Linkin Park

The Hunting Party

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Breaking away from Rick Rubin, with whom they had a three-album association, Brad Delson and Mike Shinoda co-produce this time around and retreat from the moody electronica that characterized many of those records. Instead, The Hunting Party is designed as a return to rock, evoking the group's earliest records. Reconnecting with the past is a standard move for a heavy band 15 years into its career, but The Hunting Party is effectively aggressive, partially due to how far into the ether Linkin Park strayed on Living Things and, especially, A Thousand Suns. Written and recorded over the course of a year, The Hunting Party nevertheless packs a visceral punch. Hints of the murky, meditative darkness linger -- especially on "Until It's Gone," which builds upon its atmosphere to reach melodramatic heights; "Final Masquerade" is subtler in its approach -– but there's good reason why Page Hamilton and Tom Morello both guest on the record: this is a grinding, metallic workout. Far from sounding as if they're grasping at straws, Linkin Park seem rejuvenated, proving there is value in the cliché of returning to roots.

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