Editors' Notes As the 2000s began, hard rock had a nu-metal hangover: Limp Bizkit’s rugged riffage still had teeth, while P.O.D.’s thundering anthems and Papa Roach’s slash-and-burn approach rose to prominence. The genre was given an electrifying creative jolt by Linkin Park, a California group whose hip-hop-tinted take on nu-metal—and frustration-filled lyrics that zeroed in on the pain of personal shortcomings—felt fresh and energetic, not to mention all too relatable to a generation paralysed by post-September 11 uncertainty and turmoil. In fact, although ’90s superstars such as Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers continued to churn out comfort-food hits, a new breed of ambitious hard rockers captured the decade’s winds of change. Muse and My Chemical Romance unleashed heroic glam epics, Evanescence embraced an operatic vocal delivery and radio-ready acts like Shinedown merged unstoppable hooks with roiling emotional angst.

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