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4.5 out of 5 stars170
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 17 June 2014
Linkin Park’s debut ‘Hybrid Theory’ was released all the way back in 2000, it was a magical time where metal heads and Goths ruled the world and every young teen sported a black hoodie with their favourite band on them. The mixing of hip hop and metal was at its commercial peak thanks to Slipknot, Papa Roach and of course Linkin Park. Oh and Snake was the height of mobile phone gaming technology! 14 years later and a lot has changed and despite the talk ‘The Hunting Party’ is nothing like their debut album, which is a good thing because if that’s what I wanted I could have just listened to that and anyway the band are not the same as they were back then, for starters they are rolling in money.

The Hunting Party opens in glorious style mixing their rockier ‘Minutes to Midnight’ style with a bit of extra grit, while retaining a very dynamic feel as you would expect from Linkin Park. While there are flashes of their more experimental and atmospheric side, these moments are used more to provide contrast and flow rather than being the driving force of the album. The whole album is satisfyingly immediate, taking no real effort to listen to and providing pure unrestrained excitement from the off, and with each subsequent listen you discover more and more hooks, with songs that are simple enough to impale you but have enough brains to keep you coming back for more. There are no weak tracks and the collaborations are so well done that they don’t stick out like sore thumbs, they sound like they are a part of the album.

There is real potential for this album to be one that stands the test of time. This means that (like ‘Hybrid Theory’ before it) it will probably attract a fair amount of hate especially in its early days, but I think most of this hate will be undeserved and should be ignored.

As a side rant I must say that I settled with the CD only version as the CD and DVD combination was £8 more expensive and yes I know people will say that it’s worth it because live DVDs can cost more on their own but when other bands do this there is a difference, at most, of £3. I mean the Swans album ‘Be Kind’ with live DVD was only £11. Shame on whoever set the price.
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on 17 June 2014
This is a true return to form for Linkin Park. Great mix of rock and electronic music, with great lyrics whether Mike's rapping or Chester's blasting vocals. Though Chester does get a chance to deliver a ballad in Final Masquerade, and Mike gets to do some singing for a couple of verses of A line in the sand. Great album all the way through. My favourite songs that really stood out for me were Wastelands and A line in the sand. A line in the sand especially as I think Linkin Park managed to show all their different sides in this one song I am glad this was 6 minutes. I know I loved this album because as soon as it finished I immediately looped it. I have been waiting for Linkin Park to return to this style that made them my favourites since Hybrid Theory and Metoria. Love it!!!!
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on 14 July 2014
Fantastic album, Linkin Park got a lot of hate for Living Things, (which I actually really liked), because it was too far away from Hybrid Theory and Meteora. Now don't get me wrong, I love Hybrid Theory and Meteora as much as any hardcore LP fan. But I think this album makes the best of both worlds in such a good way. Some of the best tracks on this album, (Final Masquerade, Until It's Gone, Rebellion) are songs that I'd happily swap with songs in their earlier albums, like Meteora and Minutes To Midnight. (MTM was their best IMO)

This album has everything:
- The power in "Wastelands" and "War" representing Hybrid Theory
- Powerful meaning combined with rap in songs like "Until It's Gone", and "Guilty All The Same" representing Meteora
- Songs with pure feeling in them, like "Final Masquerade" and "A Line In The Sand" representing Minutes To Midnight
But at the same time, all the songs have that new, edgy feel to them I got from Living Things.

Overall, fantastic album, would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoyed both Living Things and Meteora.
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on 17 June 2014
Hybrid Theory was, and still is, one of my favourite albums of all time, I remember listening to it non-stop when at school, and even now I still put it on from time to time. Linkin Parks followup albums Reanimation and Meteora, while not the same calibre (in my opinion at least) as their debut, were still were very good and I certainly enjoyed them a lot (even if Reanimation was a completely different beast).

However, the albums following Meteora unfortunately didn't grab my interest. After listening to Minutes to Midnight, I stopped really paying any attention to LP. I appreciate that artists and bands like to evolve their music, or try new genres, and I cannot fault them for making the music that they wanted to make, but unfortunately it wasn't for me.

