Like I mentioned last time, my metal roots were planted in nu-metal. Korn were a big part of my younger teenage years, and set me off in the right foot. During this time, I had also discovered another big name in nu-metal, Slipknot, nu-metal/metalcore band Ill Nino, and up-and-coming metalcore band Trivium. If Korn was my way of dipping in my toe to test the waters, this is the moment where I jumped in.

My experience with Slipknot came before these other bands. I’ve heard of them during my childhood and thought the masked metallers were creepy as hell (let’s face it, those outside of the metal scene think Slipknot are metal, as was the case when I first became aware of it.) I first heard “Wait and Bleed” on the Scream movie soundtrack that I found laying around the house. What I heard surprised me, as I didn’t expect a band that looked like that to play something that was remotely catchy. I listened to the song quite a bit, but never really bothered to seek out any more of their music for quite a long time.


Enter: Sophomore year of high school. I had bought a PSP and a friend had let me borrow the zombie shooter game Infected. The game boasted a soundtrack which included Ill Nino, Chimaira, Fear Factory, Trivium, and Slipknot. The game blared out melodic metal in which I didn’t know really existed, and I dug it. Infected included the Slipknot songs “Eyeless,” “Everything Ends,” and the song that sold the band to me, “Pulse of the Maggots.” These were the first songs I enjoyed that didn’t include a cleanly sung chorus, and my interest for aggressive music had reached a new height. You could also play as some of the Slipknot members, so blasting zombies as Corey Taylor was fun times.

Slipknot – Pulse of The Maggots

Trivium’s song “Pull Harder on the Strings of your Martyr” also caught my ear while playing. The song’s hook was stuck in my head all the time, prompting me to check out their album Ascendancy. I absolutely loved that album at the time, and listened to it so much I eventually got burned out on it. I haven’t heard Trivium in quite some time, as I lost interest since The Crusade saw a change in style. I don’t remember what Shogun sounded like or if I liked it or not, so it must have not been too amazing. Ascendancy remains close to, if not at, the top of my list of favorite metalcore albums.


I took a liking to Ill Nino as well, but to a lesser degree. They were pretty catchy while still maintaining some resemblance to metal. Since I was on a roll with enjoying the bands on this game, their song “When it Cuts” prompted me to check out their album Confessions. It was a pretty good album, and had a few spins. My enjoyment of Ill Nino didn’t last as long as my enjoyment of Slipknot and Trivium, but I include them here today as these three bands together catapulted me into the metalcore scene, and thus, into the realm of heavy music.

Ill Nino – When It Cuts

The Sony PSP is, wholly, a weak and dying portable system. However, I do owe my love of heavy music to the PSP. Without it and the game Infected, I might not have found out about these bands and decided to look for similar music. Thank you PSP, you did something right.

Next week, we’ll take a look at the first REAL metal band I got into. Care to take guesses in the comments?

– JR

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