In July 2009, singer and guitarist Duff McKagan announced, during Loaded's tour, that the band were writing new material for their next album. He said that they have some "great ideas and riffs" that the band wrote during their tour. Loaded parted ways with record label Century Media in February 2010 with the band continuing the work on new material. Prior to the beginning of recording, producer Terry Date approached the band and offered to produce the new album, with recording beginning, at Studio X, in August 2010, and completed by the beginning of September. On October 28, it was announced that the band had signed a deal with Eagle Rock Entertainment for the release of their album. In November, Blabbermouth.net announced the album's title, The Soundtrack, with a release date scheduled for March 22, 2011. It was later revealed in interviews with guitarist Mike Squires and filmmaker Jamie Burton Chamberlin that the album title was changed to The Taking, and the release date was change from March 22, to April 19, 2011.
The Taking received generally positive reviews, scoring a 65 out of 100 ("generally favorable reviews") on Metacritic based on five reviews.Allmusic reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave the album three out of five stars stating that McKagan "turns in his hardest record in recent memory" and that the album "does make a brute impression [...] playing with a vitality that almost compensates for how they fetishize the past."Kerrang! magazine stated that with the album, "Loaded sound like a proper band now."Revolver magazine's Kory Grow complimented it's "big hooks and driving riffs" while noting punk influences on the album. Joseph Viney, reviewing for Sputnikmusic, gave the album a three-and-a-half out of five stars, noting a darker tone throughout the album, with songs such as “Lords Of Abbadon,” “Executioner’s Song” and “She’s An Anchor” earning comparisons to Down and Alice in Chains.Ultimate Guitar Archive commented that the album's music has "a bit of GN’R influence injected into it all, but [that] there’s just as much a heavy helping of punk and even 70’s glam" while they also complimented the lyrics stating they have "some fantastic moments." David Jón Fuller of the Winnipeg Free Press stated "it's clear McKagan hasn't lost any of his musical swagger" and while "his vocals are little more than shouting [...] the sound is powerful and bottom-heavy."