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100 Best Rock Bands of the 2000s

I have been an online writer for over six years. I am passionate about books, philosophy, music, and the music industry.


As the ‘90s faded away, putting the brakes on grunge, a new musical era emerged. While pop music ruled the charts, rock music continued to evolve and develop by merging with other genres. The 2000s were defined by the emergence of various pop rock and post-grunge bands. The new millennium has brought us many fascinating acts that blend a variety of genres together to form new sonic experiences.

While the decade is gone, it leaves behind a legacy of sheer bliss and nostalgia. The lines below showcase a diverse list of rock bands from the mesmerizing 2000s. If you connect with music from this decade, then you'll definitely have something to say. Feel free to voice your views and opinions in the comments section.

Top 10 Best Rock Bands of the 2000s

  1. Linkin Park (New Metal/Alternative Metal)
  2. Avenged Sevenfold (Metalcore/Heavy Metal)
  3. Green Day (Punk Rock/Pop Punk)
  4. Snow Patrol (Alternative Rock/Power Pop)
  5. Korn (Nu Metal/Alternative Metal)
  6. Nickelback (Post Grunge/Alternative Rock)
  7. Slipknot (Heavy Metal/Groove Metal/Alternative Metal)
  8. Fall Out Boy (Pop Punk/Pop Rock)
  9. System of a Down (Heavy Metal/Alternative Metal)
  10. Blink-182 (Pop Punk/Punk Rock)

Post Grunge in the 2000s

The post-grunge scene, which came into prominence towards the end of the ‘90s, scaled to new heights in the 2000s. Angst and anger, which were key elements of the grunge movement, made way for more conventional themes and narratives. Bands associated with this movement flourished in alternative circles, garnering cult followings. While the post-grunge movement started in the U.S., it gradually gained a global following.

Best Rock Bands of the 2000s #11—20

11. Creed (Post Grunge/Alternative Rock)

12. Radiohead (Alternative Rock/Art Rock)

13. Killswitch Engage (Metalcore)

14. Coldplay (Alternative Rock/Pop Rock)

15. Disturbed (Heavy Metal/Alternative Metal)

16. The Click Five (Power Pop/Alternative Rock)

17. Porcupine Tree (Progressive Rock)

18. Foo Fighters (Post Grunge/Alternative Rock)

19. Underoath (Metalcore)

20. Audioslave (Alternative Metal/Hard Rock/Post Grunge)

Pop Rock in the 2000s

The defining musical event of the 2000s was the explosion of pop rock bands. A number of bands associated with the genre kick-started their careers with chart-topping success. What’s noteworthy is the fact that many bands in this genre had breakthrough debut albums.

Suddenly, major record labels started signing upcoming bands and artists in the pop rock domain. Female musicians gave the genre a unique identity, embellishing rock 'n' roll with bubblegum pop. Power pop stamped its authority in this decade and influenced many bands in the years that followed.

Nu Metal in the 2000s

The early 2000s witnessed the rise of a new musical movement known as nu metal. Although the roots of nu metal emerged in the late ‘90s, the genre gained solid ground in the 2000s. This new wave of metal jumpstarted the careers of many bands. The movement also propelled rap metal in a new direction.

The infectious riff-based grooves that formed the core sound of nu metal became popular during this decade. Certain bands associated with nu metal, rap metal, and rap rock had tremendous mainstream success throughout the 2000s.

Indie Rock in the 2000s

Although it was not the most memorable decade for indie rock, a number of bands associated with the genre had chart-topping success. While many indie bands did not get significant coverage on music television channels, many bands associated with this genre found considerable success on the internet. A number of unsigned indie bands promoted their music through social networking sites and streaming services. Internet radio helped album sales significantly.

Best Rock Bands of the 2000s #21—40

21. Papa Roach (Nu Metal/Alternative Metal)

22. Sum 41 (Punk Rock/Pop Punk)

23. Bullet For My Valentine (Metalcore/Heavy Metal)

24. Tool (Progressive Metal/Alternative Metal)

25. The Strokes (Garage Rock/Indie Rock)

26. Weezer (Alternative Rock/Power Pop/Pop Punk)

27. Limp Bizkit (Nu Metal/Rap Metal)

28. My Chemical Romance (Alternative Rock/Pop Punk/Emo)

29. Trivium (Heavy Metal/Metalcore)

30. Animal Collective (Psychedelia/Experimental Pop/Indie Rock/Noise Rock)

31. Lifehouse (Alternative Rock/Post Grunge/Pop Rock)

32. Deftones (Alternative Metal)

33. Godsmack (Heavy Metal/Post Grunge/Nu Metal)

34. Bon Jovi (Hard Rock/Glam Metal)

35. Alter Bridge (Alternative Metal/Post Grunge)

36. Nine Inch Nails (Industrial Rock)

37. Good Charlotte (Pop Punk/Alternative Rock)

38. Modest Mouse (Indie Rock/Alternative Rock)

39. Franz Ferdinand (Post Punk Revival/Indie Rock)

40. Meshuggah (Extreme Metal)

Pop Punk in the 2000s

The ‘90s punk rock movement evolved into a slick and sophisticated sound known as pop punk in the 2000s. The genre became the quintessential teen-scene in this decade. A number of bands associated with this genre released successful debut albums. The anthem-like verses and choruses (which were often interspersed with power chord riffs) in pop punk songs gave the genre a unique identity.

