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Andy’s Albums: nu metal

Andy’s Albums is a blog dedicated to helping people explore new music. This month as the first installment, I will be covering nu metal: my personal favorite metal subgenre.
Andrew Higgins
Andy’s Albums is a blog dedicated to helping people explore new music. This month as the first installment, I will be covering nu metal: my personal favorite metal subgenre.

Welcome to Andy’s Albums, a blog series where I introduce a subgenre of music and give five good albums to get started.

Hailing from the 1990s in the United States, nu (nü) metal is a subgenre of metal that combines heavy riffs with other elements of hip-hop and funk. Nu metal is one of the more accessible and adaptable subgenres, as songs may include notes of blues, rap and country.

If nu metal sounds interesting to you, here are five albums that are good for beginners or people simply exploring new music.

 

“Toxicity” — System of a Down

System of a Down’s sophomore album, “Toxicity” shook the world of nu metal and music as a whole. It immediately rose to No. 1 on Billboard, and built off the career that the band made from their debut self-titled album. It also helped raise awareness for the following album, “Steal This Album!” 

“Chop Suey”, the lead single of “Toxicity” (System of a Down’s most popular song) has over 1.2 billion listens as of January 2024, making it one of the most listened to metal songs of all time. The band often speaks on world issues through their lyrics, and this album dives into issues such as the American prison system and the drug epidemic. “Toxicity” is, without a doubt, the best album on this list, and if there’s one album I recommend at all, it is this one. 

My favorite songs include “Prison Song,” “Psycho” and “Chop Suey!”

 

“Follow the Leader” — Korn

When Korn released their first self-titled album, it kickstarted nu metal and its culture. No one expected them to top it, but they did with the release of “Follow the Leader.” Korn is the embodiment of the unusual aspect of metal. This specific album is the best from this band because it has the most popular songs that are relatively easy to get into. No matter what you’re expecting, Jonathan Davis’ unorthodox vocals are going to catch you off guard, especially in the breakdown of their most popular song, “Freak on a Leash.” The best words for this band are in Spotify’s following description statement: “Korn became the soundtrack for a generation’s arrival as a snarling, thrashing, systemically-restrained freak show.” 

My must-listen songs are “Freak On a Leash,” “All in the Family (feat. Fred Durst)” and “Dead Bodies Everywhere.”

 

“Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Flavored Water” — Limp Bizkit

Limp Bizkit is a band whose music is so outlandish, one cannot know what to expect going into it. I first started listening to the band the summer before high school when my friends introduced me to it, and I still go back to this specific album because it’s so catchy. Wes Borland is a guitar pioneer and vocalist Fred Durst is a figurehead for 1990-2000s alternative culture, so I feel like it deserves a spot on the list. 

My personal recommendations from this one are “Take a Look Around,” “My Generation” and “Hot Dog.”

 

“Around the Fur” – Deftones

Make no mistake, “White Pony” is definitely the band’s most acclaimed album, but one needs to be really into experimental subjects to get used to the slow, sometimes obnoxious chords. “Around the Fur” is Deftones’ second most popular album, but it emphasizes their nu metal roots best and is an easy band to get into. “Around the Fur” will simply not let you down.

I love to listen to “My Own Summer (Shove It),” “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away), and “Mascara.”

 

“Make Yourself” – Incubus

Incubus is one of the more alternative bands on this list. In “Make Yourself,” Incubus combines metal with funk and grunge, and despite only cracking the top 50, “Make Yourself” became a symbol for alternative metal and influenced many others. The band has become notable by opening for other bands like Korn, Sublime and Primus. They mostly show their creativity in their vocals and slap-bass. 

With how consistent the album is, it’s hard to pick a top three, but I would recommend “Privilege,” “Drive,” and “Pardon Me.”

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About the Contributor
Andrew Higgins, Reporter
Junior Andrew Higgins is a reporter and this is his first year at staff. He spends his free time learning the bass, hanging out with his friends and meeting new people.

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    DJ Phil DMar 29, 2024 at 1:06 PM

    Hi Andy! Thanks for sharing what you have found out so far about Jazz Fusion. Jazz Fusion from the ’70s & ’80s morphed into Acid Jazz of the 90’s and then Soul Jazz of the 2010’s and now it Nu-Jazz or New Jazz however it’s spelled. Our 24/7 streaming webradio station (ID below) plays all the above plus soul, chill and blues if you wish to hear more?

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