By Josh Bell
Linkin Park has spanned a number of different genres over its 15-year career as a band. Initially, the Southern California sextet gained popularity as part of the nu-metal movement, alongside bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit and Slipknot that added elements of hip-hop to their hard rock sound. Frontmen Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington traded vocals, with Shinoda rapping and Bennington singing on early hits like “One Step Closer” and “In the End.”
Later on, the band evolved away from rap-metal, embracing a more ethereal sound, with Shinoda moving to guitar and away from the microphone on many songs. They never lost their connection to hip-hop, however, even collaborating with rapper Jay-Z on the 2004 remix album Collision Course.
On the band’s latest album, last year’s Living Things, they synthesize all the past elements of their sound, returning to their roots while also looking forward. Regardless of what direction the band takes, they continue churning out hits, from “One Step Closer” through “Somewhere I Belong,” “What I’ve Done” and newest single “Castle of Glass.” Having long since transcended their origins (while other nu-metal bands struggle to hold onto audiences), the members of Linkin Park are free to explore a whole range of musical avenues as they head into the future.