Top 10 Best Nu-Metal Bands of All Time

Nu-metal emerged from the ashes of grunge and alternative rock, adding a touch of aggression and a whole new sonic landscape. Bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Slipknot exploded onto the scene, dominating MTV and radio waves with their unique sound and rebellious spirit. Remember those iconic music videos? Headbanging, mosh pits, and a healthy dose of teenage angst.

The genre wasn't just about music. It was a cultural phenomenon. Nu-metal spoke to a generation feeling disillusioned and misunderstood, offering a soundtrack to their frustrations and anxieties. It was raw, unfiltered, and unapologetically loud.

But who were the true champions of nu-metal? Who left the biggest impact on the music world and your own playlists?
The Top Ten
1 Linkin Park Linkin Park is an American alternative rock band formed in Agoura Hills, California, in 1996. The current members include Mike Shinoda (vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar), Brad Delson (guitar), Dave "Phoenix" Farrell (bass), Joe Hahn (DJ), and Rob Bourdon (drums). Linkin Park is associated with a mixture... read more

Linkin Park has enhanced the nu-metal genre by incorporating a range of different sounds. These aren't your typical guitar tones. Instead, they offer a blend of molten and unique musical patterns. However, what truly stands out is their deep music and compositions, which resonate strongly with listeners.

They don't rely heavily on guitar solos, but rather on the varied guitar riffs that Brad Delson has been contributing, which suit the type of music they make. Each piece they've created fits well within the rock genre, even if it doesn't strictly adhere to rock conventions. They've also ventured into different sounds, adding variety that appeals to listeners.

Their new album may be alternative rock rather than metal, but they continue to live up to their reputation. Linkin Park stands apart from other bands and is definitely worth a listen.

2 Korn Korn is an American nu-metal band from Bakersfield, California, formed in 1993. The band's current lineup includes founding members Jonathan Davis, James "Munky" Shaffer, Brian "Head" Welch, and Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu, with the addition of Ray Luzier, who replaced the band's original member, David... read more

In my opinion, I think that Korn is the best band in general. They have so many good songs: Freak On A Leash, Falling Away From Me, Here To Stay, Did My Time - like so many good songs.

Their first two albums were groundbreaking for hard rock/heavy metal in general. It wasn't until their third album that I would call them Nu Metal. I like Korn (for the most part), except for most of the Untouchables album. Jon D. actually said he doesn't like that album himself in an interview.

I really miss their old style. I've basically split them into two separate bands in my mind: the first two albums, and then everything else they've done. I like both, but I really would like to see Jon D. go back to his dark-as-hell roots for an entire album. They deserve to be in the top 5.

3 Slipknot Slipknot is an American metal band formed in Des Moines, Iowa in 1996. The band is best known as one of the pioneers of the New Wave of American Alternative Metal during the late 1990s - 2000s and are distinguishable by the band's clothing choices, consisting of black/red jumpsuits and horror inspired... read more

When it comes down to it, Slipknot does not consider themselves nu-metal, but they very much are. In my opinion, and in the opinion of many others, Slipknot is the best nu-metal band to grace music. They have the perfect combination of talent and originality to influence any other metal band seeking a huge fan base.

If you listen to their early music - Iowa, Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat., and the self-titled Slipknot - you will understand what I mean when I say nobody has really touched where they were. Even today, nobody has. All I can say is listen to everything by them and everyone else on this chart, as I have, and then tell me they don't deserve the top spot.

In my opinion, System of a Down is more metal than they are nu-metal. The same goes for Slipknot. But when it comes down to it, Slipknot had the biggest influence on nu-metal. Thank you. Rest In Peace, Paul Gray.

4 System of a Down System of a Down, formed in 1994, is an Armenian-American alternative metal group from Glendale, California. The band name is sometimes shortened to System or SOAD. They've always been a very political band since their inception. Often being against genocide and war most notably in songs like: Pluck,... read more

It's highly debatable whether they're indeed strictly Nu-Metal. Considering there's not a single rapped line in any of their songs, as well as the fact that they themselves denied this label, I think the media gave them this label because they peaked exactly during the Nu-Metal scene. Personally, I think they're just Alternative Metal with Armenian Folk influences. Excellent band, nonetheless.

Why are Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit even on the list? They are mediocre at best when compared to bands like System of a Down and Deftones. Listen to System of a Down's debut album and then listen to all of Linkin Park's albums. LP's albums will leave you with the thought, "Why the hell did I waste my time listening to this mediocrity when System of a Down's debut album blows all their stuff out of the water?"