However, The Hunting Party is a step back towards where they started from. It is a lot heavier than what I have heard since Meteora, with a more hard rock feel to the album. Despite the fact that I may not have been a huge fan of their work since Meteora, it does appear that it has helped the bands talent to grow with more intricate riffs, which sound like they have a wider range of influences since their early days (I might even dare to go as far as some riffs having a classical influence to them). Their songs as a whole flow well and seem gel together nicely, with all the parts complimenting each other well.

So, to sum up the album - is it another Hybrid Theory? I wouldn't go that far, but it is definitely a step back in the right direction if you enjoyed their earlier albums. The best praise that I can give it is, with the convenience of mp3 downloads dominating my music purchases recently, this is the first actual physical album that I have bought in nearly two years. I like what they have done with this album and I am once again, looking forward to seeing what Linkin Park come up with next!
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on 13 June 2015
You will love this, I ignored the previous two albums and wanted our linkin park back, this is what you get on this album, from the opening moments of keys to the kingdom to the last few moments of line in the sand. Chesters screams and belting choruses are back in full, brads turned his guitar distortion back up. Superb album with some guest appearances too.
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on 16 June 2014
I've been a massive linkin park fan since the start but even I'll admit that there last 2 or 3 albums are nowhere near the same quailty as there first two albums . I've never seen a band come back after dropping in quailty or even come anywhere near there best . But linkin park have used all there skills from very album and thrown it into one mega album .. The hunting party is the result , a sure awsome one at that . For me this is 5 stars perfect rock album . It's a 90's kind of rock album . And to me it's there best it's got more emotion , and energy than ever ! My standout tracks are (not in any order) - a line in the sand , final masquerade , rebellion, keys to the kingdom, guilty all the same & all for nothing. But don't get me wrong every song is great and bring something of there own . Welcome back LINKIN PARK !!
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on 16 June 2014
This album is a great new feel from Linkin Park. In some ways it is a step back to the days of Hybrid Theory and Meteora but at the same time a step forward in the Heavy Metal feel the album provides and I think this is a good thing. If you where a fan of Living Things and don't like classic LP then "Until It's Gone" and "Final Masquerade" may be the best songs for you. I think there is something for all Linkin Park fans here. Like I said before this is a great album!

One final note is that tracks 1 and 2 contain EXPLICIT content if this bothers you. Amazon do not say this and need to get better at it because iTunes are better at pointing that out.
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on 31 January 2016
One of the best ever Linkin Park albums. I was lucky enough to go on the Hunting Party Tour where they played some of the best songs from this album. I'll now rate each song out of 10 and briefly describe them.

Keys to the Kingdom - 9.5, Definitely a great start to the album and feels like the true LP experience
All For Nothing - 9.6, Briliant rock vibe and some great rap segments. Cool chorus as well
Guilty All The Same - 9.2. Up there with one of the best songs on the album, quite strong drumwork on this song and a nice shouty chorus
The Summoning - 8.0. Not much to say about this one, it's a connector for songs 3 and 5. Not the best but it's alright.
War - 9.4. Very heavy rock, pretty good if you like this sort of thing. Reminds me of Metallica!
Wastelands - 9.7. Great song, had this as my ringtone for a while. It's got an amazing chorus and some fantastic guitar/bass work. Brilliant rapping as well.
Until It's Gone - 9.3. It's a bit more mainstream-orientated than the other songs, but it's still great. Chester does a fantastic job with the vocals, the ending is quite good too.
Rebellion - 9.4. Some great lyrics followed by a really fast-tempo rhythm keep you tapping your foot frantically. Brilliant singing from all the band members involved.
Mark The Graves 9.6. Starts out as an instrumental that gives way to Chester's melodic tones. Plenty of screaming by the end!
Drawbar - 9.8. Great guitar-work from the Mr Morello. Nice instrumental piece that ties in with Tinfoil from the previous album. This song also segues into Final Masquerade very nicely.
Final Masquerade - 9.6. While this song gets a bit repetitive after the first few listens, it's a fantastic Linkin Park song. Has everything you would want, quiet segments with Chester's voice and the traditional rock style you like so much.
A Line In The sand - 9.7. Starts out really quietly and then grows and grows into a really heavy rock song. Brilliant!
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on 12 December 2014
When I heard Linkin Park were going back to a rock, guitar heavy sound for their new album I was both surprised and un-surprised... if that's possible. I was surprised because last album 'Living Things' to me suggested they had taken the experimentation of 'A Thousand Suns' and began to meld it with the familiar styles of 'Hybrid Theory' and 'Meteora', and they were going to run with it. Which would have been fine for me because I loved 'Living Things' and how it was literally all their previous material smushed together.

