It's no secret that nu-metal has had a massive resurgence in recent years. From scene godfathers like Limp Bizkit and Mudvayne making grand returns, to younger artists across genres — from hardcore to hip-hop — fearlessly leaning into the sound of their idols in Slipknot and Korn, nu-metal isn't just cool again for nostalgic reasons: The genre is legitimately thriving thanks to a whole new wave of exciting revivalists.
Of course, a style that was difficult to define the first time around is just as scattered and musically diverse today, but the 10 acts below are playing a proactive role in giving nu-metal a whole new getup. From the nu-metalcore of Code Orange and Tallah to the genre-slurring fuckery of Nova Twins and Wargasm, these children of the Korn are now leaders to be followed.
Of all the metallic rappers that emerged from the SoundCloud era, City Morgue are the ones who would've fit the most seamlessly on the Family Values Tour. The NYC group featuring fiery MCs ZillaKami and SosMula also heavily influenced by hardcore punk, but their love of Slipknot carries over into their psychotic energy and the buzzsaw guitars that buttress their trap-metal production. ZillaKami even had Corey Taylor do a guest intro on his 2021 solo album. While they may not be a nu-metal band in any "traditional" sense, City Morgue are bringing the genre's looks, sound and energy to the ears of young rap listeners.
At this point, no one would say that Code Orange are a straight-up nu-metal band, but the genre's stamp is all over them. Since their 2020 LP, Underneath, the Pittsburgh crushers have upgraded their wardrobe from simple hardcore threads to leather pants and mesh tees, which they proudly don in the video for their divisive 2021 club-metal banger "Out for Blood." Plus, they've recently toured with Korn and Slipknot, and tapped Loathe and Vended (see below) to join their most recent headliner. They're creating a pipeline between the hardcore underground and the nu-metal mainstream, which makes them crucial ambassadors to the style's new wave.
Fans will debate whether Deftones are a nu-metal band, but they definitely were, and there's never been a group who channels their icy-hot, shoegazing beauty through down-tuned djent riffs and mosh-pit-ready grooves quite like Loathe. The U.K. band have openly aligned themselves with Chino and Co. ("I want our band to matter to people like the Deftones did to us," singer Kadeem France told us in 2020), and while their sound has a distinctly cerebral and experimental twist that's so far kept them bubbling beneath the surface, this band has the raw talent and the aesthetic vision to break big — and make a specific type of nu-metal wildly popular again in the process. Hopefully it happens.
While Nova Twins don't exactly sound like any band from nu-metal's first or second waves, the U.K. duo's powerhouse sound is emblematic of the current generation. They love and pay homage to a plethora of Y2K-era flavors, drawing from the vocal inflections of No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani, the alternative rap-rock genre blurring of Pharrell's N.E.R.D, and chunky nu-metal riffage with the bounce of Limp Bizkit and the ragged distortion of Rage Against the Machine. Plus, they wear bright, eccentric clothing and colorful makeup — demonstrating a pivotal understanding that visual flair is a crucial part of the whole artistic package.
Orthodox are a band who came from the world of metallic hardcore but have now decided to unabashedly tap into their nu-metal roots. "We grew up really loving bands like Korn, System of a Down and Slipknot," singer Adam Easterling told us in 2019 while speaking about leaning into the nu on his band's 2020 album, Let It Take Its Course. The record's blend of metalcore breakdowns with nu-metal guitar squeals and Jonathan Davis-esque grunts made for a bold fusion feels more ingrained in nu-metal than bands like Vein.fm and Varials, whose sounds only contain flecks of Slipknot and Deftones here and there.
Spiritbox's genre-agnostic ethos has made it difficult to pin them to any one movement in particular, but lately, nu-metal has begun to seep into their sound in a big way. Between the more melodic tracks on the Canuck trio's 2021 smash, Eternal Blue, and the throbbing industrial of their new song "Rotoscope," Spiritbox are channeling the sound nu-metal took in the early 2000s when electronic-savvy bands like Linkin Park and moody, anthemic groups like Evanescence became the faces of the genre. Now it's Spiritbox's turn.
Tallah are a nu-metal — or "nu-core," as they call it — force to be reckoned with. Featuring former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy's son Max, who's currently pulling double-duty touring behind the kit with Code Orange, the Pennsylvania gang combine metalcore ferocity with the skronky heaviness of groups like Mudvayne and System of a Down. Live and on record, they're insanely tight musicians, with a guitarist who rips virtuosic solos and a YouTube-bred singer whose vocals fluctuate from breathy mutters to deathcore brees in the span of a single verse.
Tetrarch aren't just pulling from nu-metal, they're wholeheartedly embracing it in every regard. The L.A.-by-Atlanta band's 2021 album, Unstable, has angsty cover art with a distinctly late-Nineties visual design, and they rock nu-metal T-shirts in their music videos. Their music has Kornesque vocal melodies, Linkin Parkian emotionality, and riffs that put a metalcore spin on Slipknot-sized chugginess. They even performed an acoustic rendition of the Mudvayne fan favorite "Forget to Remember" — which shows a lot more dedication than merely admitting that L.D. 50 was a great record.
Vended are quite literally the second generation of nu-metal musicians. The Des Moines crew boasts the offspring of Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor and percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan, whose sons fill their father's respective positions in the pulverizing young group — who've already caused quite a stir despite not even having a debut album out. Their dads' band is certainly a potent influence on their sound, as tracks like "Ded to Me" and "Antibody" evoke Iowa-era Slipknot mixed with the blunt force of modern-day metalcore. Slipknot scions aside, these kids can fucking play.
Wargasm don't just have the nu-metal sound, they have the swagger. Approved by their idols in Limp Bizkit and heralded by Korn's Jonathan Davis as his favorite nu-metal revival band, the U.K. duo of Milkie Way and Sam Matlock have already had the torch passed to them by the old guard. What's more, their gleeful clusterfuck of a sound — wiggly electro-punk grooves, crunchy nu-metal riffs, fist-pumping hardcore rage, and a playfully sexuality on songs titled "D.R.I.L.D.O." and "Lapdance" — has a broad enough appeal to reel in listeners from all over the rock-music map. No one's flying nu-metal's freak flag like Wargasm.