Why I Miss Nu Metal

bostjan

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i still like mudvayne out of nu metal era most i think, and disturbed
LD50 was great. I never really listen to any of their follow-ups.

Disturbed... first album was nümetal with some other added flavours. Second album was not. Kind of like the direction Mudvayne went, except more developed and somehow catchier.

And that's just kind of what I'm saying about a lot of nümetal bands sliding in and out of the genre. Incubus was originally alternative metal (for their first album and whatever EPs were around that same period), nümetal for one album, but definitively not nümetal for their next, and not even the least bit anything-metal after that. Still a cool band, but far from metal. I guess one of the bands I was playing with circa 2002 was nümetal - and by then the genre was well on it's way to being uncool. You'd think we might had just as well been playing polkas, but we got tons of gigs, and even played at an all-day, several-band show where someone came up to me and told me they thought our sound was refreshing (which surprised me a bunch, since, to me, we sounded like what relevant music had sounded like 5+ years prior). Anyway, Slipknot was nümetal early on, and I guess their lyrics still reflect that, even if their sound really doesn't.
 

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A lot of bands evolved their sounds, so it might not be a fair comparison to earlier material in their heyday. Incubus is a good example. I saw them in the mid 90s and again about 10 years later and it was 2 completely different shows with totally different fan bases. Of bands that didn't change so much I can think of a few examples...

I don't know how well these charted, but they were released as popularity was waning and I consider them solid:
Orgy - Punk Statik Paranoia - I thought it was just as good as their first two albums even though barely anyone's heard of it.
Puddle of Mudd - Volume 4: Songs in the Key of Love and Hate - Has some catchy songs on it, fits in well with the rest of their earlier catalogue.
Static-X - Start a War - songwriting on this one is more evolved, but still maintains their core sound.
Fear Factory - Archetype - I didn't think it was possible after COW took over for Dino, but for many years this was my new favorite Fear Factory record and a few of my friends agreed at the time it came out.
Sevendust - Just about everything they put out to this day is solid and they still have their core members and distinctive sound.
I’ll never forget the first time I heard Redefine from Incubus. It was such a mind blowing experience.

I also always looked at Sevendust as a band unto themselves. They can definitely be clumped under the Nu Metal category, but they also had their own thing going on.

Orgy was also a bit of enigma, but managed to fit right into the scene. Their first album was superb.
 

bostjan

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One thing i love about hair metal is the guitarists. The dudes could actually play!
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.
 

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i still listen to nu metal regularly! never left my rotation. however what i do miss is the mystique of bands and musicians. the reason i say this, i dont even polypohia because of some the cringe members have posted online.
 

wankerness

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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.
I think some of them probably COULD play but I can't think of one single example of bands that played numetal that ever played anything difficult on guitar, except for some material from Slipknot where they would occasionally at least speed pick their powerchord sludge. Chugging on drop-tuned powerchords was the name of the game. The most technical nu-metal band I can think of, Mudvayne, where the drummer and bassist were beboping and scatting all over the place, still had a guitarist that sounded like a caveman robotically chugging along with simple powerchord riffs. Their live videos from the LD 50 era are hilarious with how he can barely even play the riffs off the album, including the frickin intro to Prod, while the drummer and bassist make all the noodling look effortless.

I guess a case could be made for Machine Head since their guitarists had some talent, but it's mostly on display on the albums pre and post burning red which don't qualify as Nu Metal anyway.
 

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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.
Yeah, a lot of those dudes were straight up shredders that could also write some great riffs. Bands like Ratt just totally killed it back then. But yeah, just like with anything, there were probably some not so great guitarists in the mix too.

I honestly can’t think of any technical Nu Metal guitarists, as technicality wasn’t really a driving aspect of the genre. I guess if you wanna consider Fear Factory Nu Metal, then Dino definitely had some technical riffs going on.
 

wankerness

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Ah yeah, if you count Fear Factory as nu-metal (I definitely wouldn't except maybe Digimortal where they tried hard to get some crossover appeal) Dino could at least play some super low palmmuted riffs that were, again, at about the level of a Slayer or something. Never heard any good lead stuff from him and their attempts at clean/melodic riffs were usually laughable.
 

RevDrucifer

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Man, I got into nu-metal kicking and screaming. I was born in ‘82 and right when that stuff was getting big, I was HUGE into Vai and Dream Theater. I thought it was all peasant music for people that didn’t care about playing. I was 14/15 years old and because I’d be sitting there woodshedding to a metronome every night, had a stick up my ass about anything that didn’t have shredding/technical guitar shit.

Then Follow The Leader came out and my drummer made me take it home and listen to it. If I remember it right, it was a few weeks before the “Got The Life” video came out and definitely before the “Freak On A Leash” video came out. When I got to “Freak On A Leash” and that chorus hit, I was sold. Automatic Korn fan. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. The vocal melody and the guitar part just hooked me right in.

I’m pretty sure I had a pair of snap ADIDAS pants and some shiny ass white shirt like 2 days later. :lol: Fuck I miss those clothes! And Jncos.

