Thursday, May 18, 2006

Alternative metal (1990s and 2000s)

The era of metal dominating the mainstream came to an end with the emergence of Nirvana and other grunge bands that signaled the popular breakthrough of alternative rock. Also notable was the success of Pantera, whose groove metal was equally responsible for the demise of 1980s metal, according to some critics.

Music sample:
Pull Harder on the Strings of your Martyr (file info) — play in browser (beta)
"Pull Harder on the Strings of your Martyr", Trivium, 2005.
Problems listening to the file? See media help.
With these breakthroughs, bands active since the 1980s began to become more widely known and achieve mainstream attention. In particular, bands that had fused alternative rock and heavy metal styles began to gain momentum and formed the fusion genre called alternative metal. This included a wide variety of acts, including the grunge-based band Alice in Chains, the goth-influenced Jane's Addiction, the noise rock-infused White Zombie, and groups influenced by a wide variety of other alternative genres. Red Hot Chili Peppers infused their alternative rock with punk, funk, hip hop and metal, Danzig continued Glenn Danzig's progression from punk, through deathrock (with Samhain) and into metal, Ministry began incorporating metal into their industrial music, and Primus combined elements of funk, punk, thrash metal and experimental music.

As alternative metal achieved wider mainstream success, more notable bands from the genre, including Faith No More, Helmet, Marilyn Manson, Rage Against the Machine and Tool, influenced a new wave of bands. These bands themselves were not the preceding fusion of alternative rock and heavy metal, but a new genre derived from it; alternative metal. Later in the decade Korn, Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Slipknot and P.O.D. had emmerged as prominent nu metal bands. Nu metal gained mainstream success through heavy MTV rotation and the 1996 formation of Ozzy Osbourne's Ozzfest metal music festival, which led the media to talk of a resurgence of heavy metal.