Before we get to the remaining 7 albums, I wanted to delve into the honorable mentions that just barely missed the list. Some albums were very easy to place on the list while others took some consideration and the albums I mention below are not included due only to the fact that I had to make a cutoff somewhere.
However there were albums that some would say are deserving to be on this list that I never considered and I’ll tell you why. Many bands/acts such as Kid Rock, Rammstein, Rob Zombie and Incubus were often lumped into the nu metal category but I simply do not consider them as such. Kid Rock is more of a rapper with hard rock influences, Rammstein and Rob Zombie are better placed in the “shock rock” category and while S.C.I.E.N.C.E and Make Yourself were early Incubus records with a heavy edge, they are nowhere close to what I consider a nu metal band.
Other albums that definitely are considered nu metal, and would also be considered by many to be true classics of the genre were not included on my list simply because I never got into these albums as much. Godsmack’s debut self titled album and their sophomore effort Awake were staples for a lot of people and while I enjoyed both, when stacked up against other albums on the list there just wasn’t any room. Even so Godsmack have always teetered more towards the hard rock side rather than nu metal. An album I will probably get condemned for not including is Infest by Papa Roach. That album put Papa Roach on the map and back in middle school you couldn’t go one day without someone reciting “cut my life into pieces, this is my last resort”. But I will be completely honest, I never could get into Papa Roach. I never cared for Jacoby’s rapping or his yelling for that matter and the music as a whole wasn’t all that heavy. Maybe I missed out by passing on that album back in the day but there is no denying that after Infest Papa Roach evolved into a makeup wearing, pretty boy, radio friendly pile of garbage.
With that out of the way, let’s delve into the albums that definitely would have been on the list had this been the Top 30 Nu Metal albums.
Nonpoint – Statement
Nonpoint have been a bit all over the place during their long career. Some albums were heavy, such as To The Pain and Recoil, others were light and poppy like Development and Miracle, while Vengeance was very ‘what the fuck is this shit’? Despite all the band’s growth and experimentation over their eighteen year span, it is their major label debut Statement where they shine best. Nonpoint broke through with lead single “What A Day”, a song that is both musically and vocally groove oriented and catchy. From start to finish the album never lets up, continually punching the listener in the face with ballsy riffs that shine from the harsh croons of vocalist Elias Soriano. Nonpoint, never fully breaking it big like Korn or Limp Bizkit, have surprisingly survived the nu metal era and continue to pump out albums and tour the world to this day. Still, in my opinion they have yet to capture the magic that was found on Statement. Check out the video for “What A Day” below.
Powerman 5000 – Tonight The Stars Revolt!
Powerman 5000, led by Rob Zombie’s brother Mike “Spider One” Cummings, hit the ball out of the park when they opted for a Twilight Zone-esque, 50’s sci-fi motif for their second album Tonight The Stars Revolt! Some would say that Spider One and his band were only riding the coattails of Rob Zombie’s success and that wouldn’t be totally wrong, as both are very similar in technique and approach. The album opens with a spoken word intro that very well could be something pulled from The Twilight Zone and then explodes into “Supernova Goes Pop”, my personal favorite track on the album. “When Worlds Collide”, the massive first single that turned the band into superstars is both catchy and heavy. Unfortunately the band dropped the sci-fi spaceman image soon after this album’s cycle and drastically changed to accommodate a more mainsteam sound. Watch the video for “When Worlds Collide” below.
Dry Kill Logic – The Darker Side of Nonsense
Dry Kill Logic were always one of those middle ground bands, never poised for greatness or rising above to the greater musical stratosphere, but regardless they were a fun and heavy band. The Darker Side of Nonsense plays like a circus of bounce and groove, perfectly balancing the line of all out heaviness and cool melody. The album never charted and no official singles were released to major radio stations, so unfortunately this album was never awarded the praise it deserved. Listen to “Rot” by clicking the link below.
HED P.E. – Broke
Before HED P.E. became a complete joke they released Broke, their finest release by far. Whereas later albums felt not only forced but full of lifeless and diluted riffs, Broke is a collection of carefully crafted songs that rock, funk and groove without being overly “parental advisory” for the sake of shock value. Opening track “Killing Time” is a perfect introduction of what to expect, blending rap and rock in a way that would make Limp Bizkit wish they wrote it. “Waiting To Die” continues the pace and “Feel Good” features guest vocals from both Morgan Lander of Kittie and Serj Tankian of System Of A Down. HED P.E. were another band that never quite broke through to the mainstream, so there is a good chance you may have missed this album. I highly suggest going back and giving it a solid listen. You can start with “Killing Time” by clicking the link below.
Crossbreed – Synthetic Division
If Orgy is the pretty end of the industrial tinged nu metal bands then Crossbreed is the opposite, ugly and visceral end. The use of electronics on Synthetic Division is abundant but never once does it detract from or overwhelm any of the guitars and instead adds atmosphere to songs that are already well rounded and heavy on their own. “Severed” opens with samples that sound like something conjured from Skrillex, “Seasons” features one of the heaviest nu metal riffs I’ve ever heard and “Pure Energy” is exactly what the title boasts. During live shows the band donned body suits rigged with glowing lights and covered themselves in glow in the dark paint for a unique visual experience. Sadly, the band was never able to reproduce the energy found on their debut and they quickly disappeared from the music world. Check out the video for “Underlined” below.
With the honorable mentions out of the way, it is time for the top 7 albums! Which albums do you think took the top spots? Comment below and check back to see how the list rounds out.