Nu metal (sometimes stylized as nü-metal) is a subgenre of alternative metal that combines elements of heavy metal music with elements of other music genres such as hip hop, alternative rock, funk, industrial, and grunge. Nu metal bands have drawn elements and influences from a variety of musical styles, including multiple genres of heavy metal. Nu metal rarely features guitar solos or other displays of technical competence; the genre is heavily syncopated and based on guitar riffs. Many nu metal guitarists use seven-string guitars that are down-tuned to feature a heavier sound. DJs are occasionally featured in nu metal to provide instrumentation such as sampling, turntable scratching and electronic backgrounds. Vocal styles in nu metal include singing, rapping, screaming and growling. Nu metal is one of the key genres of the new wave of American heavy metal.
|Cultural origins||Early to mid-1990s, California, U.S.|
|New wave of American heavy metal|
Nu metal became popular in the late 1990s with bands and artists such as Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Kid Rock all releasing albums that sold millions of copies. Nu metal's popularity continued during the early 2000s, with bands such as Papa Roach, Staind, and P.O.D. all selling multi-platinum albums, and came to a peak with Linkin Park's diamond-selling album Hybrid Theory. However, by the mid-2000s, the oversaturation of bands combined with the underperformance of several high-profile releases led to nu metal's decline, leading to the rise of metalcore and many nu metal bands disbanding or abandoning their established sound in favor of other genres.
During the 2010s, there was a nu metal revival; many bands that combine nu metal with other genres (for example, metalcore and deathcore) emerged, and some nu metal bands from the 1990s and early 2000s returned to the nu metal sound. Bands like Of Mice & Men, Emmure, Issues and My Ticket Home would combine nu metal with metalcore or deathcore. Artists like Grimes, Poppy and Rina Sawayama would integrate nu metal sounds into electronic pop music in the late 2010s and early 2020s.
Nu metal has received criticism from many fans of heavy metal, and is often labeled with pejoratives like "mallcore". Many heavy metal fans do not consider nu metal to be a true subgenre of heavy metal. Some musicians referred to as nu metal have rejected the label; others did not even view their music as a form of heavy metal.