Label: Warner Records
Considered an alt-metal classic, Linkin Park’s debut album does a fine job introducing fans to the band’s singular fusion of hip-hop, post-grunge and arena bombast. Boasting an orgy of well-produced noise, the album is all about violently chunky breakdowns and angst-ridden choruses that are barked, shouted and screamed. Needless to say, Hybrid Theory became an instant smash, receiving three Grammy nominations in the process. Though the group walked away with Best Hard Rock Performance for the single “Crawling,” it’s the record’s lead single, “One Step Closer,” that rocks the hardest.