Death is never an enjoyable topic to confront, whether regarding a famous figure or otherwise. Last Thursday’s unexpected passing of Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington is no doubt one of the toughest deaths endured by the music industry in a long time. As the emotional and lyrical leader of one of the most iconic musical groups of the 21st century, Bennington changed the way mainstream alternative rock was embraced during the genre’s post-90’s identity crisis. Bennington dove head-first into the world’s blatant complications with a series of socially lewd high dives that were as controversial as they were beautiful.
In memory of Bennington, one would naturally look to his work and suggest a song about the troublesome nature of death and/or suicide. The bulk of Linkin Park’s work however, is fundamentally built around these concepts. As a result, the question instead shifts to ask which particular song was most impactful for this specifically tragic situation. “Shadow Of The Day” felt particularly appropriate because it not only dealt with Bennington’s apparent depression, but also his direct confrontation of society’s ugliest blemishes.
As we part ways with one of the most important rock figures of our generation and wonder what could have been, we must accept the recognizably unsettled mental nature that Bennington used to propel Linkin Park to astronomical heights in the first place. The members of Linkin Park accurately summed up that anguish in the following public statement about Bennington,
We’re trying to remind ourselves that the demons who took you away from us were always part of the deal. After all, it was the way you sang about those demons that made everyone fall in love with you in the first place. You fearlessly put them on display, and in doing so, brought us together and taught us to be more human.