15 of the Best “Nu-Metal”/Alternative Metal/Industrial Metal albums you forgot or never knew existed (Part 1).
Pitchshifter – www.pitchshifter.com
Godhead – 2,000 Years of Human Error
Gravity Kills – Gravity Kills
Systematic – Pleasure to Burn
downthesun – downthesun
Sinisstar – Future Shock
Simon Says – Shut Your Breath
Union Underground – An Education in Rebellion
Primer 55 – Introduction to Mayhem
Medication (band) – Prince Valium
No One – No One
Skrape – New Killer America
Pressure 4-5 – Burning the Process
Stereomud – Perfect Self
Lollipop Lust Kill – My So Called Knife
Whether it was being a band at the wrong time where you actually didn’t sound like everyone else or you came in too late and the popularity of the style was mostly gone or you were just caught up in having too much competition, got overlooked, and actually had a solid album within your genre…
There were a lot of bands that sorta flew under the radar, either because of the label they were on folding or not showing enough support, or the amount of bands at the time that drowned out some of the guys that actually did have some talent. Many of the musicians from this list of bands are still active in other bands.
Some of the groups listed were only ever able to release 1 album. Some released only a couple. Some released even more. Most of the other releases are also very solid but since I’m only listing 1 album from each, I’m only naming what I feel is the best effort.
Pitchshifter, Gravity Kills, and gODHEAD all lasted longer than a couple albums and all had moderate degrees of success and exposure. Pitchshifter is most notably known for being featured on the PS1 game Twisted Metal 3. Gravity Kills had a hit in “Guilty”, which was also featured for hardcore wrestling promotion ECW, and PS1 game Test Drive Off Road. They also recorded a cover of “Personal Jesus” 2 years before Marilyn Manson did, in which I feel 1,000% that it is the most superior cover recorded of the Depeche Mode classic. The first and only signee to Marilyn Manson’s label, PostHuman Records, was gODHEAD. They played on Ozzfest as well as opening for Rammstein on their North American tour for “Mutter”. The brainchild of gODHEAD, Jason Miller, now has a solo country rock career, and has done numerous voiceovers for animation and video games. He also writes songs for other musicians and studio work.
Pitchshifter – “W.Y.S.I.W.Y.G. (What You See Is What You Get)”
Gravity Kills – “Guilty”
gODHEAD – “Break You Down featuring Marilyn Manson”
Systematic, Stereomud, Primer 55, Simon Says, Skrape, and Lollipop Lust Kill all released 2 solid albums a piece and various members from most of these bands have gone on to join or form other projects.
Will Hunt from Skrape joined Dark New Day afterwards, and eventually Evanescence. Billy Keeton formed Audiotopsy with 2 members of Mudvayne. After leaving Slayer shortly after “God Hates Us All”, Paul Bostaph joined Systematic for the recording of “Pleasure to Burn”. Singer Tim Narducci eventually formed Spiralarms, who just recently disbanded. Systematic were on Lars Ulrich’s label, The Music Company. Stereomud was a supergroup of sorts when they formed and ended featuring a pedigree of bands like Stuck Mojo, Switched, Life of Agony, and Pro-Pain. Most notably, bassist Corey Lowery who went on to Dark New Day with his brother Clint Lowery of Sevendust, Eye Empire, and currently Saint Asonia.
Primer 55 have mostly still been an active touring band but still only have 2 full albums. The first one being dedicated to full on rap/rock while the second one was a major shift in sound to alternative rock. Lollipop Lust Kill released 2 albums and had an interesting mix of having really heavy and loud moments but always had a darker goth-y tone to everything. Somewhat similar to Coal Chamber but with vocals like Marilyn Manson and Peter Steele were arguing with eachother. Like Gravity Kills, they also released a cover of “Personal Jesus” in 2002. Simon Says released a decent debut in 1999 but really hit a stride in 2001 with “Shut Your Breath” with a darker and heavier sound more akin to Adema, but even better and without the hip hop influences.
Systematic – “Breakable”
Stereomud – “Leave (Back Up)”
Primer 55 – “Loose”
Simon Says – “Syphon”
Skrape – “Broken Knees”
downthesun were on Shawn Crahan’s label Maggot Recordings and are the heaviest band out of this list. They only released 1 album split very soon after. Musically they were comparable to American Head Charge, Slipknot, and Tool. Had they been able to stick around longer or properly reunite like they’d attempted to, I think these guys would’ve had much bigger success. Sinisstar had a sound not all that different from Dope but with more electronics added over it. They opened for Rob Zombie in 2002 after he released “The Sinister Urge” and shortly after that they were done. Pressure 4-5 probably would’ve been more successful if they’d released “Burning the Process” a couple years later. More of a melodic hard rock band with an influence “of the times”, I’d actually compare them a little bit to Alter Bridge, Breaking Benjamin, and Chevelle. They had mild success but members left and they disbanded altogether.
Union Underground announced their return earlier this year with new music on the way, but so far, they only released “An Education in Rebellion” in 2000 followed by their biggest success from a lone single “Across the Nation” which was the theme song for WWE RAW from 2002-2006. No One unfortunately lost their guitarist not long ago. They had a style similar to 1999-2001 era Machine Head. It’s too bad they weren’t able to continue on with a follow up album as they more than likely would’ve hit a more original and creative peak. Medication featured former and future members of Ugly Kid Joe/Another Animal (Whitfield Crane), Machine Head/Once Human (Logan Mader), Bloodsimple/HellYeah (Kyle Sanders) and Soulfly/Stone Sour (Roy Mayorga). A straight up hard rock grunge influenced one off that really could’ve lead to bigger things but due to internal and business conflicts… it just never came to be.
downthesun – “Medicated”
Sinisstar – “Freak of Nature”
Pressure 4-5 – “Stares”
Union Underground – “Turn Me On Mr. Deadman”
No One – “Chemical”
Medication – “Loaded Gun”
While many of these bands may have been largely forgotten, they did leave a mark. Every song above is a glimpse into every band and every album and hopefully it either brings back memories or it leads to you checking them out more, or it just gives you a good laugh at what was popular in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. You should be entertained regardless!