“Castle of Glass” is a song written by American rock band Linkin Park for their fifth studio album, Living Things. The song was produced by co-lead vocalist Mike Shinoda and Rick Rubin. The song was released as a promotional single for Danger Close Games’s 2012 release, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, as with Linkin Park’s previous contribution to the Medal of Honor series, “The Catalyst”. The single is set to be released on December 7, 2012.
“Castle of Glass” uses electronic elements from the band’s previous studio album, A Thousand Suns. The song also incorporates elements of country music, and is structurally a folk rock song. Loudwire noted in their Living Things review that the song “feature very different electronic elements and unique sounding samples that the band have added to their musical palette.” It is one of the most direct that the band has done with a traditional song structure.
“Castle of Glass” has received mixed to positive reviews from critics. Billboard wrote in their review of Living Things, “A folk song with LP’s muscle, “Castle of Glass” uses compelling songwriting, extended metaphors and a simple but radical (for Linkin Park) arrangement to offer one of the album’s most intriguing tracks.” A staff reviewer at Sputnikmusic wrote in their mixed review of Living Things that the song sounded too similar to “Powerless” and that the song “would have been better if it wasn’t inferior to the similar sounding final track.” AltSounds described “Castle of Glass” in their album review as “a drawn-out filler track that keeps to a crawling pace, is strangely passive and doesn’t leave you feeling very inspired.”
The music video for Castle of Glass was recorded on August 1, 2012 and it contains footage from the first-person shooter video game Medal of Honor: Warfighter. It was released on Linkin Park’s YouTube channel, linkinparktv, on October 10, 2012. The music video shows a young boy being told that his father has been killed in action. He and his mother mourn the death as the fallen SEALs teammates and their families try to comfort them. The band is shown playing with a storm where shattered pieces of glass circle the band. Towards the end the boy goes through his father’s possessions, fast forwarding to him becoming a SEAL, like his father before him. At the end of the video we see the man telling a girl the heartbreaking news of her family member, as she too cries. The video hints at the boy and the woman being the family of Rabbit, who died in the previous game and the teammates being Voodoo and Preacher. True to the Medal of Honor philosophy, Castle of Glass highlights the emotional realities soldiers and their families face far from the battlefield. The video ends with a quote from Winston Churchill, shown in all-caps:
All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.
The band’s part of the music video was filmed entirely in front of a green screen, with the production being handled by Mothership and Digital Domain. It’s post-production relied heavily on CGI animation and After-effects. Special effects have a prominent use in this music video, and also continues the motif of a world falling apart, as with the previous Living Things videos. One of these is an opening shot of Mike Shinoda, beginning with a shot under, moving progressively upwards until the walls around him start to crumble. The music video also picks up on suspended animation techniques, which sees objects in a fixed position in air, literally suspended, with a central subject being the one animate in this point of fixed time.