System of a Down, courtesy of the label

Is there a musical genre more reviled than nu-metal?

No, there isn't.

It's generally considered a relic of the '90s and early '00s that we're all still trying to forget. But believe it or not some of these oft-maligned acts actually have some talent, and are worthy of a little appreciation. Therefore, here are six nu-metal bands you shouldn't be ashamed to like. In fact, we encourage you to get down with the sickness*.

*Note: Disturbed is not a nu-metal band you should ever admit to enjoying.

6. Static X

The singer looks like the Slim Jim mascot. The band was indirectly formed by the Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan. Its former guitarist was jailed for kidnapping and sexual assault. You could say Static X have the odds stacked against them.

So why are they here? Because of 1999's Wisconsin Death Trip–an album that tapped into the nu-metal groove while still remaining tight and catchy. The result is a musical force akin to slamming a 24-pack of Mountain Dew and then abruptly having a seizure. Like, the fun kind.

5. KoRn

The members of KoRn should be honored simply for wearing tracksuits outside of New Jersey. Led by Jonathan Davis (the only man still sporting eyebrow piercings in 2013), this crew of Bakersfieldians stomped through the CD players of every self-pitying seventh- and eighth-grader across America with 1994's self-titled record.

It sucked. However, KoRn eventually dropped some of the contrived cheesiness and embraced a more melodic approach on mid-era albums like 1999's Issues and 2002's Untouchables. You'll still get made fun of for listening to angst-anthem songs like “Falling Away from Me,” “Here to Stay” and “Thoughtless,” but be bold and fearless like the 13-year-old dreadlock monster walking through the jock hall you once were.

4. System of a Down

Don't ever apologize for enjoying System of a Down. They are like a contemporary Armenian version of the Dead Kennedys. Yeah, that's right. We said it.

3. Slipknot

Hard to believe, perhaps, but Slipknot is likely the heaviest band to ever sell out entire arenas. Yes, their costumes are gimmicky and singer Corey Taylor whines and moans through about half the songs, but when you consider how angry some of the material is, it becomes easy to overlook that the band kind of sucks.

It's an honest mistake to make, and as such, you should never feel ashamed for liking Slipknot. Oh, and did you know that multiple members of the group started off in the repugnant Minneapolis “pornogrind” outfit Anal Blast. (R.I.P. Don Decker.)

2. Fear Factory

Fear Factory began as a fairly accessible metal band that provided a gateway for young struggling metalheads to get into more aggressive forms of music. With origins firmly in industrial and death-metal music, the Los Angeles quartet made a name for itself through the punishing record Demanufacture, which could be credited with starting the whole “I'm gonna yell during the verses and sing through the choruses” thing that remains a defining characteristic in bad radio metal today. Still, these guys definitely have their moments.

1. Tool

Tool is a nu-metal band. Need proof?

– Their singer is bald, and they have toured with Rage Against the Machine.

– Tool's members collaborated on various songs by Isis, which is a band people who used to listen to nu-metal go on to listen to later.

– Tool's singer also makes wine, which is a beverage that Marilyn Manson drinks. Marilyn Manson has toured with a lot of nu-metal bands.

Therefore, Tool is a nu-metal band. Cry about it on your way to your community-college sociology class as you comb your goatee.

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