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  • Poison the Well – Top 15 New Wave of American Heavy Metal Albums

    Mon, 29 Jun 2015 17:15:41

    Poison the Well – Top 15 New Wave of American Heavy Metal Albums -

    These are the albums that defined the aughts.

    The New Wave of American Heavy Metal

    The '00s were quite a fertile period for heavy music. So much so that the press and fans anointed the era "The New Wave of American Heavy Metal" or "The New Wave of American Metal." Same difference. MTV resurrected Headbanger's Ball, with Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed installed as the host. Late night TV shows, like Jimmy Kimmel Live!, were booking the bands of the era to perform with increasing frequency throughout the decade. Yes, those firebreathing noise merchants in The Dillinger Escape Plan played Conan and things were never, ever the same.

    If you require more proof that the public and media hungered for metal equally, well, think about how Ozzfest ballooned, inviting heavier bands to play both the main and the side stages. The annual heavy metal summer camp was eventually immobilized and replaced by The Rock Star Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, which also grew exponentially and played sheds.

    Most impressive were the sales numbers of these bands. Albums repeatedly went platinum and gold, with the likes of Slipknot, Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God and Atreyu notching RIAA certifications and awards for achieving monster sales. More notable was the fact that you could turn on the radio and hear these same bands on the dial and not always after midnight on specialty shows.

    Do we even need to mention the Grammy nominations? It made us realize that people with their ears to the underground and in possession of a keen knowledge of the aggressive music scene were influencing the balloting, since extreme bands were notching noms. It wasn't as though this was further atonement for the Jethro Tull gaffe that still haunts the metal category today; it was an institution recognizing and supporting a movement!

    Hands down—the '00s were a legit and rich era for heavy metal. These are the albums that defined the period.

    12. Poison the Well - Tear From the Red

    In the '00s, dozens and dozens of bands tried to sound like Converge, Shai Hulud, The Dillinger Escape Plan or Poison the Well, or an amalgam of such, since those bands were doing something different, whether it was being almost unlistenable due to dissonance or meshing melodics with the maelstrom. PTW executed the melodic x metallic mashup flawlessly, inserting monstrous and massive choruses into their choruses, building you up to the breakdown.

    2002's Tear From the Red took the band's blueprint, established on The Opposite of December... A Season of Separation, and made it... better. No, the songs on Tear From the Red aren't as definitive as those that live on its predecessor; that is, the fans really preferred to sing along to "Artist's Rendering of Me," "Slice Paper Wrists" and "Nerdy." But Tear From the Red endeavored and aspired to go beyond the moshpit and that is why it endures.

    The tension in album opener "Botchla" is almost too palpable, while "Moments Over Exaggerate" is damn near poetic.

    Frontman Jeffrey Moreira had such a pretty singing voice and a flair for drama in his lyrics. These were just further added element of the awesomeness of Tear From the Red.

    The band went on to sign with Atlantic and to go on hiatus but not without living a legacy that is also defined by Tear From the Red.

    Watch the lyric video for "Botchla" from Poison the Well:



    —Amy Sciarretto
    06.29.15


    'Tear From The Red' by Poison the Well is available on Rise Records.
    Poison the well - tear from the red

    poison the well

    See the other artists and albums on our Top Top 15 New Wave of American Heavy Metal Albums feature!



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