The members of Linkin Park are as p***ed off as ever. That’s the impression one gets a few seconds into the opener of their fifth studio album. Mike Shinoda takes control almost at once: ‘I don’t hold back, I hold my own, I can’t be mad, I can’t be calm.’ He then steps back to let Chester Bennington do what he does best, which is stretch those astonishing vocal cords while singing about broken promises.
On the one hand, it’s a method the band has tried and tested before. They even have the same producers (Shinoda with the God-like Rick Rubin) they’ve had for five years now. What’s surprising is how they still manage, ever so often, to push that proverbial envelope a little.
This time it happens pretty late into the album, on the minute-long instrumental break titled, Tinfoil, followed by the closer Powerless (‘You hid your skeletons when I had shown you mine, you woke the devil that I thought you’d left behind…’) For those unhappy about A Thousand Suns, this will probably be welcomed as a return to form.