Linkin park, the band who put nu metal on the worldmap with monster hits like “One step closer” and “In the end”, are back with a new record called Thousand Suns. The band, formed in 1996, have put out four studio albums to date including Hybrid theory, Reanimation (remix album), Meteora and Minutes to midnight. They took their time to write and create this experimental concept album and hopefully it paid off. Does this record have a lasting value, or can you change the title from A Thousand Suns into A Thousand Nones?
The Requiem kicks the record off in a very mystique and strange way. First of all, you get a spooky entering tune followed by spooky high pitch voice that says the words
” God save us everyone, we’ll be burning into the fire of a thousand suns, for the sins of our hand, sins of our tongue, sins of our father, sins of our young”
This strange and awkward voice keeps the listener curious to dig deeper into the next songs.
if you look at the next song The Radiance, it is a text that someone is reading instead of an actual track. You hear a space like the voice is telling something to the listener. It’s nothing special for me and I can easily move on to the third track.
Burning In The Skies is the third single and keeps me hoping to finally hear some music from Linkin park on this new disc. The beginning has a depressing feel. it starts with a heartbeat and uses a piano tune combined with a soft drum pattern throughout the verses and choruses. You think this will continue towards the end but after the second chorus it explodes into a more upbeat tune that turns on a little smile on my face. Before you know it this song ends and the next one has already begun.
Empty spaces leaves the listener with an empty space. it’s only 18 seconds long. This must be the shortest song to date in the Linkin Park catalogue.
After the second fill up the fifth track called When They Come For Me, starts with a ticking clock and a strange guitar tune. The song uses an upbeat drum rhythm. This rhythm makes you think you are listening to a jungle-ish track but a very repetitive one. It doesn’t have a long-lasting value for me, but there will be listeners who will dig this one.
So far I have listened to five tracks but still haven’t found what I’m looking for in a Linkin park Album. Now lets move on and listen to number six. Robot Boy gives me chills and I got blown away by the great piano tune combined with a soft voice from Chester singing his lyrics. This song is Linkin park worthy.
Robot Boy flows perfectly into Jordana Del Muerto. This tune is used as an intermezzo between the first and the second half of the record. It has a more dance/electro feel. After 1 minute and 30 seconds you can hear the track fading out straight into the next half of the record.
The second half kicks off with their second single Waiting For The End. It’s a pure rap rock tune with heartfelt lyrics and has a ballad feel. This one showcases the incredible voice Chester possesses. When listening to it, I got the chills down to my spine and it felt like I could sit, relax and let everything go.
with my brain was empty, I started listening to the next track Blackout. Its starts of with a drum beat and piano tune that creates a certain atmosphere for what’s about to come. Like Joana Del muerte it has a dance electro feel. The only thing that is different from all the other dance songs is Chester is screaming throughout the whole song. In the middle it crashes down and builds back up to an ending climax into the next episode.
Wretches and Kings has an industrial/nu metal feel. It is also the heaviest one on the record. Mike shinoda’s rapping in the verses and Chester singing reminds me of the good old days when Linkin Park used this as their trademark. It ends with a great scratching solo from Hann.
Wisdom Justice and Love is another filler. It is great for a band to use such pieces, but for me it becomes boring and it doesn’t add something special in general.
Special is something you can allocate to iridescent. It is the fourth single of the record and is also used as the title track of “Transformers: Dark Moon Rising”. like Waiting For The End this one is a rock ballad with great lyrics. The combination of Mike and Chester singing is perfectly executed. In the middle the drum beat stops and a choir starts to sing to lead the song into a great climax. It ends with a great piano tune and then fades out into Fallout.
Fallout is the interlude for the fourteenth track. It uses a robot like voice with lyrics from iridescent. Unlike the other interludes, this one gets a smile on my face and gets me excited to hear the next tune.
The Catalyst is the leading single for the record. For me it is one of the greatest tracks. Normally I’m not a big fan of experimental stuff, but this one really pulls it off. It’s a mixture of electro, dance, a tender ballad together with rock in a clever and subtle way. The meaning behind the song is to tell the people the good days have come to an end. A message that can be well understood by many of us.
Speaking of messages, The Messenger is the closing track, finally. It is the most heartfelt song I’ve ever heard from Linkin Park to date. It’s a great way to end a concept record. If you hear it, you want to grab your lighters, and put them up high. I never thought Linkin park could write such songs, but it is something they have to continue doing in the future.
When I first heard the record I thought it wasn’t their best work. But when I listen to it now, I can say it all flows perfectly together and has some heights and depths. It contains great standout tracks like Waiting For Fhe End, The Catalyst, The Messenger, Iridescent and Burning In The Skies, but in general it lacks the raw power that I am used to hear from Linkin park in the past. I’m sure in the end Linkin park will have some new fans with this CD and lose some old school diehard fans.