• Steve Jenkins

Top 10 Greatest Nu-Metal Albums of All Time


The 90's was an interesting time for music. You had the grunge movement which became commercially successful in the early to mid-1990's, due to releases such as Nirvana's Nevermind, Pearl Jam's Ten, Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger, Alice in Chains' Dirt and Stone Temple Pilots' Core. You had iconic rap albums released such as Notorious B.I.G's Ready to Die, Nas' Illmatic, Dr Dre's The Chronic and Wu-tang Clan's Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers. As for metal, bands such Metallica, Pantera, Tool and Megadeth were all releasing albums that would now be known as classics. But there was a new genre emerging during the mid 90's that would go on to have mainstream success for certain bands, radio play, Top 40 singles, and change the way people listen to heavy music forever. That genre was Nu Metal.

Nu Metal dominated the radio stations during the late 90's and early 2000's, using all of the popular elements of hip-hip, electronic, funk, and of course crushing riffs to create this non-traditional style of metal music. Some of those Nu Metal albums have stood the test of time, and some have not. So we thought we'd go back and revisit the genre that inspired spiky hair with too much gel. baggy cargo pants, red NY baseball caps, Adidas originals, chain wallets and some terrible fashion choices. But at least the music was mostly good, and here are our Top 10 Greatest Nu Metal Albums of All Time.

10. Sevendust - Animosity

This is a band that still have a great career, a dedicated fanbase, and probably get more respect than any other nu-metal band besides Slipknot. Animosity is arguably their best album, front-to-back, and the album that should have taken Sevendust from a gold selling artist to multi-platinum.

9. Static-X - Wisconsin Death Trip

In 1999 Static-X crafted a fantastic debut, one they haven't matched in quality since. Static-X’s debut was a case of right sound at the right time in terms of its popularity. Wisconsin Death Trip ended up going platinum, becoming the only Static-X album to do so.

8. Incubus - S.C.I.E.N.C.E

A work of art for nu-metal fans that shows how great Incubus spearheaded the nu-metal movement. Something different for Incubus fans of soft and mellower albums. Incubus are already a great band overall, but it's pretty funny that one of their greatest achievements in the ears of the fans and critics is their only nu metal record. Definitely worth checking out.

7. Mudvayne - L.D. 50

This album is without question one of the most diverse, intelligent, captivating and memorable nu-metal albums I have ever heard. It is truly progressive in the sense of both style and ideas. When you need a concentrated dose of rage, this is the album.

6. Deftones - Around the Fur

This 1997 release proves that the Deftones were on the road to success with their sophomore album, featuring 10 awesome songs that still remain as consistent and awesome as ever. even over 20 years after its release. Around The Fur is what really marked the transition of Deftones from an angry young group into the alternative metal band we know and love today. The album goes far beyond nu-metal’s confines, and unfortunately no other band in the genre was ever able to match its subtle quality. A powerful and visceral masterpiece.

5. Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory

Whilst not everyone's cup of tea, there's no denying that Linkin Park helped a lot of younger people discover heavy music, almost like a gateway band for metal. This album changed a generation of teenagers, and it meant so much to a lot of people that it’s only fair I give it the credit it’s earned over the years. It's got great emotion, a unique mix of rap, nu-metal, and electronica, and effective instruments which also give Hybrid Theory the recognition it has. Overall, a very, very good album, and one of the most important nu-metal releases ever.

4. Limp Bizkit - Significant Other

Like it or not, this is one of the most important Nu Metal album of the 90's. Some may disagree and think that their debut "Three Dollar Bill Ya'll" or their 2000 smash hit album "Chocolate Starfish & The Hot Dog Flavored Water" deserves to be here. But "Significant Other" is the album that skyrocketed Limp Bizkit into mainstream success with songs like "Nookie", "Re-Arranged" and of course "Break Stuff."

3. Slipknot - Slipknot

Iowa’s nine piece metal out-fit bring a thick, raw and crunchy sound to the metal masses using masks, jumpsuits and an almost unique combination of sounds creating a metal record that is angry, new and somewhat innovative. This is truly the sound of nu-metal turned up to 11 and then some.

2. System Of A Down - Toxicity

In 2001 SOAD emerged with Toxicity which is 44 minutes of insanity that expanded their sonic reach with rock balladry and vocal harmonies, while digging deeper into the melodic motifs of their Armenian heritage. Three tracks with soaring choruses – “Chop Suey!,” “Toxicity” and “Aerials” – all cracked the Billboard Hot 100, catapulting the album to Number One status. Selling over 12 million copies worldwide.

1. Korn - Korn

Korn’s debut album was the first album of the never-before-seen genre ‘nu-metal’. It is a bass heavy, angst ridden vessel of catharsis. The album was so undeniably funky, emotionally raw and impossibly heavy that even heavy metal legends Sepultura and Machine Head wanted to follow these new metal leaders. Korn's Self Titled debut is truly an inception of a new genre.

Do you agree? Did we miss some? Let us know.


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