Nu-metal is an ugly term to many, especially rock purists. Like every fad though, it had it’s time in the limelight and has since faded. Linkin Park was one of the last successful bands in the genre until they decided for better or for worse, it was time to ditch nu-metal and grow up. Well, before I continue, let me just say that I am a child of the nu-metal era and used to be a massive Linkin Park fan. As I got older and discovered other music though, I simply lost interest in them. Their last album, Minutes To Midnight, was an interesting direction but ultimately I just didn’t care for it as a whole. Really, you could say I was “over it.”
Now the band has returned with their latest effort and surprisingly enough, it’s not entirely terrible. A Thousand Suns is the band at new heights and maturity that impressed me more than I ever expected. Now, it’s not a perfect record, as the band seem to still be struggling on where they want to go musically, but it’s a step in a better direction. Songs like Robot Boy and the utterly amazing Waiting For The End show the band honing a new and better sound. Wretches & Kings continues the sound, while paying homage to Nine Inch Inch Nails and Public Enemy and still gives audiences some of the classic LP sound that they’re known for. And there’s where the album’s weak points are at for me. Any part where the band hold on to even little pieces of their trademark sound come off forced. Almost as if they are simply putting it there for old fans and not to alienate completely. I understand that though so I’ll give them a pass. The album also suffers from the band taking themselves a bit too seriously.
In the end (see what I did there), Linkin Park still has a ways to go, but A Thousand Suns is worth a listen because when it soars, damn does it soar.