Ah, this old chestnut…
Within the circles I move in (Metal Hammer journos, download attendees etc) the first nu-metal bands are generally considered to be Korn and Deftones. I interviewed former Korn drummer David Silveria last year and he outright said “We invented nu-metal”, although I’m sure there are people who would dispute that. They might argue that RATM ‘invented’ it, because they were pioneers of rap-rock specifically.
Were RATM nu-metal? I’d say no. They certainly paved the way by marrying rap vocals to metal riffs but musically, Morello’s playing owes far more to traditional 70s riffing and soloing. Definitely tangentially connected, and responsible for its rise, but they are to nu-metal as, say, The Ramones are to pop-punk. Or perhaps more accurately, as Dookie-era Green Day are to bands like New Found Glory.
Slipknot were arguably nu-metal to begin with - certainly had some of the hallmarks: no solos, downtuned guitars, a DJ. But from Iowa onwards they’ve arguably been just a metal act, albeit very different from trad-metal. Just way, way heavier than any other nu-metal bands and kinda operating in a field of one.
Then you’ve got bands who were associated with nu-metal but who subsequently transcended the genre. This is where Deftones fit now, imo. They certainly tick the boxes, early on: downtuned riffs, no solos, angsty lyrics and vocals. But to consider Deftones as they exist now as a nu-metal band is tantamount to saying that The Prodigy are a ‘rave’ act or that Taylor Swift is a country artist.
Even nu-metal-punchline bands like Papa Roach have managed to forge very successful careers (they sold out Brixton this year, and sell an absolute shitload of albums Stateside). There’s still an element of nu-metal to their sound (particularly the vocals) but musically it’s very much contemporary ‘radio metal’, the kind of which you hear shitloads of at Download (think All That Remains, Five Finger Death Punch, Alter Bridge etc)
As for ‘new’ nu-metal, it’s certainly having something of a moment. The most obvious example is Cane Hill, who sound like the exact midpoint between Slipknot’s first album and Korn’s Follow the Leader. There’s also bands like Ocean Grove, an australian band who are arguably nu-metalcore, and Issues, who take a more R’n’B-influenced approach to the vocals.
Essentially, people who were super-young when nu-metal was at its peak and have grown up without viewing it with the disdain that is generally accepted as de rigeur when discussing the genre.