If you want to hear the brutal-est, snap-a-fucking-tree-trunk-and-whip-it-at-a-house-iest metal songs, then nu-metal isn't the place to start. But as we noted in our list of the 10 heaviest nu-metal songs ever, the genre has produced some incredibly aggressive cuts over the years, especially from bands like Slipknot and Korn.
Once you knew our picks, we wanted to know yours, so we asked our readers to chime in and pick the single most crushing nu-metal song they could think of. This list could've been 10 times as long, but the top five vote-getters — the heaviest of the heavy — are ranked accordingly below.
Combining the roiling alt-metal of Deftones with the cyborg noisiness of bands like Fear Factory and Static-X, Spineshank's 2000 LP, Height of Callousness, was an underratedly hard-hitting affair. Its title track sounds like it could raise the heartbeat of a person who's about to draw their last breathe on an operating table, with buzzsaw riffs and twisted electronic spasms sounding off behind frontman Jonny Santos' ravenous calls to "fuck integrity."
Fred Durst has never been the scariest-sounding dude in nu-metal, but in the presence of Max Cavalera, the Limp Bizkit ringleader became a goddamn animal. The two vocalists go back and forth like warring guard dogs on Soulfly's "Bleed," which saw Cavalera harness the groovy death-metal fire of Sepultura while he spit with a rap-inflected rage. There's a palpable bloodlust in the way these guys scream on here, and the instrumentation is apoplectic as fuck.
Korn have never been interested in competing to be the heaviest band in nu-metal. Their songs are all about eerie atmosphere and drawn-out tension, but the first explosion during "Blind," the iconic intro of their 1994 debut, just might be the most intense moment in their catalog, if not the genre. You can hear the bassline now, bubbling and gurgling beneath the surface while the "tsk-tsk-tsk" drum pattern grows louder and louder. Suddenly, Jonathan Davis grunts, "Are you ready?" At that point, it's not so much a command but an order.
As many people correctly stated while casting their votes, pretty much any Slipknot song from either of their first two albums could make this list, but Iowa's "Disasterpiece" earned the most votes. The tornado-like drum fills on here threaten to sweep the entire track up and send it flying, but the oil rig-sized death-metal riffage keeps it weighed down to ground level, while Corey Taylor contorts his voice into an array of different tortured forms. And then there's the opening line: "I wanna slit your throat and fuck the wound." Brutal enough for ya?
It's rare, but sometimes a metal band's most popular song is also their heaviest. We chose "Internal Primates Forever" as Mudvayne's entry in our list, but L.D. 50's crown jewel just might eek its way into a higher weight class. "Dig" is all tension, no release. The spastic, squirming pulse of the song is violent and unpredictable no matter how many times you've heard it. The guitars don't crush, they cut, deep into the marrow of the groove while Chad Gray screams like he's physically disgusted by everything he's ever laid his eyes on, and he's finally had enough.