The 1990s was a transformative decade for metal, as a diverse range of subgenres broke through to the mainstream.
Nu-metal, industrial and alternative developed and rose in popularity across the decade while thrash and death metal continued to have a place.
Nu-metal, led by acts such as Korn and Limp Bizkit, gained immense popularity in the late '90s by combining elements of hip-hop, alternative rock, and metal.
Acts like Alice In Chains and Soundgarden found ways to blend their alternative vibe with elements of metal.
While new subgenres were being formed, stalwarts of the metal scene were finding inventive ways to bend their sound without fullly breaking.
Bands like Pantera and Sepultura pushed the boundaries of what was possible within metal, incorporating elements of groove, tribal rhythms, and industrial influences into their music.
The Loudwire staff sorted through all of it to put together this list of the top 11 metal albums released in the 1990s.
Top 11 Metal Albums Of The 1990s
The '90s were a challenging decade for metal. The enormous growth of the genre in the '80s certainly carried over at the start of the decade, with powerhouse classics from the Big 4 of thrash kicking things off at a steady clip. But what followed was the wholesale retreat of metal from the mainstream as alternative rock, grunge and bands like Nirvana challenged for cultural supremacy. Suddenly, the sullen and relatively sloppy Seattle sound was in, metal's virtuosic grandstanding out. But metal never dies, and by the middle of the '90s new mutations were sprouting up; the most visible, a rap-metal hybrid called nü-metal. Here, we turn it up to 11 with our list of the Top 11 Metal Albums of the 1990s:
Top 11 Metal Albums Of The 2000s
The first decade of the 2000s was a unique one for metal music. The mainstream media had broken off their love affair with hard alternative rock for an array of rap, pop-rock and child stars who seemed to get younger and younger. Although MTV and the like rarely played anything heavy, the rise of the Internet made both popular and underground metal acts more accessible than ever. Waves of post-hardcore, metalcore and deathcore swept the scene with short periods of dominance. Underground metal acts from around the world ensured that metal got heavier, faster and more experimental. The metal "tree of life" was constantly growing new branches as its roots remained sturdy. Here, Loudwire presents our list of the Top 11 Metal Albums of the 2000s:
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Gallery Credit: Chad Childers, Loudwire