The handful of tracks we've heard so far from Linkin Park's The Hunting Party, out June 13, have found the band straying further afield from the electronically-charged rock anthems they've had so much success with in the past. "Guilty All The Same" is a frenetic hard core-style assault complete with rapped versus from Rakim, while "Rebellion" marries thrash-metal guitar-chugging with melancholy musicality.
Which brings us to their brand-new song, "Final Masquerade," premiering today on MTV. It's a sharp, edgy, lushly harmonic heavy-hitter that falls perfectly in line with Linkin Park's lengthy string of hulking, hooky hits.
The song's radio-ready single status might have been a combined act of Internet trolling and serendipity, as Mike Shinoda explained: “I made some ‘alternative pop’ demos that sounded like they would fit in with what radio is currently playing. But then I came across a blog piece entitled 'Rock Sucks Right Now And It's Really Depressing,'" he said. "It got me thinking. I ended up writing a response to it, and realized that what I had been working on wasn’t really what I wanted to be making.”
While "Final Masquerade" lands loud and hard next to its feel-good brethren peppering the pop-rock landscape with cheery optimism, there's no denying this is a massive potential hit -- and the kind of deeper, darker dirge missing in popular music right now.
"I can't see forgiveness, and you can't see the crime," Chester Bennington sings over guitars that escalate like an descent into a dismal and finite unknown. "And we both keep on waiting for what we left behind."
The song feels perfectly suited for the soundtrack to a sci-fi epic, which makes sense, coincidentally, considering that Linkin Park will be headlining the MTVU Fandom Awards and MTV Fan Fest at San Diego’s Comic-Con on July 24, where its sense of scope and otherworldly striving will fit right in.