Heavy millennium 

So when is that new Raptones CD coming out? Never heard of them? Don't worry, it's only a matter of time someone starts blending the year's biggest fads in heavy rock: rap and being influenced by the Deftones.

If your band isn't really either, it means you might actually survive once this glut of mediocrity breaks. Let's face it, Fred Durst's "TRL" suck-up routine with Carson Daly is wearing as thin as the blood trying to flow underneath that cute little backwards baseball cap. Since Limp Bizkit's rapcore snottiness sprang to prominence in 1999, the POD's and Papa Roach's have been crawling from the woodwork. Who could blame them? Nothing more than boy band trash-pop with loud guitars, Bizkit embarrassed the metal world with his Christina Aguilera shenanigans.

They thrilled the industry with their sales, though, which inevitably brings a million copy bands with marginal talent flooding the marketplace. So it's official: we have a glut. Case in point, the band Cold. Durst's latest find marks the definitive sign that creativity has been sucked dry. We've reached the time in the cycle when bands start disappearing, and only the few that were there first will continue making CDs as this decade uncovers its next fad.

Survival of the fittest is a good thing, though. Bizkit and their ilk are zits waiting to pop as puberty robs them of their fans. Growth really isn't an option. Could it be that Kid Rock will really be the last one standing from this mess? Bet on it.

Heavy rock's other trend, heralded by the Deftones, at least offers a bit of promise. Bands like Taproot and Glassjaw are just a few being sold by labels as walking in the footsteps of the legendary group. Somewhat strange, since the Deftones' White Pony, while one of the best releases of 2000, hasn't exactly dominated the charts. On the bright side, the best thing about starting a fad and then being outsold by your progeny is that you'll probably be around when the kids have disappeared. And for the Deftones' brood, at least there's somewhere to go musically. Look for Taproot to make some noise in the next few years.

The only real constant in metal remains Ozzy Osbourne. As long as wife can prop him up onstage, Ozzfest will continue. His traveling insanity fest continues to break the next wave. Static-X and Disturbed look like solid mainstays for at least three more years -- eons by today's standards.

Two other bands that emerged this year, however, seem to have the best chances for a legitimate career: Incubus and Godsmack. Incubus' brand of schizoid punk/metal/ electronica/jazz/hip-hop fusion smells like superstar status by full-length number four. Godsmack simply has the chemistry and songs to be the real-deal rock monsters Metallica has vainly tried to be over the past five years.

Making room for these up-and-comers: Pantera. While they're still the masters of live metal performance, their Reinventing the Steel album did about as much for their creative future in 2000 as Firestone did for tires.

The torch has been passed to Slipknot.


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