The turn of the millennium marked a new age of heavy metal. By this point, metal was thirty years old, as the most tried and true formulas were cemented and the pool of influences for new acts to draw from was positively immense. Around the dawn of the 21st century, the genre-mashing that we've now come to expect from just about any new act began to take shape, ushering in a new and exciting wave of next generation flag flyers.

While some bands improved of the foundation laid down by respective genre icons, tinkering with pieces of it and taking it to new sonic directions, others took the melting pot approach to create some of the most dynamic and unique albums heavy metal has ever had to offer. As we look on the horizon of two decades of new music in the 21st century, we thought it was time to take a look at the best bands who've emerged during this millennium.

To qualify for this list, a band must have released their first official full-length album in 2000 or beyond. This allows for bands that formed in the '90s or even released EPs or demo material in the last decade of the 20th century to contend for a spot in this list.

Click through the gallery above to see our picks for the Top 50 Metal Bands Who Released Their First Album in the 21st Century!

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