I was actually adamant of making it all the way to the release of The Hunting Party before I talk about any more tracks when Wastelands was released. 4 days later, Rebellion knocked on the door and just after, some of you guys wanted a review of them both, so here it is! To make it clear, I will be talking about Wastelands first before moving on to Rebellion.
When I had heard that Linkin Park were going to start writing on their sixth album and that it would be titled The Hunting Party, I believe for me the hype train had already left the station. Yeah there was a great track (Guilty All The Same ft. Rakim) and a rocky stumble (Until It's Gone), but they didn't made me feel like "this is the song that would really give me the push that would get me really excited for this new album". And Wastelands was dropped almost a few weeks after Until It's Gone and I am officially ready for their new album.
There was something likable about Wastelands. They brought the guitar riffs back to the forefront again (more so with Until It's Gone than with Guilty All The Same). It was so dominant and so engaging that really puts you back into that Hybrid Theory - Meteora era. In other words, good memories.
Also, Mike is back! With 2 powerful verses including a Beatles reference (John with no Yoko) and he doesn't dwell on it. Great flow, good lyrics and pounds on to it consistently. While I say I have been missing his verses, you really see that his voice wouldn't go really well with Guilty All The Same's production, thus Rakim was brought in (I'm not even mad).
I will be called critical, but I can sort of understand why Chester's vocals aren't as volatile as they were before, and though in Living Things you can get that (Victimized, Lost in the Echo, etc.) and maybe he still showed that he had it when he did the vocals on Until It's Gone. The fault wasn't on Chester at all for the track in my opinion. While I rated the track pretty low, he did amazing on it. It could be the age catching up, but as long as he still gives us consistent performances, I am happy. On Wastelands it does feel like he's forcing himself too. And yeah, the similarities of this track to Guilty All The Same does seem familiar (in the wastelands of today/you're guilty all the same), but it's probably one of my favourite tracks out of the three.
Then Rebellion was released to BBC Radio featuring Daron Malakian from System Of A Down. In a space of just 4 or 5 days, I got back on the hype train immediately.
The Rebellion felt like a one-shot scare, because on first listen, they don't ajar to you that well and it doesn't show it's sophisticated nature by 'popping out'. Rather, that's when you pick apart the song and pile it upon again that you realise some of the essences that are within the track, and the plate is plenty full.
Daron's guitar riffs are so wealthy that you really hear the work behind System Of A Down being constructed within it. He brought so much to the table that the riffs became so integral to the song. It's probably disappointing that he didn't even drop a line for the track, but I'm fine with it nonetheless.
Next, the vocal duo of Chester and Mike is captured once again and it is flawless. They did it back in Living Things with Roads Untraveled, Castle of Glass and Skin To Bone, and to hear it again definitely did bring back some of the tone. Not to forget, the lyrical content does re-surface to be similar to the A Thousand Suns and Minutes To Midnight days as well. Songwriting-wise, the track is fine.
The synth line here also works very well when accompanied with the vocals and production, that you really get a taste of it. And so are the drums; Rob needs to get credit for some of the spectacular work he has put out so far. He is killing these songs.
However, it felt like it had too much. It wanted to showcase the different styles and the interchanging, but it became quite a blur. Don't get me wrong, it is still a good track and I'm not taking anything away from it.
All in all, I have to say that Wastelands and Rebellion did more than twice what Guilty All The Same and Until It's Gone could've done. If you still aren't hyped up for The Hunting Party then you might be missing out on a few action. Overall, Rebellion had pretty much everything and just about edges Guilty All The Same, but in my opinion Wastelands has got to be my favourite single from their new album, topping them both.
Rebellion ft. Daron Malakian: 8/10
Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.