Nu Metal Is Still New by Oscar Russel

Posted: November 28, 2008 by Maximum Mike in The Rocking Chair Blog
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I was 14 when Linkin Parks debut album Hybrid Theory was released. This was probably one of the biggest turning points in my musical listening career, from listening to Oasis, Pulp and Blur to this completely new sound of music. A whole generation was exposed to something different, it wasn’t Metal it wasn’t Punk and it definitely was not Rap. They were one of the first bands that I saw live, an obsession with nu-metal had begun. Although I was a little too young for Korn’s third album Follow the Leader which came out two years earlier it was in my CD collection soon enough.

This album by Korn is probably considered by many the album that began the nu-metal craze. The album topped the charts in the States, Canada and Australia. After its release however many considered Korn to have ‘sold out’ and that they had apparently ‘lost touch’ with there metal roots and abandoned everyone and thing that tried to help them get to where they were before.

A platform had been set, everyone was going at it trying combine a bit of hip hop with a bit of metal to see what they would get, putting backwards letters in the band name, replacing all s’s with zeds, baggy shorts and backwards baseball caps, whether anyone wanted it or not Nu Metal had arrived.

Through the beginning of the 2000’s, more bands broke out with hit albums like Papa Roach whose major label debut Infest became a platinum hit. Papa Roach, combining a heavy form of rock with spoken ‘rapped lyrics’ in the verses. Other bands, like P.O.D. who showed a slightly different side of nu-metal. Throwing bits of reggae into the mix had some form of mainstream success with their album ‘Satellite’, which included huge hits of the time such as ‘Alive’ and ‘Youth of a Nation’. By 2001 nu-metal reached its peak as record labels signed many nu-metal bands. Though new bands were breaking out, established bands that started the genre had massive successful hit albums like Staind’s Break the Cycle.

Being a nu-metal fan at its height was considered ‘cool’ by most, in the UK (I can’t speak for America or elsewhere as I wasn’t there) you could not go anywhere without seeing teenagers (and some adults) in Limp Bizkit hoodies or Linkin Park tour t-shirts, the small island of Britain had gone crazy for it. I will never forget the day at school (hand on heart) when one of my English teachers could be seen walking down the corridor in a Korn hoodie. What was going on?

One band that will never be forgotten is Slipknot, with there debut release in 1999 Slipknot. This album was hugely successful; it is still the bands best selling album to date. In a review of the album by Allmusic they said “You thought Limp Bizkit was hard? They’re The Osmonds. These guys are something else entirely. And it’s pretty impressive.” However, with all the praise of the album and its going platinum in both the UK and the States, it came with a staggering amount of controversy. The band fans were accused of all sorts of allegations against them, which were said to all boil down to the music that they were listening to.

Unfortunately most of the bands today now have a marred image, probably one of the most shocking things that could have happened to nu-metal was Woodstock ’99, with bands such as Korn and Limp Bizkit playing on the bill, violence began, or at least was blamed on these bands. Their image tarnished before the genre had a foot out the door.

With the majority of these late 90’s early 2000 bands moving away from the rap side of their music and using a more melodic style, is this end of nu metal as we know it, or is it the start of something that can take over the world again. As DJ Lethal from Limp Bizkit said “It’s just time [for a change]…….. Some bands out there — I’m not going to say who — they just milked the hip-hop-rock-beats-scratching thing. So it’s done. It’s time to move on.”

It was written somewhere (I have the piece but can’t remember where I found it) ”At the same time, the tremendous popularity of nu-metal acts like Korn and Limp Bizkit means kids are getting into heavier music again and thus might harbor a new interest in some of the longer-lived bands on the metal circuit.”, well it certainly did that for me and many of my friends, even though the genre didn’t live on it brought rock music to a whole new audience.

With a new album release out and due from Papa Roach, P.O.D, Slipknot and Saliva all we can do is wait and see what lies ahead for what was once nu metal
Rock On
-Oscar Russell

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.