Generation Z is bringing nu-metal back.
What more proof could you need than a New York Times piece this week (July 24) arguing just that — that the nu-metal renaissance is upon us — while pointing to recent music festivals such as the nu-metal-focused Sick New World as proof?
Indeed, the kids are all about the nu-metal.
But how else do we know? There’s also the revival of nu-metal fashion in the manner of pop stars such as Justin Bieber sporting JNCO jeans or Billie Eilish in baggy clothes and a backward cap, as the Times suggests. But that’s definitely not all.
READ MORE: Top 50 All-Time Nu-Metal Albums
The music itself is what’s really reaching back through time to young listeners today.
One listener, 15-year-old Nia LaVey Burden, discovered Deftones through her 39-year-old father. “She knew all the lyrics, and my mind was blown,” her dad, Tyson Burden, explained to the paper. “It was just this really magical moment between parent and child where we love the same thing.”
From The New York Times:
Nia is part of a growing group among Generation Z that is listening to nu metal for the first time. The subgenre, considered one of the most accessible forms of metal, blends a heavy sound with elements of hip-hop, funk and alternative rock (think: Slipknot, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and Kittie), and its lyrics often tackle dark subjects like pain, depression and alienation. Once popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it has now found a second life among young listeners, thanks to TikTok, the Y2K revival and, of course, enduring teenage angst.
Nu-Metal Reaching New Heights in 2023
At the start of 2023, internet searches showed interest in nu-metal was at its highest in 20 years.
Nu-metal hit it its peak in the early 2000s. This year marks the 20th anniversary for a lot of big records that came out during that time.
Though Korn technically spearheaded the genre in the mid-’90s, nu-metal didn’t really take off until a few years later. It was really one of the biggest musical styles of the early 2000s.
Linkin Park, Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit, Evanescence and Disturbed were just some of the other big names that eventually became associated with the label, and a lot of them have put out some type of release over the last few years, whether it was a new album or a massive reissue of an older one.