Ahhhhh, the infamous “return to roots” album. The Hunting Party wasn’t the sound of Linkin Park having an identity crisis, necessarily. If anything, the album, released in June 2014, was more about LP stretching themselves musically – technically speaking.
Packing much more of a guitar crunch for the first time since Meteora, The Hunting Party is also ambitious in that it includes other musical guests for the first time on an LP album. Helmet’s Page Hamilton arrives for “All Or Nothing”, in particular one of the record’s better tracks.
Opening the album with the incendiary “Keys To The Kingdom”, THP immediately starts off on a ferocious, telling tone. Firing on cylinders, it’s one of LP’s heaviest moments. Meanwhile, these heavier sections are balanced out by a sense of U2-esque grandiosity. Take “Final Masquerade”, for instance. It’s rather impressive how many anthemic tracks LP can execute when they’re truly on point, and technically speaking, this is where LP pushed themselves to a technical limit. Some of Rob Bourdon’s best drum work is all over THP, especially on tracks like “Mark The Graves”, which coalesces into a huge ending.
Avoiding many of the pitfalls that a “return to roots” album can bring, THP is an album that’s often overlooked. Don’t let that be you – it’s a LOUD record that brings together all eras of Linkin Park in a way that they manage to execute well.