Every time I hear news about Linkin Park, I turn into what can only described as a 12-year-old fangirl. I run around screaming and I am not ashamed about it. I do this even when I read about them touring in other countries or headlining Download this year. Now imagine my reaction to hearing there is a new Linkin Park single. In the most ungraceful and unprofessional way possible, I dash over to my laptop and hunt down the song. I then spend the next four hours listening to the song on repeat and having a minor emotional breakdown. This sort of thing tends to happen when your favorite band releases a new song and announces that an album is being released later this year.
Where do I start? Perhaps at that sneaky cross-fade from mono to stereo input on the song’s intro. It gives it a dirty and gritty garage-rock feeling which opens up into a massive instrumental section. The instrumental intro to “Guilty All the Same” is heavily influenced by a combination of power metal and straight up nu-metal guitar styles. Brad Delson and Mike Shinoda absolutely kill it on the guitar, taking on a very aggressive style. Dave Farrell’s bass lines roar in the background while Rob Bourdon’s drums are as loud and tight as usual. The long intro builds up to the moment all Linkin Park fans wait for: Chester Bennington’s vocals. His voice never ceases to amaze me. He adopts a very melodic yet harsh style of vocals for this song which complement the loud, aggressive nature of the instrumentals. He goes for his traditional shout-singing on the chorus, telling people that they’re “guilty all the same.”
Once again, Bennington and Shinoda write brilliant lyrics. They stick to their traditional aggressive and political lyrics, telling corporations, the government and the media that they’re to blame for the problems in the world. But Linkin Park has a surprise for us on this track; his name is Rakim. Rakim bursts in on the hip-hop-tinged nu-metal-style bridge with his flowing rap verses. He steps in where Shinoda would lay down a verse and lays down a one of his own about how the music industry – and the world – has been ruined by greed.
One of the comments that I have seen the most on YouTube has been: “Linkin Park is back.” What people don’t understand is that they never left. They have been constantly evolving and changing their sound and they have done just that again. “Guilty All the Same” is heavier than anything Linkin Park has ever produced. It is a throwback to the Hybrid Theory years with an even heavier approach. This is meant to be a taster of their forthcoming sixth studio album, and I can only imagine the kind of beast that it will be. I wait in anticipation to see what Linkin Park releases next and until then, “Guilty All the Same” will rack up some serious play time.