Why I Miss Nu Metal

narojo

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The reason numetal was awesome was because people weren't trying to be "numetal". They were pioneering a sound. The sound can still be done for sure. Just not the next big thing right now.
 

bostjan

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The reason numetal was awesome was because people weren't trying to be "numetal". They were pioneering a sound. The sound can still be done for sure. Just not the next big thing right now.
Hmm. I'd push back on that and say that it started out with people not trying to be nümetal, it started off as people pioneering a new sound, but, within 3-4 years, it ended up being people trying to be nümetal and people jumping on the bandwaggon to get the same tired old sound.
 

CanserDYI

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Im actually in an opposite camp, i grew up in the punk scene and always hated nu metal sooooo much. Now that Im in my 30s I am being reintroduced to all this music that i just HATED then and now I feel like i wasted a bunch of emotions and feelings on music that wasnt even that bad, and actually enjoy some of it, like deftones and System of a Down.
 

SexHaver420

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Were there any technical nümetal guitarists?

The dudes from Meshuggah. They're from the 90s and play groovy riffs on the bottom strings of extended range/tuned down guitars and the band has a rhythmic vocal style too. They made a new kind of metal. Nu metal if you will. This website and the world at large are not quite ready to have this discussion yet though.
 

wheresthefbomb

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Not as hard as Fred Durst.



Seriously though Wes Borland always got brought up as a "good guitarist" cause he'd do some simple tapping on songs and use effects in weird ways. I mean, yeah, at least he was trying to do something different, but I never heard him do anything actually technical or interesting to listen to by itself. And when he had a solo album, it was worse than Limp Bizkit (Duke Lion Fights the Terror or something?). It was like sub-Ween.


I like Wes Borland specifically because he keeps it simple, and does those simple things really well and in a very recognizable way. he reminds me of Johnny Marr in this way. Also his costumes and guitars are 100% always aesthetically on point, I remember seeing him in GuitarOne with the blacked out eyes and his "skin" peeling off and it made my skin crawl.

I've never listened to limp bizkit on purpose and don't like them, but I've seen Wes doing a lot of kickass stuff over the years. He found his thing, he honed it to a high degree, and he's stuck with it. I think that's just cool as hell and something I really look up to.
 

bostjan

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The dudes from Meshuggah. They're from the 90s and play groovy riffs on the bottom strings of extended range/tuned down guitars and the band has a rhythmic vocal style too. They made a new kind of metal. Nu metal if you will. This website and the world at large are not quite ready to have this discussion yet though.
Meshuggah is an alternative metal band. Nümetal is a subset of alternative metal, for sure. So Meshuggah is like the first cousin of the nümetal genre.
 

SexHaver420

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Meshuggah is an alternative metal band. Nümetal is a subset of alternative metal, for sure. So Meshuggah is like the first cousin of the nümetal genre.
Stop putting the umlaut in nu metal please. It makes it seem way cooler than it is.
 

mastapimp

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Many of them could. Some still couldn't. :lol: Great singing and drumming, too, even if the lyrics ranged from meh to cringe.

Were there any technical nümetal guitarists? I'm thinking of Gurg jabbing away at drop-tuned one-finger chords, or Static X's single-riff songs, etc.
Guitars solos and non-chug techniques are a rarity in the genre, but I can think of a few that can hold their own:

Rich Ward from Stuck Mojo/Fozzy. He was in Adrenaline Mob with Russ Allen, Mike Orlando, and Mike Portnoy when that project started out.
Dan Donegan from Disturbed. I'm pretty sure he was in some hair/glam bands back in the 80s and can definitely play leads.
Although he rarely showcases it, Clint from Sevendust. Also writes and performs great acoustically.
Static-X let Koichi play solos on some of their later releases
Amir Derakh from Orgy. He was doing synth guitars, 7 strings, came up in the 80s LA hair metal scene. Played in Rough Cutt after Jake E. Lee and Craig Goldy.
Ill Nino and Soulfly's Marc Rizzo has some Shreddy solo releases on Shrapnel Records.
I've read somewhere that Kid Rock's old lead guitarist was actually pretty good outside of those records.
 

mmr007

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I fucking LOVED Korn. I was 28 when I first heard "Got the Life" on KROQ radio and my reaction was wtf was that. By the time the song was over I was pulling into the parking lot of Tower Records. Even though I was 28 (so older than most when experiencing them) I already had 3 kids, a shitty wife and even shittier job so I was just as angry as an angsty teenager and that shit worked for me.

