Culture

Chester Bennington’s Posthumous Cryptic Song ‘Cross Off’ Sheds Light into the Mind of Late Linkin Park Singer

It has been a year and a half since the unexpected death of rock singer Chester Bennington. The lead vocalist of popular early-2000s rock band Linkin Park committed suicide July 2017 after battling with mental illness. 

Months before he died, however, Bennington collaborated with Lamb of God's lead guitarist Mark Morton. The song hadn't seen the light of day — until Tuesday. 

Compared to the singer's most recent work, "Cross Off" has a more metal-vibe — much closer to what Linkin' Park became known for in the early 2000s. Bennington became known for his unique screaming style, which is heavily amplified in his newest work. 

"Wasting away // A self-inflicted slow decay // What should've been, what never was // Became the end for both of us," Bennington sang in the opening lines.

The song becomes darker toward the conclusion, with what can be interpreted as the climax of Bennington's emotional turmoil. 

"Making my way back from the madness // Shifting my thoughts from the blackness // And the sadness, but the fact is I'm swinging through life like a clenched fist // F**** sanity, I wanna bleed // Can't kill the pain, it's everything // It's all I feel // It's what I breathe." 

Bennington had a long, persistent battle with mental illness. "Cross Off" was not the first time the singer became candid with his inner thoughts. 

Linkin Park's 2008 song, "Leave Out All the Rest" was written as an apology letter for when Bennington "moves on," according to an interview with the singer in Kerrang! Magazine. Listening to it now, it can almost be seen as preparation for Bennington's future death. 

"When my time comes, forget the wrong that I've done // Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed // Don't resent me and, when you're feeling empty // Keep me in your memory, leave out all the rest // Leave out all the rest." 

Mark Morton's album, Anesthetic – which will include "Cross Off" – will be available March 1. 

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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