Linkin Park

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Linkin Park

They're the band that helped kill nu-metal. When Linkin Park released Hybrid Theory at the end of 2000, it dragged the sound of Korn and Limp Bizkit into pop territory, replete with three-minute songs that balanced angsty lyrics with killer riffs and choruses. Bam! An entire genre, robbed of any remaining credibility. Four albums on, the band have drifted a long way from the sound of their early work – last year's A Thousand Suns was a concept album about human fear, replete with numerous 'experimental' filler tracks, which led some critics to drop Pink Floyd and Kid A comparisons. Eh, there weren't any good singles on Kid A either. If Linkin Park's music is an increasingly dour prospect, they've redeemed themselves with their charitable activities: the band set up the Music for Relief NPO in 2005 to assist victims of natural disasters and raise awareness about global warming. Beneficiaries have included victims of the Asian tsunami, last year's Haiti earthquake and, since March 11, Japan itself.