What a degradation this is! I declare myself to be a fanatic and unrepentant listener to their fantastic first two albums, “Hybrid Theory” and “Meteora”, although I am rarely tempted by bands coming from the scene this one spawned from. I was touched by Mike Shinoda’s soulful voice in addition with the aggressiveness coming from the sharp riffs, which combined with the cheesy refrains made an explosive mixture. Even today those albums are considered to be two of the highlights among my vinyl collection and often reside in my record player. The unexpectedly huge sales of these two LP’s rocketed off the band’s popularity and disorientated the band’s creativity, resulting to a constant downfall. The next album was “Minutes to Midnight”, followed by the disgraceful “A Thousand Suns” and the shockingly uninteresting “Living Things” that completed their transformation, sliding in a disastrous ‘pop’ slope. In the meantime their sales went downhill, along with the hopes of those who were hoping for a utopian change that never seemed to come about.
Suddenly in April I got to read an interview from the band, in which they claimed that “The Hunting Party” would be a surprise for the enthousiasts of their early sound. “May there be a God?” I came to wonder…I decided to acquire the album, after all I had already spent a fortune in order to collect all the singles and EP’s that they are used in releasing all the time. Linkin Park are capable of releasing 11 singles for an album containing 10 songs. Their complete discography is proved to be a puzzle for wannabe selectors, as, in addition to the singles, every new release is always accompanied by live albums, remixes albums, video albums, EP’s and whatever else the corroding music industry can come up with in order to make more cash – not that the band is not to blame for this situation. They are more than eager to release anything with their logo on it. For the truth of it, check out the numbers: with six albums released, they’ve also made 21 EP’s (must be a world record), 5 live LP’s and 21 singles. Once upon a time, releasing a number of albums was essential before recording a live album, in order to perform live the songs that stood out from these albums. Linkin Park are dried up from fresh ideas, therefore they weren’t concerned at all about but making new songs. Well, just between us, it’s better that they weren’t, because if what they are able to give us in the year 2014 are the 12 lousy songs in “The Hunting Party”, they better stick to remixes. There is no God and miracles are over, Linkin Park are unable to compose again, whoever didn’t come to realize it yet got what he deserved (I’m talking about myself). Although the band finally remembered that there is an instrument called electric guitar, it’s distortion is so fake and stilted, so plastic and false, that I think I’d better listen to the beat remixes of “Lining Things, rather than the pretentious return to the early ‘hard’ sound. This stuff is generic, indecent, easy to swallow, without any reason to exist, music that seems to have spout from garbage TV talent shows, a baffled attempt to flirt with alternative metal, but eventually is bottom quality alternative pop with hints of rap and hip hop and meaningless guitars reminding us that this band was special a long time ago. There are hundreds of new bands out there playing more interesting music, than the veterans Linkin Park.
I will not rate them with the absolute zero, because there is “Guilty All The Same” that stands out from the crap….and I used to love these lads so much….may they rest in peace.