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01.25.11 Nostalgia Trip: Favorite Nu-metal Album06.28.10 Rec Me Some Uk Metal?

Nostalgia Trip: Favorite Nu-metal Albums/bands

Strangely enough, I've recently found myself hankering for some nu-metal. So here are a few of my favorites; the sort that still get spun once in a while when the junz and shred cease to dazzle me.
1The Deadlights
The Deadlights

Man, I just don't get how this band gets overlooked so often. These guys are an instrumentally-talented Coal Chamber with Billy Corgan on guest vocals, once in a while. A little industrial influence and a couple of acoustic numbers and you have The Deadlights. And the fact that they took their name from a Stephen King book is quite the plus.
2 Atomship
The Crash Of '45

I hesitate to call this nu-metal. Their drummer is a monster and the lyrics are far and above anything Jonathan Davis could hope to slap together one drunken night; at times, they sound like a more straightforward Tool. Definitely recommended to anyone with an interest in the genre's best.
Music For The Last Day Of Your Life

Dirty, scuzzy nu-rock. Three down-tuned guitars thumping out riffs that smell faintly of back alleys and a sleazeball of a singer pouring gasoline all over them. You might have heard "Simple Minded" on some video game soundtrack, and it's a pretty good tune, but overshadowed by most of the songs on this little disc. Great for a quick kick in the ass, once in a while.
4Pulse Ultra

Once again, I hesitate to call this nu-metal, but it's definitely rooted in the genre. The differences are subtle; the drums may whip out some complex, jungly beats once in a while, or the guitarist might break out some off-time or, dare I say, "sludgy" riffs. Nothing mind-blowing - in fact I may be exaggerating - but it definitely hints at the things these guys could have done. Hey, there's even a pseudo-punky vibe to "Glass Door." Shame they broke up, but at least they left us this disc to occupy ourselves.

Now, I'm not the biggest fan of Ivan Moody. I rather dislike Five Finger Death Punch, to put it lightly. His old band, however simpler, was exponentially more enjoyable. To me, anyway. They don't seem too concerned with making a big statement; they just play some hard tunes, admittedly with nu-metal flair on such cuts as "Suffocate," but the album is all clean, compact songs. Listening to this is like taking a handful of Advil when the tech- and -core sound like headaches. Also, the bass is beastly. Look up "motograter" and listen to "Down." Good stuff, here.
6 Spineshank
Self-Destructive Pattern

Okay, okay, commercial nu-metal, yeah. Sell-outish, yeah. Dumbed down, yeah. I still love this album. Contrary to what I've read around these parts of the interweb, I think Spineshank sounds more focused here than on previous efforts. They've pared down the overbearing electronics (see: "Cyanide 2600") and the production is crispy: a nice foil that doesn't get in the way of the music. Matt Santos also found his balance between the "sing-scream" aesthetic, but moved on to Silent Civilian before he could grow into it. Nevertheless, this album kicks arse.
L.D. 50

You thought you would never see it. But here it is. Progressive nu-metal. Mind: raped.
2000 Years Of Human Error

I admit this is my least favorite album out of these few. I considered not putting it in. However, Godhead struck such a great balance of nu-metal trash and exceptional atmosphere that I find myself returning to this, guiltier each time.
9American Head Charge
The War Of Art

Slipknot, around the release of "Iowa," decide to sit down and think out their lyrics. They finally decide to integrate their DJ and sampler into the band (no word on the percussionists yet), and slow down their riffs for a more articulate vicious sound. This is American Head Charge, and "The War Of Art" is still a satisfying and very cool spin.

Free of the immaturity of "XX" and far from the garbage of "Savior Sorrow," this is Mushroomhead at their peak. The riffs crunch, the vocals are as dual-sided and energetic as ever, and the drumming...really isn't as great as it's made out to be, but it's solid and occasionally interesting. Although it lacks such nu-metal monsters as "Bwomp" and "The New Cult King," it is a more satisfying and creative record over time. You also -have- to hear Jens Kidman duking it out with JMann. Solid, hard-hitting nu-metal that lasts.
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