When Stone Temple Pilots fired their frontman Scott Weiland earlier this year, it came as no surprise to fans who had watched Weiland battle some personal demons; it’s no secret that Weiland’s career has been plagued by substance abuse and several arrests. For over 20 years Weiland was the “face” of STP, and continuing a band without him might seem awkward. Some bands have accomplished it, but few have done it well. And if STP hadn’t recruited a big name replacement, fans may have just given up.
Enter Chester Bennington: the well-known voice behind Linkin Park. In early October, Stone Temple Pilots featuring Chester Bennington released their 5-track EP, High Rise, under the 13Star Records label.
This new STP becomes a strange mix of Linkin Park and STP, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Linkin Park is a great band, and so is STP. But will it convince fans?
The songs may not blow you away, but they’re fairly solid. Fans may be a bit surprised that they actually like a few songs. Critics of the new works will either say it doesn’t sound like STP’s other work, or that Bennington is trying too hard to sound like Weiland. But if they really listen, they’ll find that each song is fairly tightly composed. Bennington has an admirable range that brings out the depth and emotion in each song. His voice is adaptable, and throaty, and just similar enough to Weiland’s to act as a suitable replacement.
The most impressive song on High Rise is Tomorrow. It’s smooth, and rhythmic, and layered.
Hopefully, Bennington is a stable replacement to Weiland and STP can continue on. True, they will never again sound as they did before, but they aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel by bringing in Bennington. Fans just need to accept that bands evolve over time.
Watch the lyric video for Black Heart
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