We’re nearing the end here folks. Let’s continue this countdown with #’s 13-8. Agree? Disagree? Thoughts so far? Voice your opinion in the comments below.
13. Cold – 13 Ways To Bleed On Stage
Cold were the musical equivalent of that weird, quiet kid in class that everyone hushed rumors about. Most wouldn’t talk to him and thought he was potentially suicidal but in actuality he was a shy introvert bursting with poetic sensibilities and ideas about a world gone, shall I say cold? “Just Got Wicked” opens up the album and provides a perfect taste of all the flavors the album has to offer. Cold wasn’t heavy in the way bands like Korn and Coal Chamber were heavy, they didn’t have thick riffs that swallowed you like a tsunami. Instead their sound was like a black cloud, their heaviness was in the emotional depth of their songs, in the utter despair coursing throughout each track where you could feel the catharsis of their shared pain in your gut. Cold’s self titled debut was also excellent, but on 13 Ways To Bleed On Stage they did everything right. Aaron Lewis of Staind fame lends his vocals on “Send In The Clowns”, showcasing his talent for raw screaming and again on final track “Bleed”, an acoustic ballad that answers all the questions presented in the previous songs. This album was about the power of music and how it can help anyone survive the dark times of their lives. Check out the video for “Just Got Wicked” below.
12. Snot – Get Some // Strait Up
This is the only tie in the entire countdown, but deservedly so. Snot, who became more noticed thanks to slots on the early Ozzfest tours, were unlike any other nu metal band at the time. Some might not even consider them nu metal at all with their combination of fast punk, alternative metal and funk rock infusions. To me they were almost like a heavier and meaner version of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Vocalist Lynn Straight was an animal, shifting from smooth, cigarette laced storytelling to all out, balls to the wall fury with ease. Snot’s debut Get Some was a fantastic and fun collection of songs, an album that made you want to round up your friends in the car, blast the stereo and drive beyond the speed limit. Unfortunately, prior to finishing their second album Lynn was killed in a car accident. Rather than call it a day the band forged ahead and released the album with a smorgasbord of nu metal vocalists including Jonathan Davis from Korn, Serj Tankian from System Of A Down and Corey Taylor from Slipknot. Straight Up was like a nu metal dream with everyone’s favorite vocalists all collaborating on one album. Included was the song “Absent”, one of the only songs for the album Lynn had recorded vocals for before his untimely death and honestly one of the best Snot songs ever. Listen to “Absent” below.
11. Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory
If you weren’t one step closer to the edge back in 2000 when Linkin Park dropped Hybrid Theory then you must have been living under a rock. Linkin Park is what Crazy Town wishes they were. While “Butterfly” was an example of straight up douche bags trying to be sentimental for the sake of getting pussy, Linkin Park’s “One Step Closer” demanded attention with its heavy and hooky riffs and angry vocals. Hybrid Theory accomplishes its so-called mission in spades, seamlessly blending rap and rock without sounding cheesy or forced. Chester Bennington possesses a powerful set of lungs and can both sing and scream while Mike Shinoda flawlessly spits his game across the album’s twelve tracks. The album spawned a number of singles that catapulted Linkin Park to super stardom including “In The End”, “Papercut” and “Crawling”. Some may argue that followup album Meteora was superior and though it was an incredibly solid sophomore effort, it is the uniqueness that Hybrid Theory brought to the table that puts this album on the list. There was nothing like it at the time and it paved the way for a number of copycat bands that jumped on the rap/rock bandwagon. The only difference is Linkin Park are still going at it fifteen years later while all those wannabes fell off the map long ago. Travel back in time and watch the video for “One Step Closer” below.
10. Staind – Dysfunction
Before Staind became that pussy ass band your mom enjoyed listening to, they were one of the heaviest nu metal bands around. Staind’s first album Tormented was a solid effort and mired in controversy for its anti-religious cover art but it was Dysfunction that showed Staind at their best. The band themselves have admitted that Tormented was purposefully crafted to fit it with the Boston hardcore scene of the time, and while they certainly maintained their heavy tone on Dysfunction, they stepped away from the harsher sounds and instead infused lots of melody. Dysfunction was dark and sad and encapsulated everything we “felt” in middle and high school: feeling alone and misunderstood. “Mudshovel” blew up airwaves and MTV upon its release, but the real meat is found in tracks like “Suffocate”, “Raw” and “Spleen”. I still think Aaron Lewis has one of the coolest screams ever. This is Staind at their very best, completely vulnerable and real, something they attempted to recreate on their 2011 self titled album. Click below to watch the video for “Mudshovel”.
9. Soulfly – Primitive
If this album doesn’t make you bang your fucking head then there is a problem. Soulfly, led by former Sepultura frontman Max Cavalera, made an impact with their self titled debut but Primitive was far more focused in its attack. The album features a slew of guest vocalists including Chino Moreno of Deftones, Tom Araya from Slayer and Corey Taylor from Slipknot, who lays down probably the most cheesy nu metal lyrics of all time: And if you’re gonna quit, I don’t give a shit, what the fuck, I’m a Mack truck, are you gonna give up like a bitch or jump da fuck up? If you are new to Soulfly, this is the album you need to start with. The band have since shifted to a thrashier sound more akin to earlier Sepultura but the groove and bounce found on Primitive is not something to be missed. Check out “Back To The Primitive” below.
8. Limp Bizkit – Three Dollar Bill, Y’all$
I don’t think I need to introduce Limp Bizkit. Next to Korn they are probably the most well known nu metal band out there. Whatever your opinion of Fred Durst may be, the man knows how to grab people’s attention. And yes we “did it all for the nookie” and we kept it “rollin’, rollin’ rollin'”, but none of that compares to the raw and unfiltered fury found on Three Dollar Bill Y’all$. Before all the hype, before Fred Durst dated Brittney Spears and made a fool of himself countless times, before the band became a parady of themselves, they were a young and angry band from Jacksonville, Florida. Limp Bizkit’s debut is not overly polished like Significant Other but that is where the charm lies. My first experience with Limp Bizkit was hearing a demo version of “Counterfeit” on a Newbury Comics compilation album and I was hooked. It was something fresh, something new and I wanted more. Wes Borland’s unique guitar playing gives Fred Durst the playground in which he runs free, while the rest of the band are like other school children running about their recess and causing chaos. The album never had a true single aside from their cover of George Michael’s “Faith”, but that was enough to launch their career. Check out the video for “Faith” below.
The Top 7 loom ahead! But before we get there, we’ll be showing off the many honorable mentions that just barely made the list.