The second wave of pop punk, which emerged in the mid-2000s, spread its fan base far and wide. While pop punk uses darker lyrical themes, the genre is not without it flair. Certain bands associated with the genre had critically acclaimed albums, which became commercially successful with mainstream audiences.

Metalcore in the 2000s

The metalcore movement came into its own in the 2000s. The typical metalcore sound fused elements of hardcore punk and extreme metal. Many bands associated with the genre also started blending grindcore and crust punk elements into their songs. The characteristic use of breakdowns, followed by slow and intense riffs, created an atmosphere conducive to moshing. This songwriting technique became emblematic of the metalcore sound.

Metalcore blended standard singing with screaming, growling, heavy guitar riffs, double bass drumming, and percussive pedal tones together to create its own unique identity. While few bands found success commercially, a number of bands in this genre found a huge fan base in the underground metal movement. Due to the popularity of metalcore, a number of other heavy metal subgenres came into prominence.

Best Rock Bands of the 2000s #41—60

41. Drowning Pool (Post Grunge/Alternative Metal)

42. Switchfoot (Alternative Rock/Post Grunge)

43. Death Cab For Cutie (Alternative Rock/Indie Rock

44. Jimmy Eat World (Alternative Rock/Emo Pop)

45. The Offspring (Punk Rock/Skate Punk)

46. Interpol (Post-Punk Revival/Garage Rock)

47. Kings of Leon (Alternative Rock/Garage Rock)

48. The Bravery (Post Punk Revival/Alternative Rock)

49. Puddle of Mudd (Post Grunge/Alternative Rock)

50. Stained (Alternative Metal/Post Grunge)

51. The Black Keys (Garage Rock)

52. Muse (Alternative Rock)

53. Breaking Benjamin (Post Grunge/Hard Rock/Alternative Metal)

54. 30 Seconds To Mars (Alternative Rock)

55. U2 (Rock)

56. Hoobastank (Post Grunge/Alternative Rock)

57. New Found Glory (Pop Punk)

58. Evanescence (Metal/Rock/Gothic Rock)

59. Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Indie Rock/Garage Rock)

60. Seether (Post Grunge/Alternative Metal)

Hard Rock and Heavy Metal in the 2000s

The supremacy of grunge music in the ‘90s led to the demise of hair metal and hard rock. However, hard rock bands that had enormous commercial success in the ‘90s continued to maintain their popularity in the 2000s.

Certain bands changed their musical styles to adapt to new trends, while most bands retained the core elements of hard rock and heavy metal. Although there was a decline in album releases among hard rock bands and heavy metal bands, most bands had extensive touring schedules throughout the decade.

Emo in the 2000s

While emo made its presence felt in the ‘90s, the genre gained mainstream success in the 2000s. The emo music that emerged during this decade showcased a broader emphasis on confessional lyrics. Emo bands stated being recognized for their unique forms of storytelling.

Furthermore, the term “emo” became emblematic of a subculture associated with fashion, hairstyles, and other aesthetic attributes. Although emo had considerable success throughout this decade, the genre failed to surpass the popularity of pop rock and post-grunge.

Best Rock Bands of the 2000s #61—80

61. The Killers (Alternative Rock/Post Punk Revival)

62. Wiclo (Alternative Rock/Experimental Rock/Indie Rock)

63. Paramore (Pop Rock/Alternative Rock/Pop Punk)

64. Our Lady Peace (Post Grunge/Alternative Rock)

65. Maroon 5 (Pop Rock)

66. Queens of the Stone Age (Alternative Rock/Stoner Rock)

67. LCD Soundsystem (Electronic Rock/Dance Punk)

68. Pearl Jam (Alternative Rock/Grunge)

69. Simple Plan (Pop Punk/Alternative Rock)

70. The Hives (Garage Rock/Garage Punk)

71. Metallica (Heavy Metal/Thrash Metal)

72. Arctic Monkeys (Garage Rock/Indie Rock)

73. Red Hot Chili Peppers (Funk Rock/Alternative Rock/Funk Metal)

74. The All-American Rejects (Alternative Rock/Power Pop/Emo Pop)

75. Shinedown (Alternative Metal/Post Grunge)

76. Rilo Kiley (Indie Rock)

77. Coheed and Cambria (Progressive Rock)

78. The Vines (Alternative Rock/Garage Rock)

79. Skillet (Christian Rock/Christian Metal/Nu Metal)

80. Aerosmith (Hard Rock)

New Wave Revival: Garage Rock and Post Punk in the 2000s

In early 2000, several mainstream bands emerged that drew inspiration from new wave and post-punk. With their unique blending of musical influences, these bands were seen as part of the new wave, post-punk, and garage rock revival. Interestingly, the garage rock scene in the 2000s didn’t spread from one country or region. Instead, the garage rock movement emerged from many different countries simultaneously, leading to an alternative subculture.