5 Deftones Deftones are an American alternative metal band from Sacramento, California. The band, which was founded in 1988, consists of Chino Moreno, Stephen Carpenter, Frank Delgado, Abe Cunningham and Sergio Vega. They have released a total of 9 studio albums. Some of their most popular songs are Change (in... read more

The main sound of what is recognized as Nu-Metal, and the genre's general style, began with both Korn and Deftones. If it weren't for these two groups, Nu-Metal might not have even become a type of music, or at least would not be as well-known as it is. That said, it's these two bands that deserve the most credit in terms of the Nu-Metal genre. However, the difference between the two is that Deftones certainly stand out more. Over the years, their music has become increasingly distinctive, and they continue to be more unique than ever.

6 Disturbed Disturbed is an American alternative metal/nu-metal/hard rock band from Chicago, Illinois. The band comprises vocalist David Draiman, bassist John Moyer, guitarist Dan Donegan, and drummer Mike Wengren. They are known for songs like "Down With the Sickness" and "Stricken".

I would like to thank Disturbed for the music they are making. It's been a long journey to find the perfect combination of music and lyrics. I've explored Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, Nu-Metal, and all kinds of bands. I bought the first two albums from Disturbed, and ever since their cover of "Sound of Silence," I've started listening again. I have to admit that all the songs are real masterpieces.

This has made me a huge fan of Disturbed, but this time I've focused on the lyrics, looking for the meanings of the songs on the internet. I'm completely hooked on Disturbed. I've seen many bands live, such as Metallica, Slipknot, Monster Magnet, Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach, Machine Head, Iron Maiden, Saxon, and last but not least, Septic Flesh, which is a death metal band. However, I've yet to see Disturbed. I missed their concert at the Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium, but I hope to see them soon, either at a festival or in a more intimate setting. It would be wonderful to hear every song by Disturbed, but for now, that's only a wish.

Recently, I listened to the album "The Lost Children," and it contains wonderful songs. I was away for a few days, and while on the road in France, I listened to metal. I've found that the combination of any kind of drink and Disturbed makes for the perfect holiday.

7 Limp Bizkit Limp Bizkit is an American nu-metal/rap metal/rock band from Jacksonville, Florida, formed in 1994. Their lineup consists of Fred Durst, Sam Rivers, John Otto, and Wes Borland. They're mostly known for their singles like Break Stuff, My Way, My Generation, Nookie, Eat You Alive, Rollin', and Take a... read more

One of the most diverse nu-metal bands out there. They've got everything, from heavy stuff like Counterfeit, Stuck, Pollution, to mellow songs like The One, Walking Away, Re-Arranged, and hip-hop ones like Combat Jazz, N2gether Now, and classic rap-rock like Nookie, My Generation, Rollin, etc. They also have great rhythm and flow in their songs. Durst can rap okay, sing well, and his screams are just brutal.

The bad things about them are that Durst is a douche, and his voice sometimes sounds whiny. In my opinion, they deserve to be in the top 5, definitely, along with LP, KoRn, and Slipknot.

8 Mudvayne Mudvayne was an American nu-metal/alternative metal band that was formed in Peoria, Illinois, in 1996. Originally from Bloomington, Illinois, they are known for their sonic experimentation, innovative album art, face and body paint, masks, and uniforms.

Every song is uniquely perfect. If you were to define Nu Metal, this would be it. Mudvayne has a good grasp on the concept of Nu Metal. Though they sometimes use riffs more than once, I can agree they are one of the best Nu Metal bands my ears have ever been graced to listen to.

Eh. Their first album was definitely an avant-garde masterpiece that will likely never be matched again in terms of quality. But they really fell off the map afterward. Not to mention the fact that their lead singer went on to form the god-awful Hellyeah.

9 P.O.D. Payable on Death, also known as P.O.D., is a Christian nu metal band formed in 1992 and based in San Diego, California.

They always get me with their exceptionally beautiful lyrics. Sonny's voice is just mind-blowing. I also love the many guitar solos they incorporate. A strong band with an even stronger soul! Their verses are so damn catchy! P.O.D. would be my number one by far, followed by Korn, Ill Nino, and Kazzer.

The rap and singing of the same person never feel like it. When he raps, it feels like he is a professional-only rapper. When he sings, he feels just like a singer, and when he screams, he puts the level of Chester in it.

From what I've listened to, they're a pretty solid band. Also, it's not POD. It's P.O.D. Additionally, Rage Against the Machine and System of a Down need to be higher.

10 Staind Staind is a post-grunge/alternative metal band that was formed in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1995.

