability to, haha. This baby just rolls in with a huge intro, guitars and drums blowing up, and it jams the entire song. I love GATS and have been listening to it quite a lot lately. In particular, the break before chorus 2 right into the jammy chorus is A+, the QWERTY-esque bridge guitar is filthy, and Rakim throws down on the great instrumental portion for the rap. And what an outro. Shit, GATS is epic.
04. The Summoning - Weird noises here and it's definitely Nine Inch Nails-esque. It's a good intro to use live and definitely is all like "shit is about to go down". Wailing noises and all. The end definitely sounds like Brad and his kid (or a kid) playing teeball, haha. Use this live to introduce War.
05. War - Woah! This song is thrashy as hell! Chester sounds CRAZY. It's got the Victimized-type speed to it but it's a better song to me. I'm not a huge fan of shorter songs in music but if you're going to do one then I guess it better be disgustingly heavy like War. There's that big dropout/break before the chorus and it goes right into some SCREAMING. Damn! Then Brad rolls on the solo, which is the highlight of the song. This is the best guitar solo of Linkin Park's career and it's ridiculous. The end of the song goes absolutely insane. Really wild track!
06. Wastelands - I had heard this song once live (Rock am Ring) and was not impressed with it at all. I was like WTF? Ok so on to the studio one, which surely is better. The instrumental hits hard for sure and the guitar sounds good. It has a big sound to it. I like hearing Mike rapping, but the highlight that makes the verses for me is that synth (or whatever it is) in the background. I don't love the chorus but it works. I do love, though, how raw Chester sounds - he is singing differently on this album and it's great. This song isn't even the strongest on the album and it already blows Living Things away. It has an "oldschool" feel to the song with how it is mixed. The guitar on the bridge is something I can see myself playing air guitar to in the car. The breakdown w/ some ATS-sounding electronic shit is cool and then it goes right back into a jam. Outro right into UIG!
07. Until It's Gone - I had listened to the studio version ONCE. I absolutely love the instrumental and synth in this song. A+ stuff. The lyrics flat out suck with the whole "you don't know what you've got until it's gone" stuff, but AT LEAST it isn't in some huge prechorus before chorus #2. Wow I am glad that isn't in the song. This blows New Divide away to me. I could definitely see this song being some huge anthem for Transformers, haha. Chester does indeed sound good in the verses and the whole song has some interestingly subtle buildup through it all. The guitar part in the bridge is excellent. The band jams on the ending to the song live and that's what I like so hey, UIG works for me and I'll take it!
08. Rebellion (feat. Daron Malakian) - Woah. The intro starts and this song just gets fast as hell. Surely Rob must have died here if he had trouble on Guilty All The Same. It definitely sounds like a System Of A Down type of song. I can see a fucking 50,000 person crowd BOUNCING to this instrumental like there's no tomorrow. Mike really surprises me here by singing instead of rapping (Rick Rubin mentality, which is good). He sounds fucking great, oh dang. And a Chester prechorus. I'm already loving the lyrics here which are standing out and by now I want to see the song live before I even get to the chorus. Damn. The chorus makes me want to jump up and down. Chester just EXPLODES on the bridge! "We are the fortunate ones" - Mike sounds excellent. This is an overall impressive as fuck. Top 3 on the album with Keys and GATS for me. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.
09. Mark The Graves - This is a very interesting song. I feel like if the band were to make a song like this in 2003 or even 2007, they wouldn't release it and would be afraid for it to see the light of day. This is different from everything else on the album, but in a good way. It goes soft, it goes heavy, it goes medium, it goes everywhere. Chester goes insane, Chester sings softly. The bass is ROLLING here. Can they play this song live? I like this one a lot because it's so unique and experimental. Very cool. It's not an INSANELY amazing song but it is a jam. The heavy part really brings it. Brad and Rob stand out big time.
10. Drawbar (feat. Tom Morello) - Piano and softer guitar here. This is different from what you'd expect Tom to sound like after Rage Against The Machine. This song doesn't have much replay value at all for me but I do like hearing Rob drumming over piano and guitar like Lockjaw, which it reminds me of. The marching drums are good. I'd use this live before Final Masquerade. Or skip it if possible, haha. Worst song on the album to me but the ending does flow into the next song very well.
11. Final Masquerade - Well if the Deftones were mad about the Papercut intro sounding like Around The Fur, they'll really have an issue here, HA. Wow, replace the shitty Ballad Medley with this immediately. Chester once again is sounding/singing totally different and it's just excellent. This is like a new chapter in Chester's voice - no joke. I really approve. This has an 80's groove to it and it's softer, but it already blows Living Thing's slow stuff like Castle Of Glass and I'll Be Gone the fuck away. I like this a lot more than Easier To Run as well. Brad's guitar tone sounds really good and the guitar here just fits perfectly. Sure this is a slower song but I'll jam to this live every day of the week. The "ohh ohh" part just makes it. Great job by Linkin Park in making a slower song. If the band I love wants to make something slower, THIS is how you do it, not with some Iridescent shit. GOOD JOB. Please never play Iridescent, any portion of Iridescent, or any slow song live ever again (or Burn It Down) and just replace all those spots in the setlist with Final Masquerade, which will be a big single on this album and will blow up live. Check. I am actually surprised that this wasn't the first single because this could have gone top 10 on radio ASAP.
12. A Line In The Sand - This is a very defining song in Linkin Park's career. Holy shit. The drums and guitar blow in from nowhere and explode after Mike's singing intro. It gets really heavy, then right back into Mike's singing over Rob's fast drumming. Sounds excellent. Chester enters and shit just blows up everywhere ("give me back what's mine"). Then Mike raps.... what? Over piano and drums? Damn! More territory covered in this song. Ok and after that we have some Hetfield Metallica riffs fucking JAMMING baby, I love it - my favorite part of the song. The song absolutely blows up and rocks it big time. The only weakness I can find here is how Chester sounds screaming at the FIRST part of the chorus (the second part sounds great, so the first will grow on me). I really wish the ending faded out more like with a guitar note or something instead of abruptly ending with a very short fade out. Besides that, I can't wait to see this song live.
Final Thoughts:

