The title is a reference to the Doomsday Clock, which was created by these scientists at the University of Chicago after the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Japan to end World War II. Given the idea that mankind now had this ultimate destructive power, they were contemplating what the repercussions of this would be and the idea that the end of the world could be imminent.
After WWII, when the Soviet Union tested their first bomb, the Doomsday Clock was set. It basically has hands from the 45-minute mark until midnight... And at 45 past the hour, it means the world is relatively stable, but since we have this [nuclear] power, we're always just 15 minutes away from the end of the world. And when the U.S. and the Soviet Union were involved in their nuclear standoff in the 1960s, the clock was set at three minutes to midnight. And it's moved back and forth about 18 times since its inception. Right now we're at [five] minutes until midnight. - Chester Bennington explaining "Minutes to Midnight"
Bennington calls the track (The Little Things Give You Away) "the pinnacle of what we can achieve as a band," underscoring its expanse and sonic grandeur. It is — in short — the audio equivalent of the detonation of an atomic bomb, which you'd think would make it a mortal lock for an album about blowing things up and starting all over again. - James Montgomery