The band members of Staind are Aaron Lewis (vocalist and guitarist), Jon Wysocki (drummer, who left in 2011), Johnny April (bassist), and Mike Mushok (guitarist). After Jon's departure, Sal... read more

Mike's chunky guitar riffs are like an amazing auditory experience to listen to. They're so good! (I don't know if that made sense). But what makes Staind most notable are Aaron's vocals and lyrics. He has such a unique voice, which I can't describe, that suits the lyrics of the songs based on depression, isolation, and many other feelings of his. Staind is definitely one of my favorites, along with Korn and Limp Bizkit. The one word to describe them is underrated.

Staind's self-titled album in 2011 is one of the best nu-metal albums of recent years. They went soft in 14 Shades of Grey, Chapter V, and Illusion of Progress, but returned to their usual heavy sound in this kickass album. Great band. They certainly deserve to be in the top 10.

The Contenders
11 Papa Roach Papa Roach is an American rock band from Vacaville, California. Formed in 1993, their first major-label release was the triple-platinum album Infest.

This is another example of textbook nu-metal. I admit, when they came out with their first album, I bought it because I liked it and I still like some of it to this day. But then their second album came out and I couldn't believe the garbage I was hearing! Absolute trash. Horribly horrendous. Nothing like their first album.

I understand bands trying new things, but this didn't sound anything like the same band. It was a nightmare. They sold out so badly! They started playing to the cheap seats! Point made? Good. First album nu-metal? Sure. Everything after? Not a snowflake's chance in Hell! Taking that into consideration, I'd put them somewhere in the #55-60ish range.

12 Sevendust Sevendust is an American alternative metal quintet from Atlanta, dating back to 1994.

The band was initially formed by Vince Hornsby (bassist) and Morgan Rose (drummer) under the name Snake Nation. John Connolly (guitarist) and Lajon Witherspoon (lead vocalist) would later join along with Clint... read more

They have lost a step in the past few years, but the six previous amazing studio albums more than make up for it. No other band has even four albums that good, collectively. 7D rocked from '97 to '06... Longer than anyone did, at that level.

Being ranked 37th is a disgrace. Some of the other bands ranked higher plain suck!

Should be higher, to be honest, like around 7 or 8. "Home" and "Seasons" are some of the prime examples of nu-metal at its best when it comes to mixing catchy hooks, melodies, and aggression altogether.

The best live-performing band! Playing since the '90s, and it's alt-metal, but Sevendust is awesome.

13 Static X Static-X formed in Los Angeles in 1994. The band had many lineup changes, but the main vocalist and guitarist throughout has been frontman Wayne Static. Other well-known members of Static-X include Tony Campos (bassist), Ken Jay (drummer), and Koichi Fukuda (guitarist). The final lineup of Static-X... read more

In my opinion, Static-X should be like top 5! If they aren't nu-metal, then no one listed here is. Rest In Peace, Wayne Static. Let me clarify that that statement about them being in the top 5 was in no way influenced by Wayne Static's passing. They truly are the embodiment of nu-metal.

I've been listening to all types of metal/rock since I was 11, and I'm 33 as of 7/28/15. A lot of music has passed through these ears. The early beginnings of the nu-metal genre were forming at the time I started taking an interest in music. After a few years, as the genre became what it is today, Static-X is definitely the embodiment of that genre. It's just sad that today it's a dying, dwindling breed of music.

14 Mushroomhead Mushroomhead is an American nu metal band from Cleveland, Ohio. Formed in 1993 in the Cleveland Warehouse District, the band is known for their avant-garde sound which includes influence from heavy metal, art rock and electro-industrial and their imagery which features masks and costumes as well as... read more

I tried so hard to like these guys, and I do on some levels, but I just don't like the lead singer. Or better put, the way he sings. I like the music, and when the other guy screams, etc., but the guy singing just ruins it for me. His singing style is just stupid to me. If he sang better, I think they'd be up there with, or at least near-ish, Slipknot. (I know, I know, Mushroomhead was around first. Wah, wah, shut up about it.)

It doesn't change the fact that Slipknot is just all around better in every way. Anyway, these guys definitely have a place on this list. To me, it's just farther down it.

15 Coal Chamber Coal Chamber was a nu-metal band formed in Los Angeles, CA, in 1993. The current members of Coal Chamber are Dez Fafara (Vocals), Nadja Peulen (Bass), Meegs Rascón (Guitar), and Mike Cox (Drums). Former members of the band include Rayna Foss, Chela Rhea Harper, and John Thor. Coal Chamber is typically... read more

Coal Chamber was the first nu-metal band to add in influences taken from black metal, such as their vocals. This is most apparent in their "Dark Days" album, which is my personal favorite. They have a plethora of good songs: Rowboat, My Frustration, Fiend, Empty Jar, Big Truck, etc.

