The super group…the term probably conjures up images of the Avengers or, Guardians Of The Galaxy among today’s youth (Seriously I’m over it already, can we stop with the comic book movies? Can Marvel or DC like, invent a hero called No Need For A Fucking Film Man?) But musically, it’s a term used when big name artists come together for more than a one-off song…when new bands are formed by merging two already established singers or groups, Eric Clapton helped pioneer this with CREAM but, over the years, the likes of THE HIGHWAY MEN and more recently, ALTER BRIDGE have all come together for the greater good…in 2016, members of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, CYPRESS HILL and PUBLIC ENEMY came together to form PROPHETS OF RAGE, solely intending to tackle the mountain of bullshit that was the American election, using their platform and voice for good, contribute to the revolution and the prospect, for all intents and purposes, was mouth-watering. With a history of strong political opinions and frustration between them, and plenty of material to fuel the creative fire, they dropped their eagerly anticipated debut self-titled album this year…will the prophets profit or are they gonna’ make me rage quit? Let’s find out…
We open up with “Radical Eyes” which is a nice little play on words I will say…musically it’s really quite slow and lethargic with an almost southern-rock groove in it’s bass-heavy riffs, while B-Real and Chuck D question the establishment, minorities getting ignored and mistreated, false information in the media, it’s a serious issue but it’s not really hammered home here as sadly the song is very middle of the road, there’s a lack of passion or, frustration behind it and fails to really ignite the album, a lackluster start this. “Unfuck The World” however is a vast improvement, again, bass driven thanks to Tim Commerford and it too has a solid groove, a slick feel to this one with the rhythm and catchy appeal, it’s an album highlight with a great title…if only life was that simple…while “Legalize Me” is a fittingly laid back, almost blues / classic rock inspired piece praising the devils lettuce…with several states in the US having already decriminalized marijuana use, the song campaigns for complete nationwide legalization, both medical and recreational…quite literally, stoner rock.
Sadly however, for the most part, the albums is a bit of a let-down…there is a truly awful solo rounding off “Living On The 110”, while “Fired A Shot” and especially “Hands Up” later on suffer from a deal of repetition…”Who Owns Who” is another strong political track but once again we find even more poor guitar work, honestly it’s painful, if it’s a solo, Tom Morello deserves to be shot…”The Counteroffensive” provides with nothing more than a pointless 38 second interlude…NO! They should have called it counter-productive, before we eventually finish on “Smashit”…nothing overly special, and in that I guess I’ve summed up this record perfectly. The hype surrounding this collaboration was off the chart and while they’ve delivered on a lyrical front, and I won’t take it away from Tim, the bass really owns it on this record, but with a collection of artists such as this releasing an album, do you really want bass to be the thing that stands out? For the most part generic and a little bit dated on times, there are tracks here that wouldn’t be out of place on a Tony Hawk’s soundtrack…never mind unfucking the world, I’m trying to un-listen to this. 
When you think about modern rock music and big bands, few have reached the levels of fame and success as LINKIN PARK. Their breakthrough album “Hybrid Theory” propelled them to super stardom back in 2000, and really they've never looked back, until now that is. Having sold millions of records worldwide, and constantly changing and evolving their core sound to incorporate a more and more electronic style, this consistently lighter approach started alienating a lot of their fans, especially the ones who have followed them since day one. People believed they were no longer the band they had grown to love, that they had sold out, releasing mediocre records (see “A Thousand Suns”) instead of the past hits such as “Crawling” and “Feint”. How have Linkin Park responded? They've released this; “The Hunting Party”…have they given the fans what they've craved for, for so long? Or is the hunt more of a wild goose chase?
Press play and we’re greeted with Chester Bennington screaming angrily through your speakers with a computerised vocal distortion in “Keys To The Kingdom”. The guitars are crunching, the drums are being beaten with a sense of purpose, it’s seems they've reignited their sense of passion and they’re playing with a rekindled sense of intensity. It’s a promising start indeed. “All For Nothing” sounds huge, it’s given a grimy urban vibe with Mike Shinoda spitting his rap-inspired lyrics along-side guest vocals from Page Hamilton of HELMET. Lead single “Guilty All The Same” features more guest vocals, this time from acclaimed American rapper RAKIM, who adds a touch of class to proceedings, showing Shinoda how it’s done, albeit briefly.
“Wastelands” and “Until It’s Gone” keep the party going mid album, the latter sounding similar in style to some of the works LP have done for the TRANSFORMERS franchise. “Final Masquerade” dips into softer territory, showcasing what a great singing voice Chester actually has when he’s not screaming; the man can hold a note or two, before we finish up on “A Line In The Sand”. Sounding very much like a statement, Linkin Park are back, it’s as though they've turned to the fans and said “Hey, you wanted attitude, you wanted the Linkin Park of old, well you got it”. It’s the perfect closing track. This new album may not be quite as good as their début (and quite frankly, I doubt anything ever will be), but what’s important here is that they've stripped everything back and self-produced a raw, rough and ready album full of great rock songs. There is a slight nostalgia about the record, it sounds as though it could easily slot in between “Meteora” and “Minutes To Midnight” on the bands album timeline, and quite frankly it’s a welcome return to form. Just, please…don’t ruin it with another remix album. 
"The Hunting Party" is available on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-hunting-party/id873395041
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Gavin Griffiths, a.k.a GavTheGothicChav, lover of new music and supporter of bands. I aim to give exposure to great unappreciated bands from around the UK who bust a nut to earn next to nothing because they're musicians...the occasional big name band, and the odd over seas band because I'm a cultural sort. Hope you enjoy what you read! x