Rock in Rio dubs itself the world’s biggest music festival, but with its first incarnation in the USA, that seemed less literal than figurative during its first weekend, devoted to rock music. 82,000 fans rung the turnstiles over two days to see the likes of Metallica, Maná, No Doubt, Linkin Park, and many more.
Breaking away from Rick Rubin, with whom they had a three-album association, Brad Delson and Mike Shinoda co-produce this time around and retreat from the moody electronica that characterized many of those records. Instead, The Hunting Party is designed as a return to rock, evoking the group's earliest records. Reconnecting with the past is a standard move for a heavy band 15 years into its career, but The Hunting Party is effectively aggressive, partially due to how far into the ether Linkin Park strayed on Living Things and, especially, A Thousand Suns. Written and recorded over the course of a year, The Hunting Party nevertheless packs a visceral punch.