Lost Demos

rating icon 9.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Lost
02. Fighting Myself
03. More The Victim
04. Massive
05. Healing Foot
06. A6 (Meteora|20 Demo)
07. Cuidado (Lying From You Demo)
08. Husky (Hit The Floor Demo)
09. Interrogation (Easier To Run Demo)
10. Faint (Meteora|20 Demo)
11. Plaster 2 (Figure.09 Demo)
12. Shifter (From The Inside Demo)
13. Wesside
14. Resolution

LINKIN PARK may be known for their groundbreaking 2000 debut album, "Hybrid Theory", which, by infusing metal with hip-hop, many consider one of the most influential in the nu-metal movement, but the California rockers matured and built upon what they started with the follow-up, 2003's "Meteora".

As with "Hybrid Theory", Linkin Park's "Meteora" followed the textbook guidelines for early-2000s nu-metal, with angsty lyrics, heavy riffing, pop-influenced hooks and hip-hop passages. But "Meteora" went a step further, adding heavenly electronics, deeply personal lyrics and a vulnerability that was rarely heard from rock bands at that time. Perhaps that uniquness is why so many singles off "Meteora" were radio hits: "Faint", "Breaking the Habit", "Numb", "Somewhere I Belong".

At the time "Meteora" was embraced by fans and looked upon with skepticism by critics. Many reviewers questioned, "Where do LINKIN PARK go from here?" and saw "Meteora" as simply a "Hybrid Theory: 2.0". Others asked, "Are LINKIN PARK going to remain eternal adolescents, record after record?" As the years went on, those critics would get an answer to their questions: LINKIN PARK had plenty of places to go. No matter their ages or the ages of their fans, they always found a way to relate. Their subsequent albums continued to top the charts, solidifying them as one of the most influential and celebrated rock bands of the 21st century.

Of course, then the tragedy of LINKIN PARK struck. Chester Bennington took his own life in 2017, right before the band was slated to embark on a worldwide tour in support of that year's "One More Light". His death was to Millennials what the death of NIRVANA's Kurt Cobain was to Gen X. Fans were heartbroken and confused: They'd lost their fearless leader. Nobody could relate to the turmoil and tribulation of youth like Bennington. Nobody could write to their hearts like him.

Now "Meteora" is celebrating its 20th anniversary. In honor, Warner Records has put together the "Meteora 20th Anniversary Edition" with oodles of goodies, such as a deluxe vinyl set, deluxe CD, "Meteora|20" merch and more.

Of particular interest is "Lost Demos", featuring a collection of previously unreleased demos that have been hiding away for almost two decades. The first single from the bunch is "Lost", which contains some of Bennington's most delicate and passionate vocals ever. The song, which was reportedly left off the original "Meteora" in 2003 because it was thought to sound too similar to "Numb", quickly shot to No. 1 on the active rock radio chart.
"Lost Demos" has two other nearly completed songs from the "Meteora" sessions in "Fighting Myself" and "More the Victim". Both are heavy on multi-instrumentalist and rapper Mike Shinoda's rhymes, which take over the verses, and welcome Bennington's melodic vocals in the choruses. While there's nothing particularly exceptional about these songs, just hearing Bennington again in this setting makes them worth multiple listens.
"Massive" is a banger and a contender for the album's next single. Deep grooves and crushing guitars make way for Bennington's smooth, clear vocals, making this a song that is very classic melodic LINKIN PARK. Another highlight is "Healing Foot", which kicks off with a subtle piano introduction and explodes into a heavy metalcore anthem that sounds similar to "Somewhere I Belong".

One surprise is "Wesside", which is an instrumental — definitely different for LINKIN PARK — and features a bluesy bass with crushing riffing. "Resolution" closes out the set, presenting an eerie keyboard bass and Shinoda's reflective rhymes.

"Lost Demos" is a haunting and heartbreaking reminder of what we lost in Chester Bennington. But it's also a celebration of his talent and heart. It is the closest thing we'll ever get to a new LINKIN PARK record, and it captures Bennington's gentle soul, which means more to fans than the music.

Author: Anne Erickson
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