The nineties saw the birth of Nu-Metal and a build in popularity, with the movement really peaking in the early 2000s. The OG veterans of the scene had finally found ‘their’ sound.
Nu-metal was oft-criticised by metal purists, but the greatest response to this close-minded approach actually encapsulated what the movement stood for; a massive middle finger to society and all the nay-sayers. The genre serves up poetic justice in that sense, and it is hard to deny, nu-metal remains a guilty pleasure to most metal-heads - even if they won’t admit it.
Here are 10 of the best nu-metal albums released in the 00s, shortly before the wave crashed and broke up many of the beloved bands aboard the ship. The likes of Limp Bizkit and Korn, among others, managed to tailor their future albums to stay relevant, but not all were so lucky.
RIP - nu-metal!
10. Papa Roach - Infest (2000)
Papa Roach’s breakthrough record is not only an essential album in the Roach catalogue, but also a must for any nu-metal fan. The first few albums released by the band were good, but never hit the heights of Infest, which propelled the band to the forefront of the musical movement.
The album is more than just a one hit wonder housing for Last Resort and Between Angels and Insects with a wide array of overlooked tunes. With a healthy run on the radio led to an increased interest in the band and saw their popularity rise over such a short period.
The album is a mix of hard rock and a substantial influence of hip-hop vibes with Jacoby Shaddix’s vulnerable personality selling the lyrics, creating a stepping stone for the bands future.
Sure, the nu-metal vibe has toned down for a more hard rock centric feel in recent times, but without Infest, Papa Roach wouldn’t have built the appeal they currently have and owe their stardom to this album. Infest serves as a snapshot of who the band were as young adults, and encapsulates all the true foundations of nu-metal.