I wasn’t always into metal music. I always loved standard rock, but the shouting and screaming found in metal turned me off from the entire genre as a whole. Over time I would learn of some incredible bands that I didn’t initially realize were [nu] metal. In this blog post I’m gonna share with you the 5 most influential bands during the prime of the nu metal era (in my opinion). Live footage from each band’s earliest concert performances.

System of a Down (1998)

One of my all time favorite bands. I discovered System of a Down in elementary school, and as an 8 year old I was truly moved by their passionate songs about mushroom people and wanting to fuck the system.

The band still tours, but sadly hasn’t released any music since their double album, Hypnotize & Mesmerize – which is a total shame because by that point they we’re really growing into something awesome. And those two last albums were easily my favorite.

The live performance above shows the band spazzing out on stage, performing their first self titled album back in 1998.

KoRn (1993)

Probably the undisputed champs of nu metal. KoRn took the world by storm very rapidly. They were early in the genre, damn near making it. They started in the early ’90s and released hit album after hit album. They would go on to sell-out arena’s soon. But before that happened, they had to have their humble beginnings.

The video above is from 1993 and it kicks off with my favorite KoRn song, “Blind”.

Slipknot (1999)

One of the first heavy metal bands I was able to get behind. I also got into Slipknot’s music back in elementary school. Initially I was fucking terrified, like had nightmares, but something about it all intrigued me. It was all so genuine I wanted to know if this was real or not. I think how genuine it is is what make’s it so scary for a young kid with little understanding of the world like I was.

These guys have consistently shred for the 20 years they’ve been making music. Slipknot proved that nu metal could have a harsh brutal sound while being melodic. Corey Taylor’s vocal range and overall talent as a lead singer is inspiring.

The video above shows the crew debuting at Ozzfest back in 1999. In the first few seconds of the video you’ll notice Clown “falling into another dimension” as some YouTuber hilariously pointed out.

Limp Bizkit (1997)

I’ll be honest, I didn’t listen to much Limp Bizkit growing up, but they were undeniably influential in the nu metal genre. I had no choice but to add them to the list, their rap-metal style was new and incredibly refreshing. Their innovative sound set them apart from the pack.

Here’s footage of them performing in a parking lot in 1997. Very Limp Bizkit.

Static-X (1997)

Static-X was suggested for this list, by my metalhead co-worker Zak. I don’t know too much about this band, but what I do know is the lead singer looks like a human version of Sonic the Hedgehog.

Check out their 1997 concert in Fullerton, CA above.

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