For many music followers, nu-metal was a trend that sprang up in the late Nineties and petered out in the early days of the new millennium.
Limp Bizkit, poster band for the rap-metal hybrid, suffered from the departure of guitarist Wes Borland in 2001, and it seemed for a moment mainstream favor didn't know where to turn.
Among guitarists, however, "nu-metal" had only begun to reach its apex. As 2003 delivered an array of stripped-down garage rock -- The White Stripes, The Black Keys -- and explorations from long-standing heavyweights -- Metallica, Dream Theater -- it was undoubtedly a prolific year for the nu-metal elite. Both Staind and Linkin Park had No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200. While Korn, Sevendust and Deftones all released praiseworthy entries into the nu-metal annals.
Of course, there were more than seven-string, down-tuned guitars and guttural vocals in 2003. Although you might not guess that from checking out that year's Guitar World covers; most of the aforementioned bands made appearances. Nonetheless, there are several gems from '03 worth a listen. See this week's Best Guitar Album poll below and let us know which is your favorite.