However, they also have a few bad ones: Alienate Me, and everything from Chamber Music except for Shock the Monkey.

Meegs Rascon is the true creator of the nu-metal sound. Raw and simple riffs create so much power it's insane. Dez Fafara's vocals completely transform the song into a deep and rich experience.

Bassist Nadja Peulen and drummer Mike Cox add even more to the music with active pickup basses for an added "slapping" sound and a lot of snare and bass hitting from the drums. They are easily the best nu-metal band of all time.

16 Taproot Taproot is a four-piece nu-metal band from Ann Arbor, Michigan. They are best known for their hit single "Poem," as well as a number of other singles from 2000 to the present.

I like Taproot. Good stuff. I guess you can just barely set them on the nu-metal shelf. I picked up their first album back when it came out. From beginning to end, it is really good.

The albums afterward are okay, though I find I don't like any of them nearly as much as the first. I'd rank them between 25 and 30.

Taproot is like Korn or Slipknot. If you like those, you'll like Taproot too. Great songs like Time and Poem can get you off your feet. Very good band.

Taproot. Man. These guys sort of went downhill after the first three albums, similar to Linkin Park and other bands. But the first two CDs are great.

17 Ill Nino Ill Niño is an American nu-metal band that was formed in New Jersey in 1998. The group currently consists of lead vocalist Cristian Machado, drummer Dave Chavarri, bassist Lazaro "Laz" Pina, lead guitarist Ahrue Luster, guitarist Diego Verduzco, and percussionist Oscar Santiago.

As far as nu-metal goes, nobody does it better than Ill Nino. No metal band fuses together radio-friendly hooks, beautiful melodies, aggression, variety, and overall balance better than these guys. Their Latin influences only make them even more unique. Even if you aren't a fan of nu-metal, anyone who likes any kind of metal owes it to themselves to check out these guys.

These guys definitely deserve to be here. They are really good. I can't say I like every song they've done, but the majority is awesome.

Honestly, though, I think there are a few other bands that deserve these top spots just a little more. I'd put these guys in the 15-20 space.

18 Drowning Pool Drowning Pool is an American Nu-Metal band formed in Dallas, Texas in 1996. The band was named after the film The Drowning Pool.

Honestly, Avenged Sevenfold is not nu-metal. They are officially metalcore, heavy metal, and hard rock. Drowning Pool deserves to be in the top tens. Try listening to Bodies and Sinner. They are great nu-metal songs to listen to.

Their career died with the amazing vocalist known as Dave Williams. Seriously, their first album "Sinner" was a killer album.

Their first album, "Sinner," was amazing. Sadly, they stopped being good when Dave Williams died.

19 40 Below Summer

Can't believe no one knows! Easily number one! Follow Max Illidge's tracks to a band called Black Market Hero and now with Daggers Drawn. Long story, look it up!

That band has to be in the top 15. Just listen to their last album, Fire at Zero Gravity!

Great band, amazing lyrics, and the vocals get you hooked!

20 Skrape

I'm extremely surprised to see them this high. Not that I don't like them - I totally do. But I had no idea they were this popular. Also, the cover art for their only album is disgusting and unnecessary.

Skrape was really good at what they did. I wish they were still around.

21 Godsmack Godsmack is an American alternative metal/hard rock band from Lawrence, Massachusetts, formed in 1995. The band is composed of founder, frontman and songwriter Sully Erna, guitarist Tony Rombola, bassist Robbie Merrill, and drummer Shannon Larkin.

Godsmack is very good. Way too low on this list.

22 Flaw

Very underrated. Should be much higher on the list.

23 Adema Adema is a nu-metal band from Bakersfield, California. The band formed in 2000 with members: lead vocalist Mark Chavez, vocalist/guitarist Tim Fluckey, guitarist Mike Ransom, bassist Dave DeRoo, and drummer Kris Kohls.

I honestly think they should be higher on the list. But they aren't as good as they used to be when they changed the singer.

My favorite, until they changed the singer.

One of the best bands ever formed - sad lyrics, moving guitars, awesome bass, and hard-hitting drumming.

24 Chevelle Chevelle is an American alternative metal band that formed in 1995 in the Chicago suburb of Grayslake, Illinois. The band was originally composed of brothers: Pete Loeffler, Sam Loeffler and Joe Loeffler.
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