Nowadays Nu Metal is usually just a punch line and looked back on mostly in a 'lol, weren't Limp Bizkit shit' way, but it's easy to forget just how all fucking pervading it was for a couple of years as far as mainstream metal was concerned. It was like everyone felt they had to go full 'down tuned shit with a DJ' to survive. See: Machine Head's comical tracksuit phase.
System of Down are usually considered Nu Metal big-hitters, but their debut was a genuine breath of fresh air at the time; it was crunchy and proper metal while still being a bit nuts and original. And that was still quite a while before the genre got properly massive.
They were bad times, and that's coming from someone who had Korn tipp-exed on his pencil-case.