Hidden Gems: Rediscovering The ’90s Post-Thrash Groove Metal Scene

Examining hidden treasures + under-appreciated talent that forgot about or never heard.

The 1990s were an interesting time to grow up as a metalhead. At the beginning of the decade, Nirvana and Guns N Roses served a convincing deathblow to the glam metal scene. The end of the decade saw the mainstream dominance of nu metal and rap rock. In the mid ’90s, a style of groovy post-thrash metal came to prominence that served as a musical purgatory that bridged the gap between classic thrash-y heavy metal and angst-y, down-tuned modern metal of the 21st century.

It really was metal’s pimply-faced, peach-fuzz, awkward adolescent phase. That is not an admonishment of the style; it just didn’t have the legs to sustain as a movement, which is unfortunate because there were some really great bands. However, a handful of heavyweights managed to breakthrough in a very, very big way: namely Pantera, White Zombie, and Machine Head. It’s hard to put Fear Factory directly in this group as their origins are tied more to death metal and grindcore, although you could. You could possibly throw Biohazard in the mix as well, although they are often labeled as hip hop infused hardcore or rap-core. Biohazard is such a unique case because they were almost too ahead of their time to truly capitalize off of the rap rock explosion in the late ’90s. They are undoubtedly a groundbreaking band, and have been cited as huge influences on Sepultura’s Chaos A.D. album and Machine Head’s The More Things Change.

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