Rap-metal is, by and large, a pretty stale bizkit. Yet Linkin Park have outlasted the genre’s brief ’90s boom, consistently pulling digestible melodies from staticky storm clouds of sound. On A Thousand Suns at times the band’s odd mélange of industrial grind, hip-hop swagger, and teenage-wasteland angst feels jarring — but that should matter little to the kids who clamor for their headphone catharses.
Review Summary: An extremely well-crafted rock album from a band whose (self-directed) anger is, for once, well placed. A Thousand Suns isn’t quite the return to the magic of debut album Hybrid Theory, as it has been billed in some quarters, but neither is it a straight re-enactment of the turgid attempt at a stadium-filler that was 2007’s Minutes to Midnight. Producer (or, more accurately, Executive Producer) Rick Rubin has been retained from the previous album, as has been the general tendency towards melody rather than harsh vocals and distorted guitars, but in many other senses it’s a more true representation of the group’s origins: meshing heavy rock with old school hip hop in the tradition of Rage Against the Machine and (briefly) Public Enemy.
The fourth studio full-length by Linkin Park is a bit of a weird one The fourth studio full-length by Linkin Park is a bit of a weird one – it’ll take you by surprise. ‘Burning In The Skies’ is actually a great starting point; with its slow, piano-heavy chord sequences and electronic drum beats, the Chester Bennington-led track is the forerunner in Linkin Park’s ‘new’ sound. However, that doesn’t mean each of the 15 tracks on offer here are slow to mid-tempo brooding numbers and next track, ‘When They Come For Me’, is more than enough to prove that.
Continuing their slow crawl toward middle age, Linkin Park opt for moody over metallic on A Thousand Suns, their fifth album. A clear continuation of 2007’s Minutes to Midnight, A Thousand Suns also trades aggression for contemplation, burying the guitars under washes of chilly synthesizers -- a sound suited for a rap-metal band that no longer plays metal but hasn’t shaken off the angst, choosing to channel inward instead of outward. So few rap-metal bands have chosen to embrace their age -- they fight against it, deepening their technical chops while recycling ideas -- that it’s easy to admire Linkin Park’s decision not to shy away from it, even if their mega-success gives them the luxury to pursue musical risks.
A haphazard collection from the Cali’ sextet, but one that scales some new highs. Mike Diver 2010 It shouldn’t really be a surprise, but it’s still a shock to the system, exploding expectations like broken billiard balls. Minutes to Midnight, Linkin Park’s third album, made clear the California sextet’s move from nu-metal dynamics to something softer and more mainstream-friendly (not that they were struggling to shift records – 2000 debut Hybrid Theory has sold over 24 million copies).