Perhaps this is just a result of a bit too much sleep deprivation combined with being loaded up on cold medicine (o hai thur winter), but I was listening to the album tonight, making note of how everything flows together, and something occurred to me: There are only 2 spots on this album where there isn't a discernable transition from one song to the next: Between When They Come For Me/Robot Boy and Blackout/Wretches and Kings. So this got me to thinking...since this is ("loosely") a concept album, could that be intentional? It's common for concept albums to be split up into movements to separate sections of the "story," and I thought maybe this isn't an exception. For those who are wondering, here's how I noted all the transitions: The Requiem > The Radiance - direct musical transition The Radiance > Burning in the Skies - heartbeat/droning keyboard transition Burning in the Skies > Empty Spaces - crickets Empty Spaces > When They Come For Me - soldiers marching/guns cocking in time w/When They Come For Me intro beat When They Come For Me > Robot Boy - N/A Robot Boy > Jornada Del Muerto - droning keyboard note/"ping-pong" noise transition Jornada Del Muerto > Waiting For the End > song ends on an Asus2 chord (A5/w B on top), B plus E note from keyboard creates E chord, WFTE starts on E Waiting For the End > Blackout - oscillating reverb noise on last vocal part fades into intro keyboard Blackout > Wretches and Kings - N/A Wretches and Kings > Wisdom, Justice and Love - Wretches and Kings is in A, but ends unresolved, WJ&L starts on an A minor chord (effectively "ending" the previous song) Wisdom, Justice, and Love > Iridescent - ends/starts on A minor chord again (w/keyboard fade-in) Iridescent > Fallout - droning keyboard note transition Fallout > The Catalyst - droning keyboard note transition (pretty much a direct transition) The Catalyst > The Messenger - ends on a G/D keyboard interval, The Messenger starts on a G major chord To add fuel to the fire here, take a look at how the songs on either side of the gaps are structured lyrically: When They Come For Me is a totally self-indulgent song from a lyrical standpoint, whether it's Mike's rap or Chester singing the bridge, the whole song is about "me." Then take a look at the beginning of just about every line in Robot Boy: "You say/you think/you're sure." There's a stark contrast between those two songs, going from first person to third person (and about as far to either end of that spectrum as far as Linkin Park's lyrical content goes). I think the gap there is meant to signify a shift in perspective from one character to another, or possibly a shift from a character talking about themselves to talking about someone/something else. Then take a look at how Blackout ends and Wretches and Kings begins: Blackout ends with "come down, oh" fading into a background of digital noise, like whoever's singing it is either giving up or literally "coming down below" (I always felt Mike's part at the end - "come down far below/we've been waiting to collect the things you know" was a reference to someone being interrogated and/or tortured). Then Wretches and Kings starts with the only speech on the album that isn't accompanied by any music, and Savio's speech is about as uprising-oriented as it gets, it's pretty much a more eloquent way of saying "stick it to the man." If someone's going to "come down" 9 songs into a 15-track album, it only makes sense for some type of uprising/rebellion to happen afterwards. I look at it this way: If this is split up into 3 "acts," in Act 1, the main character is anticipating that someone is going to come after them (When They Come For Me), in Act 2, they're blackmailed/captured in Blackout, and in Act 3, they rebel/escape. Obviously there's a bigger storyline with the entire atomic age/people getting nuked thing too, check out a live video of Jornada Del Muerto for an example of that - the sky background on the screen morphs into a mushroom cloud right as the climactic final chord of the song is struck, given that the title of the song originates from the name of the site where the first nuclear bomb was tested, I think that's literally what happens in the song, and the melody from The Catalyst being sung in Japanese may be a kind of foreshadowing to the bomb being dropped on Japan later, most likely occurring during The Catalyst itself. I definitely think there's some sort of narrative woven into the sequencing of this album, the band's just shied away from discussing it in interviews because they don't want people to think they tried to make something to compete with The Wall/Tommy/American Idiot.