What. the. fuck. What did I just listen to? Linkin Park is on top of their game here and is really bringing it hard. I love the rock sound of the album and there are lots of jams here. I cannot even begin to explain how much of a disaster their 2012 album turned out to be in my opinion (failed experiment with electronica crap and sampled drums, BESIDES Powerless). LOVE the album. Didn't think it'd impress me this much on the first listen. Bring on Carnivores! I love it. I could go on for paragraphs and paragraphs about the band's sound and all after Meteora but I will leave it for another day. The Hunting Party rocks.

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Well Mark as I've said before I actually really enjoyed Living Things, but I can see how you and others may not enjoy it I guess.... That being said, I agree with pretty much everything you said about THP. It definitely is better song writing :). I personally prefer a little bit cleaner of a sound on studio albums (the "dirty" or "grainy" effects they used on a few of these songs are bugging me, but I'll get over it I'm sure) so I can't say this album is one of my "favorites" yet. But it definitely jams hard. I need to listen to it in my car with my sub now..

 

Personally, I think Rebellion and Wastelands are my favs from the album. Followed by KTTK and GATS. More listens required to appreciate the other songs completely.

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Wow Mark!! GREAT review!! I am glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. I literally have not seen a negative review yet except for a few people criticizing a few tracks, but that is it. I love this album and cannot wait for Carnivores. Thanks for sharing your input.

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11. Final Masquerade - Well if the Deftones were mad about the Papercut intro sounding like Around The Fur, they'll really have an issue here, HA.

 

Oh that's what it was. I don't really think either sound the same, similar yeah, but very different at the same time.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if Final Masquerade got a proper single release, seems like the obvious one to me.

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Gave the kid friendly version a listen on itunes yesterday. Just the one listen until Friday and I like it.

Some songs need to grow on me which they will, just like ATS.

 

Looking forward to listening again with my headphones...nice n loud!

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I am still holding out, but it is the weirdest thing reading reviews. I feel like none of them make sense without listening to it.
Ah well, only three more days to go until CD release in NZ.

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I listened to the first two songs (loved them) and now I'm waiting for the CD.

