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Nu metal, sometimes referred to as aggro metal or aluminum, is a relatively new music genre that some consider to be a subgenre of heavy metal music. In the 1990s, many bands began to mix rapping and other new techniques with traditional heavy metal guitar and drum sounds. Gibson guitars as well as other traditional metal instruments are used in Nu metal. As a result, fans and music journalists needed to differentiate between the more traditional heavy metal music and this "new breed" of bands who were using samples, DJs, raps and drum machines in a way that made their music distinct.
"New metal" evolved into the trendier spelling "nu metal," and a genre was vaguely defined. Nu metal can be generally characterized as a hybrid between guitar-rock and rap. To be more specific, the typical formula of nu metal music involves aggressive distorted guitar; hip-hop influenced vocals (rapping); hip-hop beats usually generated by a DJ or drummer; and angst-ridden lyrics.
Nu Metal has become increasingly popular amongst adolescence who are enamored by the fury and sheer loudness that exemplifies the genre. Bands that can be categorized under the guise of nu metal include Korn, Deftones, Slipknot, Incubus, Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, and some work by P. Diddy. Nu metal is considered, by many of these young fans who have yet to developed a sophisticatd musical taste, the opposite of the candy-coated fluff that is bubblegum pop music (i.e. Brittney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica and Ashlee Simpson).
Beyond the pronouced hip-hop influence, nu metal has proven somewhat difficult to define. Some hardcore metal fans dismiss the genre as a form of heavy metal, arguing that the genre is too diluted and that nu metal guitarists typically do not follow the traditional metal guitar techniques. This sentiment is the reason for the term aluminium has been used, since it referes to the music as less hard than true metal, and that the nu metal material has been largely recycled from other music. The fact that nu-metal is becoming increasingly commercialized also does not strike a good chord with hardcore "true" metal fans. Even the Deftones, who are often cited as being one of the original nu metal bands, have tried to distance themselves from the genre since they felt that nu metal performers were "uninspired" and "derivative".
Despite the (what is largely) irrevelant criticism from the many hardcore metal fans, there is no stopping the rise of nu metal. The nu metal style have been one of the most provocative and popular forms of music for the last 10-15 years. The progenitors of nu music can include such respected bands like Rage Against the Machine, Tool, and Faith No More. Today bands like Linkin Park, System of the Down, Korn, Limp Bizkit have taken the mantle as the ambassadors of nu music.