The thing about music that uses cutting-edge audio technology is that it tends to age badly.

Any synth sound or electronic drum kit from the ’80s that once seemed incredible now sounds like a bootleg Mario soundtrack, while early digital Pro Tools sessions seem so sterile and clinical that you should have to give your Medicare card to a receptionist in order to listen.

The same thing is apparent when listening back to most nu-metal music from the turn of the century. The “heavy” guitars sound washy and digital, the record scratching seems laughable, and the layered rapping and yelling sounds as fierce as a poodle. If you could hear the wallet chains rattling on the recordings, I’m sure they’d also sound dated.

Linkin Park were perhaps the most inventive band to come from this dubious era, often using real piano sounds, leaning heavily on balladry and even recording an album with Jay-Z (which is terrible, but hey, life is one big experiment, after all).

The band’s last release was 2014’s more traditionally rock album The Hunting Party and it seems their next record will stray even further from the “imabouttoBREAK” model they pioneered in 2000. A simple one-minute piano ballad appeared on their YouTube channel overnight, suggesting a more relaxed album may be in the works.

Mike Shinoda plays a simple piano line, and appears to be singing “holding on” throughout. Whether it’s a preview of the new album, or a work in progress remains to be seen, but it’s something new for Linkin Park fans, which I’m sure not a lot of them were expecting to hear today.


This article originally appeared onTone Deaf.