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Replacing a lead singer is a risky move for any band, especially an established one, but Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington gives a new dimension to Stone Temple Pilots' signature sound.
Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington begin with their EP High Rise, showcasing Stone Temple Pilots' signature sound - heavy guitars, a solid groove and catchy rhythms. The most interesting part of this collaboration is Bennington’s vocals where his higher end can really elevate a song. I do miss Scott Weiland's low, smoky vocals, but where the two lead singer’s vocal ranges mix in the middle, it’s almost unnoticeable.
The opening track, “Out Of Time,” gets things going at a blistering pace - a screaming vocal and distorted guitar line fuel the song, and the chorus really show off Bennington’s cleaner vocals. The single “Black Heart,” with its catchy guitar hooks and foot-stomping beat, is classic STP, although you can’t help but try to imagine Weiland’s lower vocal register at first listen. “Same On The Inside” and “Cry Cry” would have fit perfectly on the “No. 4” album while in the closer, “Tomorrow,” you do finally hear a semi-hybrid of STP and Linkin Park.
I caught myself several times not noticing a difference in singers, but had just as many what-if’s, picturing Scott Weiland and the band making this record together. It's only an EP for now, but if this gives any idea of what lies ahead, “Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington” is not only a mouthful, they could also be one of the next great super-groups.