Everyone handles grief differently. Writers write, visual artists create and musicians make music. On July 20, 2017 Chester Bennington was found dead in his California home having committed suicide by hanging. The entire music world mourned the loss of Bennington and the band ended their current tour. Bennington was remembered for his influence in bringing nu-metal to a universal level and is regarded by many as the voice of generation because of the lives that he touched and sang for.
On Jan. 24, 2018 Bennington’s co-frontman Mike Shinoda released “Post Traumatic” EP as a tribute to Chester. Prior to the release, Shinoda mentioned that this release was not something done by Linkin Park and not something from his other project Fort Minor. This release is him and him alone.
“Post Traumatic” opens with “Place to Start,” and with that kind of name it begins very clear that this album is not just a tribute but a chronicle of how Shinoda attempted to deal with the passing of one his best friends in the entire world. The song is a R&B and synth mash-up interlayered with Shinoda’s singing. Shinoda sings, “I don’t want to the end; all I want is a place to start,” which is very clearly just someone trying to go through the motions of beginning to deal with grief. The song ends with messages left by Shinoda’s friends reaching out to offer condolences.
The next two songs are directly about Chester. “Over Again” is the first time that Chester is directly mentioned with Shinoda focusing on trying to make it through the tribute concert that the band put on in Chester’s memory. The name is a reference to how you have to say goodbye to someone who has passed every time that they are brought up and you think about them. The final track “Watching As I Fall” deals with the Chester that Shinoda knew right before he committed suicide. It’s a song about seeing his friend commit suicide and how he felt that all he could do was sit and watch. As he is singing and dealing with his thoughts, his friends and family are trying to get him to open up.
Every song on the album has an attached music video filmed in a selfie documentary style that adds to the raw emotion of the album.
This album is one of the hardest ones I’ve ever listened to because of how raw the emotion is. I grew up a Linkin Park fan. The first two songs of theirs I heard were “Numb” and “In the End.” The first album of theirs that I owned was “Minutes to Midnight.” Linkin Park and Chester specifically were and are my idols. This album reflected in part how I felt hearing the news, albeit much deeper than how I felt.
As an album, this one cannot be graded as normal. It’s someone’s thoughts, feelings and trauma laid bare for the world to hear. That being said everyone should give it a listen, especially if you were a Linkin Park fan once or forever.
Rating: 5/5 or Not rated