(I think the title of this article should read: 5 Reasons Why Nu Metal IS Great…) – N.
Nu-Metal is a style of music that was at its most prominent during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. It’s also one of the most maligned musical movements in the history of music, especially among purists of metal music. Bands born from the genre include world famous acts like Linkin Park, Korn, System of a Down and Deftones – all of whom continue to find commercial success to this day, but the term “Nu-Metal” no longer seems to apply to them. However, I don’t think it’s a term to be ashamed of being associated with as many bands are; Nu-Metal was a groundbreaking time for music and here’s why:
1) Nu-Metal Was Innovative
Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Nu-Metal pushed the boundaries. There’s a common misconception among people that Nu-Metal means “rap metal”, but a lot of bands from the movement didn’t incorporate hip hop music at all; punk, grunge, hardcore, new wave, electronica, industrial, reggae and other genres were incorporated with various strands of metal to music that wasn’t pure to any particular genre. It was still loud, but it was a lot more interesting than other metal sub-genres and showed that you could condense a variety of styles in a musical blender and spew out the concoction.
2) It Brought Different Groups of Fans Together
Nu-Metal opened peoples minds. It brought punk kids, goth kids, hip hop kids and metal kids together and provided a gateway to other styles of music they might have rejected otherwise. As a teen, a lot of musical tastes aren’t genuine; kids tend to listen to what their friends like and stick to a subculture – or they did in the 90’s when I was a kid. Nu-Metal united those subcultures and made people appreciative of different palettes of music. I listen to music from all across the spectrum and I pinpoint my love of everything from rock, techno, folk, jazz, indie, hip hop and everything in-between to exploring the inspirations of Nu-Metal bands I grew up on.
3) It Inspired A Rock & Metal Resurgence
Nu-Metal was all over the charts during its peak, but thanks to people growing tired of it, bands like The Strokes and The White Stripes managed to gain a foothold into the mainstream and inspire bands that came after. Within the metal community, metalcore and the “New Wave of American Metal” came into prominence and brought heavy metal back to its roots with a much needed modern spin. Music is ever changing and Nu-Metal was just another bridge to the next wave of musical evolution. Plus the return of ‘’real’’ metal made younger audiences seek out boring old crap like Sabbath and Megadeth and keep the generational appreciation going.
4) Unique Bands
Deftones. Incubus. System of A Down. Slipknot. Need I say more? All of these bands were a part of the scene and have since gone on to transcend genres and establish themselves as some of the most innovative, groundbreaking acts in modern rock music. The label “Nu-Metal” might escape them now, but whether you accept it or not they were a part of it and are proof that it was an limitless sub-genre which really defied labels.
5) It Was Fun
At the end of the day, the diversity of the bands and unpredictable nature of the songs made it fun to listen to. Songs comprised of crunchy, groovy riffs, industrial/hip hop beats, massive hooks, reggae/rap/screaming vocals and more – sometimes all of it – to create music that’s just fun to listen to. Maybe the rap/rock of Limp Bizkit wasn’t to your liking, but the death disco of Static-X, unfiltered rage of Nothingface or batshit insanity of SOAD and Apex Theory was; the point is Nu-Metal had wide appeal with fun being the one uniting trait.
Maybe you hated Nu-Metal and that’s okay; if you’re a heavy metal purist I can see why it would insult you. But if you’re like me and like your music varied, loud and condensed then Nu-Metal is a blast. I urge all of you haters to delve deeper into the genres endless list of bands and albums; you might just find a couple that you like. In recent years, bands like Limp Bizkit have gained more respect than they ever did back when they were selling millions of records. Maybe it’s a sign of Nu-Metal gaining the respect and credibility it deserves.
>>>Article by: Kieran Hates is the blog of a 26 year old hairy Scotsman who’s obsessed with all things geek culture and this is where he rants, raves and posts his thoughts on said geek culture.<<<