I also thought Mudvayne was a joke when I first heard them, a buddy played “Dig” and I laughed my ass off. It wasn’t until I heard “Death Blooms” that I went “Holy. Fucking. Shit.” They’ve been in my top 10 favorite bands ever since.

I can’t say I’m all that big on a lot of the newer guitar-based stuff. I really dug Periphery’s last album and there’s a song or two here and there from Tesseract I dig, but Polyphia is like Yngwie for me, one song and I’m good. They literally all sound the same to me. mute mute slide harmonic pull off slide mute mute. To be fair, I used to say all Korn and Tool songs sounded the same to me as well.

Loved Flaw as well, such killer choruses in their songs and I dug the guitar tones.

This is 1999/00 RevDrucifer playing in a nu-metal band, Effusionz. We had a singer (who couldn’t sing) and a rapper (who couldn’t rap), but musically we were pretty damn tight and our bass player had the total Fieldy sound/playing down, so kids thought we were cool. :lol:
2AF45FC0-E680-4EF1-A7FC-CA1F7C827EA8.jpeg
 

ShredmasterD

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Yeah, a lot of those dudes were straight up shredders that could also write some great riffs. Bands like Ratt just totally killed it back then. But yeah, just like with anything, there were probably some not so great guitarists in the mix too.

I honestly can’t think of any technical Nu Metal guitarists, as technicality wasn’t really a driving aspect of the genre. I guess if you wanna consider Fear Factory Nu Metal, then Dino definitely had some technical riffs going on.
i was in bands with guys that were in bands with mike mushok of stained before stained was formed and made it . mike mushok was student of tony macalpine. mushok can play techically and very well. my friend had a demo cassette of his and it shredded with quality. mushok adapted as new styles came in
 

bostjan

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I’ll never forget the first time I heard Redefine from Incubus. It was such a mind blowing experience.

I also always looked at Sevendust as a band unto themselves. They can definitely be clumped under the Nu Metal category, but they also had their own thing going on.

Orgy was also a bit of enigma, but managed to fit right into the scene. Their first album was superb.
I first heard Incubus driving to school one day on pirate radio. Then a different song a few days later. After that I went and grabbed S.C.I.E.N.C.E. from the local record store and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the album. When they got their big break, I was, at first, quite let down by Make Yourself, since it was such an abrupt change in direction, but I warmed up to it a little. IDK, though, I still associate S.C.I.E.N.C.E. with my senior year of school, probably the only year of secondary school when I didn't feel like a complete pariah, driving my beat-up old Ford Tempo, making $8/hour working part time ($14.50/hour in today's money, but it was almost twice minimum wage at the time).

I think some of them probably COULD play but I can't think of one single example of bands that played numetal that ever played anything difficult on guitar, except for some material from Slipknot where they would occasionally at least speed pick their powerchord sludge. Chugging on drop-tuned powerchords was the name of the game. The most technical nu-metal band I can think of, Mudvayne, where the drummer and bassist were beboping and scatting all over the place, still had a guitarist that sounded like a caveman robotically chugging along with simple powerchord riffs. Their live videos from the LD 50 era are hilarious with how he can barely even play the riffs off the album, including the frickin intro to Prod, while the drummer and bassist make all the noodling look effortless.

I guess a case could be made for Machine Head since their guitarists had some talent, but it's mostly on display on the albums pre and post burning red which don't qualify as Nu Metal anyway.
I know Mike Mushok used to play rhythm guitar backing Tony MacAlpine. But in Staind, I don't think he ever played any solos (Staind being another example of a band that dropped their nümetal sound like a hot potato as soon as it stopped being cool).

Yeah, Mudvayne's guitarist was the guy I was referring to as just hacking and slashing one-finger chords.

Yeah, a lot of those dudes were straight up shredders that could also write some great riffs. Bands like Ratt just totally killed it back then. But yeah, just like with anything, there were probably some not so great guitarists in the mix too.

I honestly can’t think of any technical Nu Metal guitarists, as technicality wasn’t really a driving aspect of the genre. I guess if you wanna consider Fear Factory Nu Metal, then Dino definitely had some technical riffs going on.

Interesting. I never thought of Fear Factory's guitar parts as being technical, but they certainly are "precise." I used to wonder if they recorded their stuff slow and then sped it up somehow to make everything sound so tight. I guess it might go without saying that skill and technicality are related but different things. But coming full circle, there's no doubt that Dino is a super skillful player.
 

syzygy

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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.
Not necessarily in his own band but I'm pretty sure Wes Borland shreds
 

bostjan

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Man, I got into nu-metal kicking and screaming. I was born in ‘82 and right when that stuff was getting big, I was HUGE into Vai and Dream Theater. I thought it was all peasant music for people that didn’t care about playing. I was 14/15 years old and because I’d be sitting there woodshedding to a metronome every night, had a stick up my ass about anything that didn’t have shredding/technical guitar shit.