But I was also slightly unsurprised, largely because a decent percentage of the LP fan base were unimpressed with the experimentation and were dying for them to do "another Hybrid Theory", and so I thought perhaps LP had finally conceded to them.

However, upon listening to the album it is instantly noticeable this isn't just "another Hybrid Theory". This is the LP of today doing an album based around what makes them angry, today. Additionally, it musically is still reasonably far from what 'HT' was like which is good, because it keeps it interesting in that you aren't listening to the same sounds.

But sadly what prevents me from giving The Hunting Party a 5/5, is that it's a bit unoriginal at times, 'War' for me being the main culprit. Besides that, there are just moments during songs where you expect what's coming next. And then it is what happens next. Shinoda said "Until It's Gone" was written using what he'd learned from working with Steve Aoki and Avicii: building to a drop. And upon hearing the song it's noticeable from the off and once you notice it, it starts to feel repetitive.

In contrast, it's frustrating because there are songs like 'Guilty All The Same', 'Rebellion' and 'Mark The Graves' which are great and make me wish the whole album was written using the same mind set because they are refreshing and interesting. It's easy to see when you consider that they are all rock songs, yet they each make you feel different emotions. While "GATS" and "Rebellion" are pretty similar in making you feel angry about "the system", Rebellion is much more in your face about it. All the while "Mark The Graves" almost has a sense of regret or moving on.

All this is not to say I don't like it, but it could be better. It is also admirable and respectable that apparently after making demos which were more extremely pop/experimental than 'Living Things' Linkin Park (Shinoda especially) changed face, and tore that down and went with a direction that in the present state of music is a bit against the grain. This is a good album with it's flaws, but you can tell it doesn't give a damn about them.
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on 16 June 2014
For years fans of Linkin Park were crying out for them to recreate something akin to their seminal first album Hybrid Theory and to a lesser extent the follow up Meteora.

The issue is that Linkin Park penned HT when they were 18 year olds full of angst and anger and that reflected in the music and as they have got older, their music has matured and changed as a result. I've been a fan of Linkin Park since the very beginning and have looked forward to the bands every release however was disappointed with Minutes to Midnight and the Recharged (Living Things remix album).

Living Things on the other hand showed that Linkin Park were heading in the right direction and now The Hunting Party arrives and all I can say is Wow....this album does not disappoint.

The sound is extremely guitar heavy and Chester's back in full form screaming his way through songs and Mike Shinoda's rapping is as slick as always with razor sharp delivery. All the songs are amazing from the in your face punk sounding Keys To The Kingdom, the sublime yet amazingly catchy All For Nothing (feat Page Hamilton) who delivers an excellent chorus backed up by Chester Bennington to Rebellion (feat Daron Malakian from System of A Down) which is an superb nod to System of A Down and takes you back to when System of A Down were a force to be reckoned with.

Not a single track is a disappointment and that includes the instrumentals on the album.

Those fans out there crying out for years for Linkin Park to go back to their old have your wish....Linkin Park have delivered and then some...but with a fresher, harder sound that will be hard to beat in 2014.

Well done Linkin Park you've created an album that I can't stop listening to and is very close to my all time favourite album Reanimation.
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