There is something to be said for people taking a stand against something in their lives. It can be something as simple as quitting a dissatisfying job or ending an unfruitful relationship; it’s all about turning a page in one’s life. That is just what Linkin Park has done. In their sixth studio album, “The Hunting Party,” the band heads back to their roots — to the harder sound that they were once known for. The electronica influences present in their last few releases are gone. Their partnership with producer Rick Rubin is no more. All of this is because Mike Shinoda didn’t like where the band was heading musically, and it sounds like it was the right decision to make.
“The Hunting Party” is a heavy hard rock album through and through. The album sounds much more like “Hybrid Theory” in terms of style and atmosphere than the Rubin-produced works. There is aggression and anger throughout the album, but it contains a polish that one can only obtain from years of music-making experience. The opening track, “Keys to the Kingdom,” is heavy and refreshing. The difference in musical direction can be heard immediately.
The album features a few notable guest artists as well. Page Hamilton (Helmet) plays on “All for Nothing.” Rakim lends his renowned vocals to “Guilty All the Same.” Tom Morello adds his expertise to the instrumental track “Drawbar.” Lastly, Daron Malakian (System of a Down) plays and sings backup on “Rebellion.”
With “The Hunting Party,” Linkin Park has made a conscious decision. It has redirected their focus and gotten them back into the type of music they feel comfortable making again. Rather than innovate their sound for the sake of innovation, Linkin Park can stay true to their sound and experiment without losing themselves and their style.
Linkin Park ‘The Hunting Party’ Rating: W W W W