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Nu Metal, stylized as Nü Metal, is a subgenre of Metal that melds elements of Heavy metal and Hard rock along side even a sprinkle of Pop music. Nu metal music emphasizes mood, rhythm, and texture over melody. Often, nu metal songs use rhythmic, syncopated riffs played on distorted electric guitars with strings tuned to lower pitches to create a dark and thick sound.


Artists considered nü metal typically use electric guitar distortion, rapping and singing in the vein of rock, metal, and hardcore. Artists who prominently perform guitar-driven rap and hip-hop are generally referred to as rapcore, rap rock or rap metal, while most decidedly nü metal artists and bands have their own unique traits, including elements of electronica (Linkin Park), hip-hop and hardcore (Rage Against the Machine), funk (Faith No More) and reggae (P.O.D.). Modern rock artists such as Nickelback and Evanescence are sometimes associated with nü metal due to use of distorted electric guitar, electronic effects or other nü metal-related elements. Screamo and rap are also blended often in nü metal, recalling Bad Brains but recited in the vein of rap. Common elements of the genre include electric guitar and bass, drumkits, singing, a form of rap, screaming and sometimes turntablism, though many artists discontinued use of turntablism and sampling by 2000.

Lyrics generally revolve around anger, pain, social rejection, relationships, issues and controversy regarding America and occasional hip-hop themes. Angst is common in lyrics, though many groups such as Linkin Park and P.O.D. (an all-Christian group) are known for being more positive than the majority of nü metal artists and bands.

While most nü metal outfits (including Limp Bizkit, Korn and Papa Roach) have converted to conventional rock, P.O.D. continues to cross rapping, screaming, guitar distortion and soulful singing, though they discontinued use of turntablism early in their career. Some new nü metal bands have also appeared, such as up-and-comers Family Force 5 who use most nü metal and rapcore traits including turntablism.

Notable artists[]

The following are the list of key artists in the nu metal genre in their respective era or wave.

Wave 1 (1994-2004)[]

Wave 2 (2011-present)[]

  • Alpha Wolf
  • Attila
  • Babymetal
  • Bring Me The Horizon
  • Cane Hill
  • Dangerkids
  • Ded
  • Emmure
  • From Ashes To New
  • Gemini Syndrome
  • Hollywood Undead
  • In This Moment
  • Islander
  • Issues
  • Love and Death
  • Motionless In White
  • Of Mice and Men
  • Poppy
  • Sick Puppies
  • Suicide Silence
  • Thousand Foot Krutch

Key Albums[]