Linkin back to a rap-metal heyday with new tunes
Rap-metal was in vogue for a mercifully short period about a decade ago and while the rest of the world has moved on, the sub-genre's original proponents Linkin Park have clung to it like a barnacle to a rock.
So, once more, Mike Shinoda spits out the rhymes while Chester Bennington and friends deliver the sort of angsty, guitar-oriented rock that made their first pair of albums such enormous sellers.
The gargantuan approach will no doubt appeal to early coverts of the band but, in truth, the stadium-sized production merely attempts to paper over the cracks of some very pedestrian songwriting with the sloganeering Victimized particularly culpable.
It's only when the band stray from their time-worn template that things get interesting.
Roads Untraveled is an elegant ballad that displays considerable maturity -- if heard in isolation, it would be very difficult to pin it as a Linkin Park tune.
Meanwhile, Burn It Down is a strident anti-war song wrapped in a glittering electro-rock wrapping.
But these flights of fancy only serve to show how dated so much of their material is. And, even in the moments when they supplant screaming guitars with hardcore electronica stylings, it's hard to escape the fact that people like Skrillex are doing this kind of music a hell of a lot better.
KEY TRACK Roads Untraveled
Day & Night