Nu-metal and Astrology by Hiroko Oshida

Nu-metal is one of the genres in the metal music scene. It emerged in the mid 90s and conquered the scene until the very early 2000s. As its name “nu” indicates, nu-metal is admitted as a new style of metal which evolved from the old-school. Nu-metal keeps aggressive and loud sounds as the old-school, but also it incorporates sounds from various genres such as alternative rock, rap, industrial music and so on. On the other hand, unlike the old-school, hurt, conflict and wounded feelings feature in some of nu-metal songs. This generates dark, pessimistic and vulnerable sounds, but it also makes its heaviness and aggressiveness more intense. Its volcanic force is remarkable as if it ate out its bitterness to amplify its latent power. Some lyrics seem to be filled with a revengeful fighting spirit towards bitter experiences.

Nu-metal might have got sympathy from the young, sharing with them a volcanic and frustrated energy within, and also similar experiences or feelings. It might have both powerful and sensitive facets.

As the outer planets symbolise generational influence and aspects of society, nu-metal’s thriving era was in the exact period while Uranus was in Aquarius from 1995 to 2003. In addition, to think of its origin, probably its fuse was lit by Uranus and Neptune’s conjunction in Capricorn in the early 90s. Nu-metal could be a son of novelty (Uranus) and music (Neptune) with actualization energy towards society (Capricorn).

Uranus and Neptune’s conjunction in Capricorn would shake and awake people’s sleeping conscious and make them move towards the outer world in order to claim their realities. Even though they would still be in a muddy situation, this powerful conjunction would make them try to emerge from a chaotic storm to stand on their own two feet. Especially I feel this when listening to early nu-metal. Its aggressive and sombre tunes and grievous and brutal screams sound like they are discharging pus and struggling to escape and establish their own solid beings. Probably early nu-metal’s stance was to fight for a solid place in the world as it was affected by the conjunction of Uranus and Neptune.

As Uranus was moving through Capricorn with Neptune, nu-metal was obtaining its position in the music scene and gaining fans around the world, its radical artistry was being accepted, and its sounds inspired kids who inherited its spirit. The son of novelty and music was frustrated and struggling, getting ready to stand and claim its originality with Capricorn’s power of achievement behind it, making things become real.

Uranus entered into Aquarius in 1995 making a conjunction with Neptune (but Neptune was still in Capricorn). Aquarius seemed to welcome nu-metal’s untraditional style! Rapping, having two singers, playing with DJs, having nine persons in one band… it was far from the so-called usual rock band style. Super new, really eccentric, fresh and radical innovation, futuristic technology, untraditional form, challenging the status quo with friends, strong-willed independence…. I think nu-metal can include most of the identifiable traits of Uranus in Aquarius.

Nu-metal is close to other music genres like rock, rap, industrial, tribal, sometimes even religious (friendly). It mixes these genres with metal (eccentric, challenge), and produces a new genre of metal (innovation). Nu-metal became a build-up genre (independence) and got a lot of fans (allies). Some of them played industrial (technology), and some of them played tribal music mixed with metal (challenge to tradition and history). Some bands were formed as an untraditional band style (strange, new, abnormal) and they did not wear rock-star like clothes (friendly again), and they sang out their complaints against the system and politics to overturn social discrimination (rebellion, anarchism).

Moreover, there was a new generational aspect with Pluto, which was sextile. This configuration suggests charismatic innovation, magnetic uniqueness, and a fascinating urge to challenge. In fact, while Uranus was making a tight sextile with Pluto, its conjunction with Neptune was gradually untying. As time passed, the influence of Pluto might have got stronger as Pluto was applying to Uranus. With this striking sextile, people effervesced nu-metal, which moved and shook up metalheads’ hidden emotions. Nu-Metal moved from a chaotic situation to become independent with strong determination – no more groping. Around the late 90s, nu-metal had already been admitted as a genre in the music scene with support from Uranus and Pluto’s sextile.

Nu-metal era could be divided into a Capricorn period and an Aquarius one. Nu-metal’s realization/formation was be symbolised while Uranus was in Capricorn, and its progress/independence when Uranus was in Aquarius, as each of these signs include these meanings. Looking back to nu-metal history, its glorious era was in the mid and late 90s in the Uranus in Aquarius period. People enjoyed nu-metal’s new, unique and eccentric style. The Uranus in Capricorn period might suggest nu-metal’s urge to find uniqueness and actualise its individuality in the world.

In addition, each era has influence from two other outer planets, Neptune and Pluto. Neptune’s influence in Capricorn seems like a Genesis – solidifying its own individuality from the muddy world. On the other hand, Pluto’s influence in Sagittarius indicates charismatic uniqueness as nu-metal’s extraneousness could magnetise people so much. Nu-metal might have experienced a journey of independence (Uranus) from longings, perplexity, and inspiration (Neptune) for reality (Capricorn) with greater (Sagittarius) fortitude (Pluto). Nu-metal in the Capricorn era might have been like a baby who is about to be born. And in the Aquarius era, a son that struggled but that finally went to become a king with a definite independent power.

But everything has an end. Nu-metal rocking era seemed to last forever, but it faced a sudden fall around 2003, and then a new genre appeared. Instead of dying as a king nu-metal was being divested of its crown by a new prince – “emo,” and at that time Uranus entered into Pisces; an emotional sign.

Hiroko OshidaHiroko is a Distance Learning Diploma student from Japan.


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