Not long after I decided to get into guitar again and bought several Ibanez RG7620, a mesa triple rectifier and line6 flextone head (because...Korn) and the rest is history. Never got into Limp Bizkit and yes as the scene went on it quickly got watered down by other lesser bands trying to fit on the wagon....but that is the story of EVERY music genre.

The lack of solos (or musicians who actually could) never bothered me because a solo shouldn't be obligatory....it should tell a story the singer cant and that doesn't really work in nu-metal so much. Hell my absolute favorite Pantera song doesn't even have a single note of solo and that's Dimebag fucking Darrell.....so.....
 

narojo

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Hmm. I'd push back on that and say that it started out with people not trying to be nümetal, it started off as people pioneering a new sound, but, within 3-4 years, it ended up being people trying to be nümetal and people jumping on the bandwaggon to get the same tired old sound.
But the pattern repeats, my friend. It's polymorphic.
 

MFB

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I think the only band I "miss" from the nu-metal days (or should I say, DAZE, those were wild times huh guys?!) is Mushroomhead. They had some weird shit going on with their first album, some tracks leaned more towards industrial than hip-hop and had a bit of an American Rammstein sound going on with the effects.

 

KnightBrolaire

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Many of them could. Some still couldn't. :lol: Great singing and drumming, too, even if the lyrics ranged from meh to cringe.

Were there any technical nümetal guitarists? I'm thinking of Gurg jabbing away at drop-tuned one-finger chords, or Static X's single-riff songs, etc.
depends how technical you're talking.
Ryan from Mudvayne, Wes Borland, Mark Tremonti (wasn't technical back in the day but he does a lot of cool stuff with Alter Bridge)
 

michael_bolton

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Grew up cranking thrash/death/grind, some punk and rockabilly/psychobilly. There was always this dichotomy where at home I'm cranking metal then I go to a party where non-metal crowd hangs out and they are playing whatever was in the top 40 type deal.

When nu metal came out - I never really got into it like going to the shows or anything but "party style nu metal" tunes - bizkit, disturbed and even white zombie type stuff at social gatherings was defo a welcomed change in my book. Also while it wasn't "it" for me - still more relatable compared to the grunge scene that preceded it.
 

Leviathus

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I dug the latest Korn and Deftones albums and thought Limp Brizkit killed it at Lollapalooza last year. Nu metal's still hangin' in there imo.
 

WarMachine

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I never thought I’d be saying these words, but…I miss Nu Metal.

I was born in the early 80’s, so I got to experience Nu Metal when it was in its prime back in the late 90’s. At that time, i was obsessed with all of those bands from that era.

But as time went on, i grew tired of it. Tired of seeing all these cookie cutter bands emerge from the predictable, and monotonous mold, and so I moved on to other genres of music.

Fast-forward to present day, and I am now reminiscing, and longing for that kind of music to return.

This didn’t happen overnight though. I think this nostalgia has been building up, and snowballing for the past few years, i just didn’t realize it. But i think the realization really hit me when i was thinking of Polyphia, and their song “Playing God”.

To be clear, I absolutely LOVED this song when i first heard it, and just like many of you, I was incredibly impressed by the technicality and level of skill it takes to compose something of that caliber. I had listened to this song several times, and each time i was just in awe of their talent.

But whenever I thought about this particular song, all i could remember was how technical it was, and how polished the production was. I couldn’t remember a single riff, or melody from it. I struggled to recollect what I had listened to so many times before, but for the life of me I could not remember anything else about the song.

Then it hit me. I could EASILY pull any Korn, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Slipknot, Mudvayne, POD, Spineshank, Kitty, Snot, deftones, etc., etc., song from my aging memory. I could remember the lyrics, the riffs, the melodies, the breakdowns… everything.

