2001 had big shoes to fill after the massive year for heavy music in 2000; nu-metal was hitting the stratosphere off the back of albums like Hybrid Theory, White Pony and Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water, and it seemed like the gold rush would never end.
Just like the turn of the millennium, 2001 also had some massive surprises in store with some amazing must-own albums that have still held up after all these years.
It's hard to think these are all now 20 years old, but here are 11 of the very best tock and metal albums to have arrived in 2001!
Slipknot - Iowa
Where to begin with this absolute behemoth of an album? Slipknot were riding high in 2001 after their debut 1999 self-titled album exploded their global popularity, and Iowa took things to another level with a collection of pure, crystallised hatred.
Chock-full of stomping rhythms, maniacal vocals and heavy riffs, some Slipknot fans argue that this era of the band was their darkest and heaviest to date, and there's a real chance they might be right.
Corey Taylor reportedly recorded the album's desolate 15-minute closing track while naked, cutting himself with broken glass and vomiting, which only illustrates how intense the whole thing is. A legendary album.
Converge - Jane Doe
Ask any metalcore historian out there and they'll tell you that Jane Doe is one of the most influential albums of all time. It's a much more abrasive and chaotic affair when you put it up against other metalcore bands like Killswitch Engage, a fact which is immediately apparent with the shotgun-blast to the face that is the opening track 'Concubine'.
But where other metalcore was prone to repetition and falling into its own mold, Converge displayed a versatility by incorporating influences ranging from hardcore punk, to thrash metal and even doom metal over its twelve tracks.
This one didn't immediately gain its legendary status, but built up a slow-burning legacy over the coming decade. Sputnikmusic even called it the best album of the 2000s, putting it ahead of iconic records like Radiohead's Kid A.
System Of A Down - Toxicity
2001 marked the start of System Of A Down's global takeover - Toxicity had their name on absolutely everyone's lips thanks to the singles 'Chop Suey!', 'Aerials' and 'Toxicity', then hopping on a co-headlining tour with Slipknot later that year.
And all that love was completely warranted, because Toxicity really is something to behold. It came off as a little more focused than their debut self-titled album but still remained intense and frantic, with Serj Tankian's legendary vocal performances on tracks like 'Prison Song' and 'Jet Pilot' elevating this to must-own status for any fan of heavy music.
Thursday - Full Collapse
Just like Converge did for metalcore with Jane Doe, Thursday released one of the best post-hardcore records of all time with Full Collapse that very same year.
Thursday were not considered an immediately accessible band, largely in part to vocalist Geoff Rickley's unique style of singing, but their distinct version of dramatic and honest emo put them right at the top of their genre's heap.
Full Collapse's opening track 'Understanding In A Car Crash' is widely-considered to be one of the defining songs in post-hardcore, and the album overall has stood the test of time.
Tool - Lateralus
Tool fans had to wait five long years after the release of 1996's Ænima (although that's nothing compared to the wait for Fear Inoculum), but they were rewarded with an absolute masterpiece in Lateralus.
In true Tool fashion, the album clocked in at well over an hour, and used unparalleled musicianship to create a dense and almost psychedelic journey.
It's full of bangers like 'Schism' and 'The Grudge', and of course, there's the album's title track which famously uses the Fibonacci sequence as the basis for the song's rhythm. Who else would even do that?
Sevendust - Animosity
Many fans pick Sevendust's third album Animosity as the best in their 13-record catalogue, and while it's hard to say for sure with such a consistent band, the argument is certainly there.
If someone asked you to show them Sevendust for the first time, you'd likely pick a song off this one to show them - the bouncy grooves, soulful vocal hooks from Lajon Witherspoon and hard-hitting drums from Morgan Rose are all at their peak, and the quality rarely lets down until the end.
Alien Ant Farm - ANThology
Everyone knows Alien Ant Farm as that band who did the 'Smooth Criminal' cover, but ANThology was unfortunately overshadowed by the monstrous success of their take on the Michael Jackson classic.
If that's all you had heard from them before, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Alien Ant Farm were just another party pop-rock band, but the rest of ANThology showed that they could write some meaningful anthems and pretty heavy tunes backed by some rock-solid musicianship.
Other tracks worth checking out from this one include 'Attitude', 'Movies' and 'Whisper', but there are more than a handful of really solid songs to be found, making ANThology one of the better rock releases of 2001.
Rammstein - Mutter
If you needed any more indication of why 2001 was such a massive year for heavy music, look no further than Rammstein's magnum opus, Mutter.
This one is easily one of the best industrial metal records of all time, right up there with the best of Nine Inch Nails and Ministry. The first six songs from the album were all released as singles, demonstrating just how much quality Rammstein were able to pack into just 45 minutes.
And here's a fun fact - 'Sonne' was actually written as entrance music for Ukrainian boxing brothers and heavyweight world champions Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko. The two opted to use something else in the end, but hey - their loss!
Opeth - Blackwater Park
While we're on the topic of magnum opuses, Opeth released their own with Blackwater Park, an all-time classic that saw Mikael Akerfeldt cement himself as a luminary of progressive music.
Right from the devastating opening of 'The Leper Affinity', fans are treated to a slow, dripping evil that eats away at the face over its 66-minute duration, and one that will just as quickly assault you with metal riffs as it will pull back to beautiful acoustic passages.
The title track still stands today as one of the greatest metal songs ever written - a 12-minute epic that winds through the heavy and soft, the light and dark and everything in between.
Even today, few things compare to throwing on a good pair of headphones in the dark and losing yourself in this masterwork.
Slayer - God Hates Us All
There was a lot of controversy surrounding the release of Slayer's ninth album, as it released on September 11 and inadvertently became associated with 9/11 as a result.
God Hates Us All was a solid return to form after their previous two records Diablous in Musica and Undisputed Attitude failed to hit the mark with fans and critics, with some even calling it their best since South Of Heaven and Reign In Blood.
Slayer experimented a little bit more on this one with Kerry King exploring a wider variety of lyrical ideas, and 7-string guitars being used on a couple of tracks as well, making it a fantastic record overall.
Godflesh - Hymns
Industrial pioneers Godflesh were well into their career by 2001 - in fact, Hymns was their sixth record and would be their final before initially breaking up in 2002.
It was also a perfect send-off for them too, combining almost every element they'd crafted over the years including mechanical riffing and cold soundscapes, while a human drummer was brought in for only the second time ever to make Hymns feel alive at the same time.
It's a much more raw and stripped-back listen than something like Fear Factory, but Godflesh rode off into the sunset with another outstanding album. They reunited in 2009 and have since put out two more albums, A World Lit Only By Fire (2014) and Post Self (2017).