As a genre, Nu-Metal gets very low respect from fans of other genres (metal fans in particular tend to be the worst offenders). It is understandable when on quick reflection people like Fred Durst spring to mind; an insufferable troll indeed, but Nu-Metal as a genre was so much more than Red Yankee caps and baggy jeans with Korn patches sown onto them by your friend’s Mum.
I was about 15 or 16 when Nu-Metal was born at the turn of the millennium. I was very much the target audience and along with a couple of friends totally got into the genre and the brilliant bands. The first Nu-Metal track I heard was ‘Bodies’ by Drowning Pool. Boom! I was hooked. I loved the heavy guitars, the angst and anger, the soaring chorus, it ticked all the boxes. A guy in my year was first to have broadband and one day brought me in a compilation that blew my tiny little mind to pieces. Drowning Pool, Korn, Deftones, 36 Crazyfists, Linkin Park and about 15 other bands. I still have the CD to this day and still listen to it fondly. Remember Evanescence? You loved them too, didn’t you?
For teenagers at the time (and probably a good few adults too) it was a defining sound. Clichéd perhaps but it was the answer to the anger you can’t quite define when you’re at that age. It spoke to us in a way we understood, shared our frustration and rocked up in wrist-flame tattoos, metal studded bracelets and wallet chains. Live, these bands could bring it too – I maintain to this day seeing Saliva and Stone Sour at The Barrowland was one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. This show included a flawless performance from Saliva’s Josey Scott, Corey Taylor in a kilt sending the crowd into a frenzy and my friend catching Jim Roots guitar pick (which I think he still has). There was also an Il Ninõ gig at G2 in Glasgow with Breed 77 supporting where they had fans up on the stage with them too that I remember with joy, it was brilliant!
Just thinking through some of the bands that I’ve included in my list below still blow me away to this day. It’s difficult to put into words because I suppose it’s a personal thing to me at the time so instead of rambling on at length in a “dear-diary” monologue, here are some of my favourite tracks from the time. Turn it up,enjoy and don’t forget to shout out your favourite nu-metal tracks in the comments:
System Of A Down – Toxicity
Mudvayne – Happy?
Deftones – Back To School
Saliva – Click, Click Boom
Linkin Park – In The End
Drowning Pool – Bodies
Creed – My Sacrifice
POD – Boom
Adema – The Way You Like It
Korn – Freak On A Leash
Godsmack – I Stand Alone
Staind – Outside
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