Nobody I know ever used "alternative metal" tag to describe nu metal, grunge or hardcore bands in the 90's. Calling System of a Down or Deftones alternative to ...what? Black Sabbath? Napalm Death? This tag / genre barely makes any sense.
Top 8 should be Tool,Deftones,Jane's Addiction,FNM,Ministry,AIC,Soundgarden and Rage
Well the early major Nu Metal bands played a sound similar to early Korn because they were the 'godfathers' of course. For example Coal Chamber, whom notably were around at the same time as Korn: Playing live [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0LRLMDvf0A]here[/url] in 1994)". I think "Unspoiled" has a similar riff to one in Korn's "Predicatable". There are a lot Korn's techniques employed in early Staind, Limp Bizkit and Coal Chamber. For instance the way Borland jumps strings in between certain notes, and how the bass is frequently used as a rhythmic instrument. Only later did the second wave adapt various different styles, perhaps with the exception of the Deftones who were unique in their own right. Snot sounded similar to Rage. The second wave adapted Industrial (e.g mid era Fear Factory, Dope, Static-X, American Head Charge etc.) and an array of other genres into a groovy, (low) detuned & metallic sound.
Also I think it is the latin influence, combined with typical Nu Metal groove, that ties mid era Sepultura and Soulfly to Nu Metal. Plus, Max co-wrote and featured on Deftones' "Headup" and Fred Durst did feature on a Soulfly song. I consider Soulfly and mid era Sepultura a more metallic version of Ill Nino (due to the obvious latin influences in all 3 bands.) Finally, I would not consider Linkin Park a Nu Metal band at all, even on their first 2 albums.
Well, it definetly makes sense; although i used to consider a some kind of nu-metal "core" bands (Korn, Deftones, Coal Chamber) and "periphery" that deviates in different ways from a nu-metal canon but still are nu-metal (that is, late Slipknot and various Linkin Park-like stuff too). Ironically it ruins my previous statement about "crucial influence" but by this i meant those influences that are сommon for a majority of bands in a varying degree. BTW i'm always hesitant about mid-90s Sepultura and early Soulfly stuff.
As I mentioned, there is no distinct/obvious difference between Hip-Hop/Funk/Punk influenced bands "alternative" bands like Rage and "Nu" bands like Snot. What I have noticed though is Nu Metal riffs are often more abrupt in pulse & riff style, had thicker guitar sound (with more low end and bass) and had a creepy atmosphere (from Mr. Bungle style riffs & pedals.) Nu Metal was simply a wave/sub-genre of Alternative Metal and was a media term, to define a certain time period of heavy music, rather than a distinct sub-genre. If Rage Against the Machine had been born at the same period Korn, Limp Bizkit, Coal Chamber and Deftones were born, then maybe they would have been dubbed that too. However, I would consider the latter 4 bands & (early) Kittie, Snot, Mudvayne & Slipknot Nu Metal. To make it even more confusing there is also Rap Metal, plus lots of bands (e.g. Slipknot, Kittie, Deftones) changed to Alternative Metal & lots of bands cross over to Groove Metal also.
"I think grunge influence is crucial for nu metal besides groove metal and funk/hip-hop." I disagree. You could argue a band like Kittie, who were strongly influenced by Grunge and have a 'grungy' guitar tone throughout their discography, played both Nu Metal in their "Spit" days and later Alternative/Groove Metal. What defined them as Nu Metal on "Spit" was mixing groove and downtuned heaviness with Techno break beats and flirtations with Hip-Hop (in songs like "Brackish".) Of course it is mainly Hip-Hop/Funk, but as I mentioned, other genres cross paths and are added to the Nu Metal palette.
"Don't confuse this genre with shite nu metal please." There is basically no difference at times. Nu Metal mixes (mainly Groove) Metal with Hip-Hop and/or Funk (then there is Alt. Metal bands - Rage Against the Machine and Primus - who mix those very same styles.) There are also bands which are considered Nu Metal but mix in Techno, Reggae, Grunge etc. with Groove Metal.
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Alternative is a broad term that i don't like to use. it consists of a large number of subgenres with different elements. the most prominent, commercial, and complained about is nu metal. it has rapping, electronica, and miserably immature lyrics (Limp Bizkit, Slipknot, Korn). it evolved from and dominated the genre rapcore. Industrial metal uses elements of industrial electronic music and synth instruments (White Zombie, Orgy, KMFDM) Heavier grunge and post- hardcore is sometimes lumped in here due to heaviness (Alice in Chains, Helmet, Jesus Lizard) Funk metal is a genre that incorporates groove oriented rhythms, slap bass, and funk drumming (Faith No More, Infectious Grooves, Primus, Clutch [circa 1998-2001]) Groove Metal takes rhythmic inspiration from funk metal, but leaves more metal elements and rejects slap bass and other funk techniques. usually mixed with Punk rock/Thrash Metal (Prong, Pantera)