Dead By Sunrise, "Out of Ashes"
There's a question that lingers when listening to the debut album from Dead by Sunrise, the new project from Linkin Park's Chester Bennington: What can he do musically in this setting that he can't in his day job? The answer, apparently, is quite a bit. Bennington's emotive vocals and a similar quiet-to-loud dynamic identify Dead by Sunrise with Linkin Park, but "Out of Ashes" is grittier and more punk-driven. This is best displayed on the punchy groove of "Crawl Back In," the blistering cadence driving "Inside of Me," the three-chord attack of "My Suffering" and the butt-kicking rock of "End of the World." Bennington and his Dead by Sunrise bandmates (who hail from the electronic rock band Julien-K) also display a deft touch with atmospherics and textures on tracks like "Too Late," "Give Me Your Name" and the goth-tinged "Let Down," among others. On the opening track, "Fire," Bennington searches for "a way to keep my pain from burning down to the bone." But his agony is the listener's sonic gain, so let it burn. --Gary Graff