 

Or I'll listen to it all tonight. My self control isn't working too well with this!

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Not sure how people are saying things like this is DEFINITELY the BEST EVER Linkin Park album... I mean seriously, after one or two listens how can you make such a conclusive statement? I'm guessing those same people hated Living Things before they even listened to it...
Just listening all the way through for a second time and really enjoying it.

Edited by rusnam

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Final Thoughts:

What. the. fuck. What did I just listen to? Linkin Park is on top of their game here and is really bringing it hard. I love the rock sound of the album and there are lots of jams here. I cannot even begin to explain how much of a disaster their 2012 album turned out to be in my opinion (failed experiment with electronica crap and sampled drums, BESIDES Powerless). LOVE the album. Didn't think it'd impress me this much on the first listen. Bring on Carnivores! I love it. I could go on for paragraphs and paragraphs about the band's sound and all after Meteora but I will leave it for another day. The Hunting Party rocks.

I'm glad my first listen opinion of the album helped convince you to listen to it haha. Glad you enjoyed it

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After listening to this album in full twice last night, this is my favorite Linkin Park record. Everything flows perfec, and each track has it's own weight to add to the album. Plus, I love the heavy stuff. This album is fun listening to front to back, and will have great replay value; maybe someday they'll play this whole album live. ;) 10/10

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I've heard so many complaints about this album, not particularly here, but a few places. Some say the guitars are too similar, some say chesters voice is too distorted, some say mike raps too much, some say the songs are too heavy for no reason.

 

Are these people really making those complaints about Linkin Park? Those sound like phrases that are key traits to their sound since they started. Similar guitars, rapping, heavily produced vocals, heavy songs. I just find the complaining a little too much. You can't create a fantasy football band that makes everything you want. Sit back and enjoy the creative-awesomeness that is every album from Linkin Park.

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I've heard so many complaints about this album, not particularly here, but a few places. Some say the guitars are too similar, some say chesters voice is too distorted, some say mike raps too much, some say the songs are too heavy for no reason.

 

Are these people really making those complaints about Linkin Park? Those sound like phrases that are key traits to their sound since they started. Similar guitars, rapping, heavily produced vocals, heavy songs. I just find the complaining a little too much. You can't create a fantasy football band that makes everything you want. Sit back and enjoy the creative-awesomeness that is every album from Linkin Park.

 

"Haters gonna hate"

Edited by Qwerty18

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I've heard so many complaints about this album, not particularly here, but a few places. Some say the guitars are too similar, some say chesters voice is too distorted, some say mike raps too much, some say the songs are too heavy for no reason.

 

Are these people really making those complaints about Linkin Park? Those sound like phrases that are key traits to their sound since they started. Similar guitars, rapping, heavily produced vocals, heavy songs. I just find the complaining a little too much. You can't create a fantasy football band that makes everything you want. Sit back and enjoy the creative-awesomeness that is every album from Linkin Park.

 

THIS! I dont understand why people keep complaining bout this album. I bet if LP makes another HT, people still keep complaining bout it. If the band changes, they said the band getting worst. If the band stay with their style, people will said they're not creative. As Qwerty18 said, "Haters gonna hate"

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Just had the first listen and I'm positively surprised! I didn't expect them to do such a "hard" record again after their latest albums. I'm not that into Rock anymore, but I already prefer this album over their electro-influenced pop/rock albums (especially ATS).

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Great album IMO. loved it !

 

12. A Line In The Sand : guitar sounds a little bit like Rammstein - Liebe is fur Alle Da

I don't know if someone else noticed that.

 

And yeah i totally agree with the similarities between the intro of Around the Fur and Fina Masquerade

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Many years after releases like HT and Meteora when Linkin Park released MTM - it was love from the first listening. But with ATS, LT and now THP that is not so easy. After a few listenings of each of these albums I already liked some (not many). And then other songs grew on my with the help of live performances. So I believe when I will hear it from live performances more songs will be liked by me. The new album is something really fresh and that you wouldn't expect from the band but last albums made good example how to grow to the songs you really like. The best example is ATS - I wouldn't expect that in the end I will love most of the songs from the album :D

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