Let's take it back to '99. Nu-metal was the dominating force in heavy music, and the underground was thriving with imaginative and innovative new sounds that blended genres from within and outside of heavy metal. Meanwhile, Y2K threatened to take down the entirety of the civilized world.

Some would argue that Limp Bizkit presented that same threat, but you won't see them here—that's our rock list that's coming.

While heavy metal faltered in the mainstream with several veteran acts trying mightily to regain their footing, there was promise for the new millennium. Agalloch beautifully captured a mystical folk essence within their black metal foundation, Zakk Wylde launched Black Label Society, which gelled nicely with the post-grunge era, Children of Bodom restored the glory of blazing melodic guitar work and a new era of power metal was cropping up.

There's a lot more to the story of heavy metal in 1999 than just that, but we've done enough jawing let's get to the 50 Metal Songs That Defined 1999!

Scroll through the song list in the gallery below and take 'em all with you with our Spotify playlist.

50 Metal Songs That Defined 1999 Playlist