Hybrid Theory was, and still is, one of my favourite albums of all time, I remember listening to it non-stop when at school, and even now I still put it on from time to time. Linkin Parks followup albums Reanimation and Meteora, while not the same calibre (in my opinion at least) as their debut, were still were very good and I certainly enjoyed them a lot (even if Reanimation was a completely different beast).
However, the albums following Meteora unfortunately didn't grab my interest. After listening to Minutes to Midnight, I stopped really paying any attention to LP. I appreciate that artists and bands like to evolve their music, or try new genres, and I cannot fault them for making the music that they wanted to make, but unfortunately it wasn't for me.
However, The Hunting Party is a step back towards where they started from. It is a lot heavier than what I have heard since Meteora, with a more hard rock feel to the album. Despite the fact that I may not have been a huge fan of their work since Meteora, it does appear that it has helped the bands talent to grow with more intricate riffs, which sound like they have a wider range of influences since their early days (I might even dare to go as far as some riffs having a classical influence to them). Their songs as a whole flow well and seem gel together nicely, with all the parts complimenting each other well.
So, to sum up the album - is it another Hybrid Theory? I wouldn't go that far, but it is definitely a step back in the right direction if you enjoyed their earlier albums. The best praise that I can give it is, with the convenience of mp3 downloads dominating my music purchases recently, this is the first actual physical album that I have bought in nearly two years. I like what they have done with this album and I am once again, looking forward to seeing what Linkin Park come up with next!