Music this week

Over the decade, Nu metal rage Linkin Park has built up a reputation of having stormed the rap metal, alternate rock scene with their signature sound. So there's a chance that latest record, A Thousand Suns, at first, might seem like a bummer. But having said that, there's no reason why it shouldn't grow on you over a few songs that trip through their experimental chops, abstract sounds and signature industrial grinds triggered around stimulating melodies. If their 2007 album, Minutes to Midnight, was any indication about the band straying away from their conventional proclivity, this one has certainly put all doubts to rest with the Californian rockers' experimental modern alternative music.

In this album, Mike Shinoda is not rapping as much, Chester Bennington's stratospheric grunge is more subdued, Brad Delson's monstrous guitar layers are phased down, but what's different are the copious assaults of industrial synth and a lush arsenal of electronic concoctions.The melodic opener The Requiem quickly moves on to the short and intense The Radiance, which features a portion of an interview with Robert Oppenheimer, physicist, who is also known as the "father of the atomic bomb" and his use of a quote from the Bhagavad Gita —"If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendour of the mighty one"— inspired the title for the album.The dance-pop Burning in the Skies moves on to the vibrant When They Come For Me that has heavy grooves where rap merges with afro-centric drumming and Mediterranean croons. Layered vocals knifes through dynamite beats and an electronica symphony on Robot Boy while the power packed and hip-hopish Waiting for the End is followed by heavyweight scratches on the turntables in Black Out. The classic Wretches and Kings with its high octane vocal and rap attacks driven by distortions and electronic tones. Iridescent has an U2-ish touch and the fast paced intensity of The Catalyst is a worthwhile piece of music.This album is Linkin Park in a refreshing new avatar. 

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