With crunching guitars, understated beats and that voice… you’d be forgiven for thinking that opening track Sickness was unreleased Linkin Park material. The Syndrome sees young Chester ask ‘Are you happy?’ and it’s hard to not find it bittersweet in light of the depression he experienced throughout his life.
Elsewhere, B12 has almost We Didn’t Start The Fire-esque lyrics, listing atom bombs, acid trips, the KKK, anarchism, Satanism and more, while Soul Song delivers a piano and Chester Bennington vocal combo that feels like the spiritual precursor to Linkin Park’s In The End. When it drops, it’s as big as powerful-a-vocal as you’ll find anywhere else in his discography.
She Shines serves up the biggest riffs on the record, but it's closing track, Shouting Out, that really steals the show. The song builds and builds, before exploding with regretful lyrics from the late frontman. Lines like, ‘Didn't mean to run from you, I'm shouting out, so ashamed / Didn't mean to rush you down, I didn't mean to’ give way to a short answerphone message from Chester, which heartbreakingly ends with ‘I love you and I’ll talk to you soon’.
Amends is a portrait of the artist as a young man, offering fans the chance to time travel and spend time with an old friend. It’s also the origin of Chester Bennington as a musician and is therefore an essential, rewarding and emotional listening for anyone who is a fan of his work.
Grey Daze's new album Amends is out June 26.
If you’re struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, or just want to speak to someone, please reach out to the Samaritans on 116 123, or visit Samaritans.org.