2000 - 2009 was a crazy decade all told, with the world at large changing irrevocably and the world of music no less temperamental. Hip hop overtook rock and pop as the most lucrative genre, and there was that weird time when any four skinny lads could walk into any indie label and emerge with a deal before swiftly disappearing.
Amidst all that, though, the heavier stuff ploughed on with no little success. The nu metal wave of the late ‘90s crested and eventually evolved into something with a little more bite. Exciting new bands formed or broke through from all around the world. And some venerable rockers either maintained impressive consistency, or returned to form in a major way.
While the ‘00s may not be a decade best remembered for hard rock, these dozen albums show that there was a lot of life in the genre yet, and in many ways this was a reemergence. Few decades have seen such a diverse selection of great hard rock albums. The lack of mainstream exposure meant that bands were finding their own style rather than riding waves and trends, and this led to a killer crop.