We all know that Linkin Park totally lost it when they released Minutes to Midnight, so I’m not going to spend any time on that. I’m going to be honest and say that I have been in love with this album since I was 13 years old (maybe even younger, I can’t really remember). Although I have been majorly distracted by all of the new music I’ve been discovering since then, I still go back to Linkin Park’s first two albums and feel nothing short of satisfied when I listen to them. Like many metalheads out there, when I was much younger, I was relentlessly bullied at school constantly, and that’s part of what attracted me to heavy metal. Also, like many metalheads, there is a group of bands I’ve been listening to forever that I used to come home from school and listen to so that I could have something to help release my anger. Well, the deep and angry sound that Linkin Park produced was one of those things that I listened to during that time. Now that I’ve become much more knowledgeable about metal (and music in general), I’ve come to the unfortunate realization (and disappointment) that a lot of the “mainstream” metal bands I used to listen to actually suck. Linkin Park isn’t one of those bands; now that I can look at music from a critical perspective, I still find Meteora and Hybrid Theory to be FANTASTIC albums. Out of the two, Meteora is my favorite.
Lately, I’ve been spending some time listening to the rock and metal albums that I used to (literally) overplay during my middle school/junior high years. Although plenty of them SUCK, there are quite a few bands that still stick out in a positive way to me. My favorite from that list, Breaking Benjamin (which used to be my favorite band) is right behind Opeth on my VERY favorite bands list. There are so many people that always think about Minutes to Midnight and the album they released after that (I didn’t bother to remember the name). When I think of Linkin Park, I think of Meteora; I never even think about their crappy material unless someone else mentions it. By this time, you’re probably asking what it is I love about this album?
Let me “start off” by saying that the sound production quality is some of the best I’ve ever heard in my entire life. The guitars are EXTREMELY heavy and have a lot of crunch to them. The bass is enough to make any bass junkie happy, which is partly due to the guy that’s responsible for all the industrial/electronic sounds and effects. When it comes to the drumming, there is a guy at the drum set, but the guy that does all the electronic sounds makes stuff that basically acts as an additional (electronic) drum set. It seems like this because not only to the drummer and the electronics follow similar parts a lot of the time, but I actually confuse the two because they sound so similar in most of the songs. This album has two vocalists: one of them, Chester Bennington, sings and screams; the other raps. Chester (the only name I can remember from the band) has one of the best sounding screams I’ve ever heard in nu metal. Depending on who you are and what type of singing is your favorite, Chester’s singing might take some getting used to because it (understandably) can sound really cheesy to some people. Their rapper has a strong voice and annunciates clearly, which is what I like to see in a good rapper.
The guy who does the turntable and effects work does a really good job at adding that strong industrial feel to the music. Although most of the songs on here are crushing and heavy, there are some softer songs. The softer tracks on here tend to mainly have the rapper doing the vocals along with the turntable guy and the others playing at lower volumes. On the rest of the album, the guitars are REALLY loud; even the songs that aren’t SUPER heavy have the guitars on full-blast open-fire mode. The diversity that this record contains is really hard to put into words and can only be truly understood by listening to the entire album.
My favorite song…Don’t Stay. I know that this isn’t the most famous track off the record, but if you play the intro track, it blends into Don’t Stay, which has more power than any living creature. The melodic, but edgy singing from Chester is laid out PERFECTLY on top of the surprisingly heavy music built up by the guitars, bass, and drums. The turntable guy (that’s what I’ve always called him) add in the very strong industrial vibe to give the music its uniqueness. The first song that I heard from this album is actually one of the HEAVIEST songs off the record, Lying from You. Don’t let the trippy keyboard sample at the beginning trick you, because the unrelenting and merciless amount of distorted guitars and crushing bass will surprise you. The reason why this isn’t the HEAVIEST track off the record is because of the melodic chorus; but the majority of the vocals are done by the rapper. I really like this song because of the really thick beat that the hip-hop influence creates and the smooth transitions between the heavy verses and melodic choruses; and just pretty much how everything falls together perfectly! The next song, Hit the Floor is THE heaviest song off the album. This song has much less of an industrial sound, therefore giving the metal side the upper-hand. Not only that, this is one of the only songs where I feel a strong connection with the lyrics and the general message of the song, which is pure hate. If I had to make a list of songs with the most clever and strongest messages of hate, Hit the Floor would be on it. Other highlights include Faint, Somewhere I Belong, Figure.09, and the voiceless industrial track, Session.
This album does have some songs that seem tasteless and dry and leave me feeling like I just ate some stale crackers; to me those songs are Numb, Breaking the Habit, and From the Inside. There is a track on this album that’s pretty much an old-school rap sounding song, nothing much else I can think of to say about that other than it sounds like a rap song from the early 90s. Overall, I consider this album to be not only amazing, but a classic. I would give this album 18/20. If you haven’t bothered to look this album up or haven’t listened to it in a long time, give it a listen; it might surprise you.