I been thinking about nu-metal, and why everyone hates it so much. I've seen people who say "I despise nu-metal", "limp bizkit sux" etc etc. However, I've also seen the same people say that the love KoRn, MudVayne and System of a Down. I've seen people say that KoRn are industrial, and Limp Bizkit are punk rock. This really got me puzzled as to what actualy defines nu-metal, in one sturdy sentence. So, I got thinking. During this thinking, I decided to come here and see if anyone figured it out.

While the above does give a general discription of the genre today, it didn't feel right. It doesn't describe what nu-metal is on it's own. No offense joeevans, but you have assumed that all nu-metal bands have had a hip-hop influence. I have never believed this, as bands like Slipknot and System of a Down have no obvious hip-hop sound. Yet, they are both called nu-metal.

A quick visit to kerrang.com helped out. Their definition is:

"the one thing that unites them all is a rejection of the values and attitudes of, for want of a better phrase, old metal."

I suddenly realised something - Ever since KoRn apeared, metal was never the same. There didn't seem to be any bands (in the mainstream) that sounded like them (the exception is Faith No More). Their down-tuned, distorted guitars and blind white rage sounded nothing like Metallica, Slayer, Iron Maiden etc.

I almost got a definition, but then Limp Bizkit crept into my head. They were rap-rock, and pretty much every other nu-metal band out there is as well at this present time. Then I realised - there were only hundreds of rap-rock bands after Limp Bizkit hit the big time. But bands before Limp Bizkit didn't use rap lyrics or Djs ( with the exception of Rage against the machine and a few others, but the point is that it didn't become a massive craze until Limp Bizkit).

I concluded that Limp Bizkit had merged traditional nu-metal with hip-hop to create the current state of nu-metal today. This can also be applied to Slipknot - they merged speed/death influences with the traditional sound, and System of a Down - they merged traditional Armenian and nu-metal music. The only reason nu-metal is associated with rap-rock is that Limp Bizkit inspired hundreds of other bands to do exactly the same thing.

Therefore, the definition of traditional nu-metal is:

Distorted, down-tuned guitars with plenty of angst

This is backed up further more with the mosh-pit phenomenon. On the documentary on MTV (Yes, I watched it), it said that bands such as Korn and Limp Bizkit caused the mosh-pit to generally get more violent. Could this be due to the angstful lyrics the crowd can relate to? So before you go bitching about nu-metal and then supporting another nu-metal band, remeber this:


Nu-metal, thanks to Limp Bizkit, has become a big, all-encompassing force that cannot be stopped by conventional methods. Much like everything2.

It's great what you think about when listening to SoiL.

Some more information on what bands mix what:

  • Slipknot - speed/death metal with nu-metal
  • System of a Down - Tradional Armenian with nu-metal
  • Vex Red - Industrial with nu-metal
If you can think of anything else, please tell me.

These bands are NOT nu-metal:

These bands ARE nu-metal:

Got anymore, please tell me.

* Note: Korn did however introduce some hip-hop elements later on in their career (thanks Asterphage!).

I am blaming Limp Bizkit because they are the ones that toured, they are the ones that recruited DJ Leathal, Korn simply tok their demo tape to Ross Robinson. They are indirectly responsible, but really Limp Bizkit are directly to blame. I don't care what anyone says either!

**nyte says re: nu-metal, i liked your wu, but i have to point out that deftones is definitely not nu-metal; particularly since white pony, they fall much more into the art-rock/metal category

-- Can someone help out in this? Just /msg me, thanks.