New Wave of American Heavy Metal

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Intro

Commonly abbreviated as NWOAHM, it is essentially a sub genre of Heavy Metal that originated in the United States and Canada during the early to mid-1990s, and expanded most in the early to mid-2000s.

Some of the bands considered part of the movement had formed as early as the late 1980s, but did not become influential or reach popular standing until the following decade.

The term itself borrows from The New Wave of British Heavy Metal dating to 1979. NWOAHM includes a wide variety of styles, including Alternative Metal, Groove Metal, Industrial Heavy Metal, Nu Metal, and Metalcore.

Although the term is used by the media with increasing frequency, the definition has not been finished completely. This is due in part to the growing addition of bands that assimilate to common styles in NWOAHM (as defined below), yet have not differentiated greatly enough as to garner a new genre moniker. One description by longtime metal author Garry Sharpe-Young helps classify the NWOAHM as a "marriage of European-style riffing and throaty vocals" Several of the bands within the NWOAHM are credited with bringing Heavy Metal back into the mainstream.

Info

The new wave of American heavy metal has its origins in a group of Post-Grunge acts from the 1990s that brought Heavy Metal "back to its core brutality" and drawing not from the traditional Blues formula but from Thrash Metal and Punk.

In the book The Next Generation of Rock & Punk, Joel McIver acknowledged Korn as the pioneers of the new wave of American heavy metal, and also credits them as the first band labeled as Nu Metal. The Nu Metal genre was popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Other roots of NWOAHM are attributed to bands such as Pantera, Biohazard, and Machine Head.

The producers behind the 2005 documentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey have written of the NWOAHM: "In essence, NWOAHM can embody the seething aggression of the 'hardcore' hormone, but play a type of acrobatic, precise, technical Thrash/Death Metal synthesis regularly touched by the melody of traditional metal, but often just briefly. Vocally, these bands huddle around Pantera-derived roar, leaning toward a Death Metal bark, but often with 'clean' or 'sung' vocals as ear candy, sometimes from a member of the band who is not the front man". They also reference Unearth, Shadows Fall, and Lamb of God as "leaders of the pack".

In the book New Wave of American Heavy Metal, when listing the wave's most popular contributors, Garry Sharpe-Young stated: "...the groups that broke the metal scene into new territory after grunge [were] Pantera, Biohazard, and Machine Head. From there it gets really diverse, crossing the spectrum from Melodic Death Metal to Progressive Metaland everything in between". Sharpe-Young described bands such as Pantera, Biohazard and Machine Head as neo-metal, writing that the band Pantera started a new time period of Heavy Metal that involved both Biohazard and Machine Head. Sharpe-Young lists the broad range of styles in the new wave of American heavy metal movement as ranging from the Christian Metalcore scene, the 1970s-inspired Progressive Rock of Coheed and Cambria, Melodic Death Metal, and the Screamo and "sub-Gothique" emocore of Alkaline Trio and My Chemical Romance. Beyond this, the genre encompasses a number of different styles including Alternative Metal, Groove Metal, Hardcore Punk and Metalcore, despite the fact that Metalcore and Hardcore Punk pre-date NWOAHM by almost twenty years.

Some Artists

A list of notable bands who emerged during the NWOAHM era of music:

0–9

36 Crazyfists

A

Abigail Williams

Acid Bath

A Day to Remember

Adema

AFI

Age of Ruin

Agnostic Front

All Shall Perish

All That Remains

As I Lay Dying

At the Drive-In

Atreyu

Avenged Sevenfold

B

Bad Acid Trip

Between the Buried and Me

Biohazard

The Black Dahlia Murder

Black Label Society

Black Veil Brides

Bleeding Through

The Blood Brothers

Body Count

Boysetsfire

Bury Your Dead

Byzantine

C

Chimaira

CKY

Coal Chamber

Converge

Corrosion of Conformity

Cro-Mags

D

Dawn of Ashes

Deftones

The Devil Wears Prada

Dillinger Escape Plan

Disturbed

Drowning Pool

E

Every Time I Die

F

Faith No More

Five Finger Death Punch

G

God Forbid

H

Hatebreed

I

Incubus

J

The Judgment Night soundtrack

The Juliana Theory

The Junior Varsity

K

Korn

Killswitch Engage

L

Lamb of God

Linkin Park

Limp Bizkit

Limp Wrist

M

Machine Head

Marilyn Manson

Mastodon

Mudvayne

Mushroomhead

My Chemical Romance

N

Nine Inch Nails

Norma Jean

O

Overcast

P

Pantera

Pissing Razors

Poison the Well

R

Rage Against the Machine

Red Hot Chili Peppers

S

Sevendust

Shadows Fall

Slayer

Slipknot

SOiL

Stone Sour

System of a Down

T

Tapeworm

Thrice

Throwdown

Thursday

Tool

Trivium

U

Underoath

Unearth

V

Vision of Disorder

W

Walls of Jericho

Will Haven

Y

Yakuza

Youth of Today

Z

Zao

Zeke

Zimmers Hole