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Linkin Park - AlbumThe universe of rock music is a versatile beast with many different versions and sub-genres going shoulder-to-shoulder with each other regarding what is purchased and digested by the consumer.  Nu-Metal is just one element of the entire scene which embraces hip-hop influences with loud and proud guitars, hook-laden moments and plenty of attitude.  One of the finest purveyors of the scene is ready to unveil their sixth studio album packed full of the ingredients mentioned above.

With a debut album [Hybrid Theory] selling in excess of 27 million copies worldwide thus far, then following it up with Meteora in 2003 and exceeding 20 million copies sold worldwide, to then sell over 15 million copies of their third studio album Minutes to Midnight, somewhere along the lines Linkin Park can safely say they are doing something right.

The Hunting Party feels like a mixture of their previous albums to date, but placing more emphasis on their rock credentials.  The album is also notable for the inclusion of a lot more special guest appearances.  Welcome aboard Page Hamilton from the highly respected alternative metal brigade Helmet who appears on All for Nothing; Tom Morello from the mighty Rage Against the Machine popping up on the atmospheric and instrumental Drawbar and half of the rapping duo known as Eric B. & Rakim adding some edge to Guilty All the Same.  Rakim raps during the bridge instead of Mike Shinoda, adding the contrast to the usual delivery from Chester Bennington.

War is notable for the punishing punk-infused attitude and direction which rattles the comfortable cage in which the band have always been found.  Naturally there are more familiar performances which you’d associate with Linkin Park like the single Until It’s Gone but it is within moments like Mark the Graves where the band really shine brightly.

Other highlights contained within the fabric of The Hunting Party include the anthem-like Final Masquerade, the punchy Wastelands complete with jarring potent riff and the album closer A Line in the Sand.  On the latter example it begins with a somber and atmospheric opening until some harsh drums attack.  From this point the epic track continues to build the tension eventually mellowing out with soft piano and plenty of reverb on the vocals.

It is too easy to dismiss this band and react to their abundant lucrative commercial success without really listening to what they are producing.  There are moments on this album where you may question their quality control, but overall The Hunting Party offers up a solid collection of nu-metal style music with textures of light and shade.  It is essentially predictable and formula but somehow it doesn’t matter.  Crank up the music-playing device you like to use and enjoy the ride.

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