Then Follow The Leader came out and my drummer made me take it home and listen to it. If I remember it right, it was a few weeks before the “Got The Life” video came out and definitely before the “Freak On A Leash” video came out. When I got to “Freak On A Leash” and that chorus hit, I was sold. Automatic Korn fan. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. The vocal melody and the guitar part just hooked me right in.

I’m pretty sure I had a pair of snap ADIDAS pants and some shiny ass white shirt like 2 days later. :lol: Fuck I miss those clothes! And Jncos.

I also thought Mudvayne was a joke when I first heard them, a buddy played “Dig” and I laughed my ass off. It wasn’t until I heard “Death Blooms” that I went “Holy. Fucking. Shit.” They’ve been in my top 10 favorite bands ever since.

I can’t say I’m all that big on a lot of the newer guitar-based stuff. I really dug Periphery’s last album and there’s a song or two here and there from Tesseract I dig, but Polyphia is like Yngwie for me, one song and I’m good. They literally all sound the same to me. mute mute slide harmonic pull off slide mute mute. To be fair, I used to say all Korn and Tool songs sounded the same to me as well.

Loved Flaw as well, such killer choruses in their songs and I dug the guitar tones.

This is 1999/00 RevDrucifer playing in a nu-metal band, Effusionz. We had a singer (who couldn’t sing) and a rapper (who couldn’t rap), but musically we were pretty damn tight and our bass player had the total Fieldy sound/playing down, so kids thought we were cool. :lol:
View attachment 109866
Weird.

I had that same guitar (RG7520VK), same volume pedal (Ernie Ball), same whammy pedal (Digitech Whammy II), same distortion pedal, same or nearly identical shoes, same baggy khaki pants, etc. It's almost like we shopped at all the same places or something. :lol:
 

sevenfoxes

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I can’t help but wonder what would have happened to Snot had Lynn not passed away so soon. They seemed to have their own style, blending elements of punk, metal, and funk into an aggressive concoction. They were also really good friends with a most of the much more popular Nu Metal bands of that time, so I think they would eventually have taken off.

 

wankerness

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Not necessarily in his own band but I'm pretty sure Wes Borland shreds
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.
 

sevenfoxes

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I first heard Incubus driving to school one day on pirate radio. Then a different song a few days later. After that I went and grabbed S.C.I.E.N.C.E. from the local record store and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the album. When they got their big break, I was, at first, quite let down by Make Yourself, since it was such an abrupt change in direction, but I warmed up to it a little. IDK, though, I still associate S.C.I.E.N.C.E. with my senior year of school, probably the only year of secondary school when I didn't feel like a complete pariah, driving my beat-up old Ford Tempo, making $8/hour working part time ($14.50/hour in today's money, but it was almost twice minimum wage at the time).


I know Mike Mushok used to play rhythm guitar backing Tony MacAlpine. But in Staind, I don't think he ever played any solos (Staind being another example of a band that dropped their nümetal sound like a hot potato as soon as it stopped being cool).

Yeah, Mudvayne's guitarist was the guy I was referring to as just hacking and slashing one-finger chords.



Interesting. I never thought of Fear Factory's guitar parts as being technical, but they certainly are "precise." I used to wonder if they recorded their stuff slow and then sped it up somehow to make everything sound so tight. I guess it might go without saying that skill and technicality are related but different things. But coming full circle, there's no doubt that Dino is a super skillful player.
It’s been a minute since I listed to Fear Factory, so maybe my memory is a little off, but I thought i remembered Dino having some technical rhythm skill. I think the time signatures were pretty straight forward, but I remember Dino having one hell of an alternate picking hand.
 

wankerness

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It’s been a minute since I listed to Fear Factory, so maybe my memory is a little off, but I thought i remembered Dino having some technical rhythm skill. I think the time signatures were pretty straight forward, but I remember Dino having one hell of an alternate picking hand.
He could pick pretty quickly and mechanically (at least on album, never heard them live). Stuff like Acres of Skin definitely was a lot more difficult to play than anything in the nu-metal arena. But as far as rhythms go, yeah, they were basically early Meshuggah for people that couldn't handle polyrhythms.
 

HeHasTheJazzHands

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It’s been a minute since I listed to Fear Factory, so maybe my memory is a little off, but I thought i remembered Dino having some technical rhythm skill. I think the time signatures were pretty straight forward, but I remember Dino having one hell of an alternate picking hand.

FF's riffing was never super technical. Maybe on SOANM and Mechanize, otherwise he saved the complex shit for other bands. He goes nuts with Divine Heresy
 

sevenfoxes

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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’d consider Wes a great guitarist, because he was excellent at writing catchy riffs that perfectly fit their style, which can be even more difficult than playing something technical, imo.
 

ShredmasterD

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I think the only time Mushok got to solo was on the (hopefully) last Staind album.


i own , or have ever owned , exactly zero staind CDs or mp3's . i was discovering petrucci when staind was a thing. no disrespect intended to them just saying what path i was on
 


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