definition of Wikipedia
|Stylistic origins||Heavy metal, alternative metal, funk metal, rap metal, industrial metal, groove metal, grunge, hip hop |
|Cultural origins||Early 1990s, United States|
|Typical instruments||Guitar, bass, drums, turntables, synthesizer, sampling, vocals, screaming, rapping, growling|
|Mainstream popularity||Late 1990s – early 2000s|
|California, Midwestern United States, United States|
|List of bands|
Nu metal (also known as nü-metal, aggro-metal, neo-metal or new metal) is a subgenre of heavy metal. It is a fusion genre which combines elements of metal with other genres, including hip hop and grunge. It is classed as part of alternative metal.
Rock bands of the 1980s and 1990s including Faith No More, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane's Addiction, Nirvana, Tool and Rage Against the Machine have been identified as laying groundwork for the development of nu metal by popularising elements of the genre, such as combining aggressive riffs with pop structures and drawing influence from a variety of genres within and outside of heavy metal.
Bands associated with nu metal derive influence from a variety of diverse styles, including electronic music, funk, glam metal, gothic rock, grunge, hardcore punk, hip hop, industrial metal, jazz, post-punk and synthpop. Nu metal also derives influences from multiple sub-genres of heavy metal including rap metal, funk metal, alternative metal and thrash metal.
Nu metal music is mostly syncopated and based on riffs. Mid-song breakdowns and lack of solos contrasts it with other metal sub-genres. Another contrast with other metal sub-genres is its emphasis on rhythm, tending to more elements of groove metal in rhythm. Similarities with other heavy metal sub-genres include its use of common time, distorted guitars, power chords and note structures primarily revolving around Dorian, Aeolian or Phrygian modes.
Many nu metal bands use seven-string guitars over traditional six-string guitars. Seven-string guitars, which are sometimes downtuned to increase heaviness, resulted in bass guitarists using five-string and six string instruments. DJs are also sometimes used for additional rhythmic instrumentation such as music sampling, scratching and electronic backgrounds.
Nu metal vocal styles range between melodic singing, rapping, screaming and death growling, sometimes using multiple of these styles within one song. The lyrics of many nu metal bands focus on pain and personal alienation rather than the themes of other metal subgenres. Q Magazine stated that many of the genre's "leading lights [focused on] abandonment issues they should have left behind on their first day of big school".
Nu metal uses the traditional pop structure of verses, choruses and bridges, contrasting it with other metal genres such as thrash and death metal. Nu metal fashion can include baggy shirts, cargo pants, sweatpants, body piercings, tattoos, and in some cases jumpsuits and sweatsuits.
Nu metal has often been criticized by people who have been familiar with old school heavy metal and heavy metal subgenres. It has been referred to as not "true" metal and the genre had controversies and fighting over the genre being heavy metal or not. While the band Korn is considered one of the pioneers of the nu metal genre, frontman Johnathan Davis stated: "I remember when were coming out we were fighting being called a metal band because we weren't a metal band, we were something that wasn't classifiable," Davis says. "Then they came up with 'nu-metal' but that's still cheesy. It's frustrating." 
The origins of the term are often attributed to the work of producer Ross Robinson, sometimes called "The Godfather of Nu Metal". Many of the first nu metal bands came from California, like Korn, which pioneered the nu metal sound with the release of their demo album in 1993, and Deftones. Other influential bands are Staind from Massachusetts, Limp Bizkit from Florida, and Slipknot from Iowa. The aggressive riff of Korn, the rap rock of Limp Bizkit and the acoustic ballads of Staind created the sonic template for nu metal. Nu metal gained mainstream success through MTV and Ozzy Osbourne's 1995 introduction of Ozzfest, which led the media to talk of a resurgence of heavy metal.
By the latter 90s, nu metal bands were playing a combination of thrash metal, hip hop, industrial, hardcore punk and grunge. Established artists such as Sepultura, Slayer, Vanilla Ice and Machine Head released albums which drew from the style. In Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal, Ian Christie wrote that the genre demonstrated that "pancultural metal could pay off". However, some fans of old metal did not fully embrace the style. The 30th anniversary of Woodstock featured nu metal bands, notably Korn and Limp Bizkit.
Limp Bizkit's 1999 album Significant Other reached number 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 643,874 copies in its first week of release. In its second week of release, the album sold 335,000 copies. In 2000, Limp Bizkit's followup album, Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water, set a record for highest week-one sales of a rock album with over one million copies sold in the U.S. in its first week of release, with 400,000 of those sales coming on its first day, making it the fastest-selling rock album ever, breaking the world record held for seven years by Pearl Jam's Vs. The same year, Papa Roach's major label debut, Infest became a platinum hit.
Late in 2000, Linkin Park released their debut album, Hybrid Theory, which remains both the best-selling debut album by any artist in the 21st century, as well as the best-selling nu metal album of all time. The album was also the best-selling album in all genres in 2001, earning the band a Grammy Award for their second single, Crawling", , with the fourth single, In The End, released late in 2001, becoming one of the most recognized songs in the first decade of the 21st century.
In 2002, critics began claiming that nu metal's mainstream popularity was declining, citing the fact that Korn's long awaited fifth album Untouchables, and Papa Roach's third album Lovehatetragedy, did not sell as well as their previous releases, and nu metal bands were played less frequently on radio stations and MTV began focusing on pop punk and emo. By the mid-2000s, metalcore and the New Wave of American Heavy Metal had become the dominant metal subgenre in both the mainstream and within metal audiences.
In 2003, however, Nu Metal made a significant (albeit short lived) return to the mainstream with the release of Linkin Park's second studio album, Meteora, the follow up to their blockbuster debut Hybrid Theory. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 charts, selling nearly 900,000 copies in its first week of release.. Two of the songs on the album earned the band MTV awards.
Evanescence's debut album, Fallen, was also released in the same year. Many critics noted the nu metal sound of the album, whose Grammy Award-winning lead single Bring Me To Life was compared favorably to Linkin Park's style. Meteora and Fallen would go on to sell nearly 30 million copies between them, with both bands releasing high-charting singles throughout 2003 to mid 2004. In 2005, Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory received a diamond certification by the RIAA for shipment of ten million copies.
Despite the massive success of Linkin Park and Evanescence, nu metal continued to decline in popularity, becoming nearly extinct by 2006. Many nu metal bands experimented with other genres and sounds. Linkin Park's third studio, Minutes to Midnight, released in 2007, was noted for its complete departure from the band's signature nu metal sound to a more alternative rock sound.
Despite the lesser radio play and popularity, some nu metal bands still gain commercial success. Korn's 9th studio album, Korn III: Remember Who You Are, sold 63,000 copies during its first week in the US, landing at number two on the Billboard 200. As of December 6, 2011, the album has sold 185,000 units in the U.S. and received positive reviews from critics. In 2011, Limp Bizkit's long awaited sixth studio album, Gold Cobra, was a commercial success, selling 63,000 copies in the United States and peaking at number 16 on the Billboard 200 and the album has received mostly positive reviews. Also in 2011, Staind's self-titled album debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200, with first sales week of 47,000 copies, making the fifth consecutive top-five album for the band. As of November 19, 2011, it has sold over 100,000 copies and received some of the most positive reviews the band has ever got from music critics.
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