‘PARTY’ PEOPLE: Chester Bennington & Dave “Phoenix” Farrell of Linkin Park.


Linkin-Park-1By David Ciminelli

Been cranking Linkin Park‘s The Hunting Party for a few weeks now and it’s exciting and refreshing to hear a brilliant band once again expanding its sound into wildly risky territories and in boundless new directions — even if it does take some getting used to LP’s hard and heavy, schizophonic shift in style.

Linkin Park-Hunting Party_CoverThe Agoura Hills rockers don’t hold back on the aggressive sonic assault that kicks off LP’s sixth and latest studio album with “Keys to the Kingdom,” which sees Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda and crew quickly laying claim to the music charts once again with the awesome thrash-rock anthem. SSMF 2013 headliners Linkin Park keeps the furious fretwork scorching right in up to the album closer, “A Line in the Sand.” The band tames the tempo on the badass quasi-ballad that is musically on par with the Linkin Park classic “My December.”


On a kick-ass collection of smoldering, in-your-face molten-metal anthems that  feature cameos by a number of iconic rockers, like Tom Morello (“Drawbar”) and System of A Down‘s Daron Malakian (“Rebellion”), it’s Helmet frontman Page Hamilton that effortlessly helps the band turn up the adrenaline even further on the blistering “All for Nothing.” And taking their powerhouse sound into heavier territories, Linkin Park gives Metallica a run for its money on the epic “Guilty All the Same,” a melodic metal mosher featuring legendary hip-hopper Rakim.

The Hunting Party indisputably proves that a band formerly pigeon-holed as “Kings of Nu Metal” are more rightly justified as reigning “Kings of Rock.”

kbkAssisting in the welcome resurgence of hard rock is supergroup Killer Be Killed, which is fronted by The Dillinger Escape Plan frontman Greg Puciato and includes Sepultura legend Max Cavalera on co-vocals and guitar, Mastodon bassist Troy Sanders and drummer Dave Elitch, formerly of The Mars Volta.”


Greg-PuciatoRecent Whisky A Go-Go headliners Killer Be Killed slay with the speed and ferocity of Motörhead and the merciless guitar assault of Megadeth on the band’s relentlessly rockin’ self-titled debut, which was recorded at Downtown L.A.’s Fortress recording studio. The dozen tracks echo with old school thrash metal and punk influences, and out of 12 solid and smoking-hot tracks, sonic stand outs include “Snakes of Jehovah” and the esoteric “Wings of Feather and Wax,” which will melt your ear wax with its blistering grooves and a vocal delivery that would make Disturbed proud — or very envious.

Killer Be Killed and The Hunting Party are the types of releases that Slipknot would listen to and exclaim, “Damn, now that’s heavy!” And any hard rock fan that has ever owned — and/or continue to proudly wear — a Slayer or Venom t-shirt will be won over by LP and KBK’s infectious new grooves.



Linkin Park plays Hollywood Bowl with 30 Seconds to Mars & AFI on Sept. 15.



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