Nu-metal is often remembered for its high highs, its low lows, and its red hat-wearing fans of Limp Bizkit. While this little subgenre divided many metal fans during the hey-day of late 1990s to early 2000s, there’s no denying the impact it had on music and many bands that would come after it. So if you’re feeling nostalgic, or craving some new music with the iconic styles influenced by the genre, here are 10 bands that encompass the best parts of nu-metal.
Admitting themselves that they are inspired by Limp Bizkit, SHVPES started from Birmingham as Cytota, and have since grown onto two albums and tours with bands like Whilst She Sleeps and We Came As Romans. Their two albums, Pain, Joy, Ecstasy, Despair and Greater Than exhibit their evolution in the nu-metal style, especially with songs like “Two Minutes Of Hate,” “Afterlife,” and “Counterfeit.” Strong riffs and vocals with very real lyrics, they’re not one to miss out on.
Despite only having four singles out, this duo has already made waves within the community for their sound and style. Considering their song “God of War” contains the lyrics, “Nu-metal is definitely coming back,” these two definitely belong under the umbrella of the subgenre. Their other songs, “Post Modern Rhapsody,” “Lapdance,” and “Gold Gold Gold” embody that nu-metal feel with strong bass and drums mixed with hip-hop elements mixed with those funky rhythms and catchy melodies.
Strong bass lines? Check. Rap and hip-hop elements mixed with metal? Check. Two women showing how it’s done in the lyric department? Double-check. Some consider their music as urban punk or rapcore, but with tracks like “Taxi,” “Thelma & Louise,” “Vortex,” and “Devil’s Face,” the influence from nu-metal is undeniable, especially with the vocals from Amy Love and heavy bass from Georgia South.
If their recent album Underneath is anything to go by, the hip-hop and metal fusion is strong within Code Orange. Combining the typical nu-metal sound with the modern metal sounds of hardcore and metalcore, this band is a good crossover for fans of both styles, especially with some of their latest songs like “Underneath” and “Swallowing The Rabbit Whole.”
Similar to Code Orange, Vein is a group that works to develop the nu-metal subgenre from within and have even become a part of the new “nu metalcore” subgenre. Fast-paced, energetic, and utilizing those elements nu-metal is known for, the band continue to push the boundaries, especially on their debut Errorzone with songs like “Virus://Vibrance”. Whilst more on the hardcore side of metal, the band still include the strong bass lines and rhythmic beats that nu-metal is known for.
Best known for that cover of “Zombie,” Bad Wolves are more than that cover, as their original writing shows. Both their albums, Disobey and N.A.T.I.O.N, exhibit that groove and rhythm the sub-genre is known for. Mixing clean and guttural vocals adds depth to the music offered on each album, and the heavy sound with intriguing rhythms. With tracks like “Officer Down,” “No Masters,” “Killing Me Slowly,” and “Foe Or Friend,” the band has a lot more to offer musically and in the evolution of nu-metal.
Often compared to Rage Against The Machine, one of the influences to the sub-genre, FEVER333 use rap mixed with metal to shout their message out to the world. As nu-metal is defined by mixing metal and rap, this band takes it a step further by incorporating trap elements and beats into their songs. Their debut album, STRENGTH IN NUMB333RS, is full of brilliant songs that show their musical skill within the sub-genre, and singles like “Trigger” and “KINGDOM” showcase their talent in the lyrics and rap style.
Looking more like the British New Wave of Nu-Metal, Loathe add their style of melodic hardcore to the subgenre and fuse it with genres like metalcore. Mixing together clean and unclean vocals against bass-heavy instrumentation, fans of nu-metal will still be pleased to hear this band and their albums. Their second album, I Let It In And They Took Everything, with the accompanying songs “Aggressive Evolution” and “New Faces In The Dark” show how nu-metal inspired them and how they embellished the elements as their own.
FROM ASHES TO NEW
Another band often compared to a contemporary — this time with Linkin Park — From Ashes To New have made a name for themselves in recent years by embracing the nu-metal style and taking it forward in their records. Despite only two albums so far, the band have continued to develop within the subgenre, and with songs like “Crazy” and “Broken” they are proof the nu-metal genre is still alive to this day.
The newest band on the list, Inferno Noir may be small at the moment, but that doesn’t make them any less of a fantastic band. Whilst more of a mixture of many metal sub-genres as opposed to just nu-metal, Inferno Noir still keep one of the key components of this particular subgenre; using the bass as part of the backbeat and accompanying the drums to keep the time. Songs from their self-titled record like “Deep Underground” and “Sin Eater” utilize this bass line and effectively create something new from what their metal contemporaries have done before. Truly the best of both worlds!
Words by Naomi Sanders