Keep in mind that I don’t really listen to this music anymore (well, aside from deftones and Snot lol), but i haven’t listened to the majority of this stuff in years. So then why is it that i could so easily remember all this shit that I thought I had mentally buried all those years ago?

I think the answer is melody and simplicity.

Nu Metal bands had some of the catchiest riffs and melodies. They were simplistic, yet simultaneously fun as hell to listen to and play. They stuck with you, and apparently never leave.

But for the life of me, I can’t remember anything from a lot of newer and modern metal/progressive bands. I can’t remember the riffs. I can’t remember why i enjoy that music until i go back and listen, but even then, it all seems to somehow slowly fade when the music stops. It doesn’t stick like so many songs from the Nu Metal era did.

That’s not a knock against any of those bands, because I absolutely love what so many modern guitarists are doing, and how they seem to be pushing boundaries, and are doing things that are so beyond my skill level. I admire and envy that.

But for whatever reason, I really miss the simplicity, the catchy riffs, the breakdowns, and some of the predictable aspects that were somewhat charming, especially in retrospect, because there was something secure, and stable in all that predictability.

So perhaps I’m living under a rock. Perhaps I’m just old. Perhaps I’m just an old man yelling at clouds and missing the point. Perhaps midlife crisis has finally caught up with me, and this is what happens to people who struggle to move on.

Regardless, I’d love to see another era that embraces simplicity and basic song structure in the metal world. Something that I can easily digest and embrace the same way i did with so many Nu Metal bands. Something that…sticks.

Well, if you’ve made this far into my post, then thanks for sticking around, and if you’ve got some feelings and thoughts to express, I’d love to hear them! Perhaps some of you would like to even share some of your memories and experiences from this era, whether good or bad. And if you’d like to express your dismay for Nu Metal, well, that’s cool too.

Cheers!
You mentioned hook and melody. Things that no one seems to give a fuck about in the last 10 or so years when it comes to writing music. That's exactly right. To quote the man Marty again, " playing fast is only cool or appealing when you can't do it". Same thing can be said (as you mentioned) with people worrying about how technical something is. I agree 100%. This is stale and needs to move on.
 

soldierkahn

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I sang/rapped along to Significant Other in its entirety on a road trip recently. Not only did I know every lyric, but I perfectly nailed every one of those little whiny inflections in Fred's vocals. :lol:

how much pain am i going to endure admitting that i actually like Fred's vocals? lol

I also really liked Eat You Alive and Underneath The Gun a metric fuckton too.

ill stand right here and wait for the inevitable hammer coming from some direction lol
 

Lozek

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The dudes from Meshuggah. They're from the 90s and play groovy riffs on the bottom strings of extended range/tuned down guitars and the band has a rhythmic vocal style too. They made a new kind of metal. Nu metal if you will. This website and the world at large are not quite ready to have this discussion yet though.
If we're gonna have that discussion then we really need to recognise that Meshuggah shared a rehearsal studio with the original nu-metal band that started it all.......Clawfinger.
 

Lozek

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Grew up cranking thrash/death/grind, some punk and rockabilly/psychobilly. There was always this dichotomy where at home I'm cranking metal then I go to a party where non-metal crowd hangs out and they are playing whatever was in the top 40 type deal.

When nu metal came out - I never really got into it like going to the shows or anything but "party style nu metal" tunes - bizkit, disturbed and even white zombie type stuff at social gatherings was defo a welcomed change in my book. Also while it wasn't "it" for me - still more relatable compared to the grunge scene that preceded it.
Exactly this. The Nu Metal era, at least in the London UK, caused an explosion of Rock clubs which was a totally seperate scene to shows. It was finally possible to go out, have a blast and meet girls. I'll listen to as much Death Metal as the next guy on here, but it's not exactly socialising music (read: Sausage Fest)

I went to a 'Nu Metal re-visited' club night a few years back in a fit of nostalgia, and then suddenly remembered how much time I spent waiting for Linkin Park and Disturbed to finish, in the hope of a track by Spineshank, Incubus or Stuck Mojo.
 


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