Although the appropriateness of garage rock is often disputed in music circles, a number of bands that emerged from the scene made it big with mainstream audiences. The internet played a pivotal role in helping underground, unsigned bands reach a wide audience. While the garage rock and post-punk genres flourished during this decade, only a few bands from these genres were able to strike recording contracts with major record labels.

Best Rock Bands of the 2000s #81—100

81. The Mars Volta (Progressive Rock)

82. Shadows Fall (Heavy Metal/Metalcore/Thrash Metal)

83. Daughtry (Alternative Rock/Pop Rock)

84. The Fray (Pop Rock/Alternative Rock)

85. The Black Dahlia Murder (Melodic Death Metal)

86. Kaiser Chiefs (Indie Rock/Post Punk Revival)

87. Incubus (Alternative Rock)

88. AC/DC (Hard Rock)

89. Arcade Fire (Indie Rock)

90. Lamb of God (Heavy Metal/Groove Metal)

91. Opeth (Progressive Death Metal/Progressive Metal)

92. Spoon (indie Rock/Post Punk Revival)

93. Nightwish (Symphonic Metal)

94. Dream Theater (Progressive Metal)

95. Mastadon (Heavy Metal/Progressive Metal)

96. Barenaked Ladies (Alternative Rock)

97. Symphony X (Progressive Metal)

98. Three Days Grace (Post Grunge/Alternative Metal)

99. The Von Bondies (Alternative Rock/Indie Rock)

100. Hatebreed (Metalcore)

Other Notable Rock Bands of the 2000s

More Indie, Alternative, Garage Rock of the 2000s

  • The Shins (Indie Rock)
  • Kasabian (Indie Rock/Alternative Rock)
  • Oasis (Rock/Alternative Rock)
  • The Libertines (Indie Rock/Garage Rock/Punk Rock)
  • Bright Eyes (Indie Rock)
  • The New Pornographers (Indie Rock/Power Pop)
  • Wolfmother (Rock/Hard Rock)
  • Grizzly Bear (Indie Rock)
  • The National (Alternative Rock/Indie Rock)

More Heavy, Death, and Alt Metal Bands of the 2000s

  • Entombed (Death Metal)
  • Poison The Well (Metalcore/Melodic Metalcore)
  • 3 Inches of Blood (Heavy Metal)
  • Lacuna Coil (Gothic Metal/Alternative Metal)
  • DragonForce (Power Metal)
  • Chevelle (Alternative Metal/Post Grunge)
  • Unearth (Metalcore)
  • Kylesa (Sludge Metal/Alternative Metal)
  • Gojira (Heavy Metal/Technical Death Metal)
  • Dimmu Borgir (Symphonic Black Metal)
  • Alien Ant Farm (Post Grunge/Nu Metal/Alternative Metal)
  • The Darkness (Hard Rock/Glam Metal)
  • Kittie (Heavy Metal/Groove Metal/Alternative Metal)
  • Converge (Metalcore/Mathcore)
  • Within Temptation (Symphonic Metal)

More Punk Rock of the 2000s

  • The Bronx (Punk Rock)
  • Rise Against (Punk Rock)
  • Radio 4 (Dance Punk)
  • Zebrahead (Punk Rock/Pop Punk)
  • The Rapture (Dance Punk/Indie Rock/Post Punk Revival)
  • High On Fire (Heavy Metal)
  • Thrice (Post Hardcore/Alternative Rock)
  • Judas Priest (Heavy Metal)
  • Thousand Foot Crutch (Christian Rock/Hard Rock)
  • Boys Like Girls (Pop Rock/Pop Punk)
  • Saliva (Nu Metal/Post Grunge)
  • Iron Maiden (Heavy Metal)
  • Crowbar (Heavy Metal/Sludge Metal)
  • Theory of a Deadman (Post Grunge/Alternative Metal)
  • Sabaton (Power Metal)
  • Lordi (Hard Rock/Heavy Metal)
  • Third Eye Blind (Alternative Rock/Pop Rock)
  • A Day To Remember (Metalcore/Pop Punk)
  • Sick Puppies (Alternative Metal)
  • OneRepublic (Pop Rock)
  • Sigur Ros (Avant Rock/Post Rock)
  • Yellowcard (Alternative Rock/Pop Punk)
  • The Smashing Pumpkins (Alternative Rock)
  • Red (Christian Rock/Alternative Rock)
  • Sonata Arctica (Power Metal)
  • Protest the Hero (Progressive Metal/Mathcore)
  • Electric Six (Alternative Rock/New Wave)
  • The Dillinger Escape Plan (Metalcore)
  • Between The Buried and Me (Progressive Metal/Technical Death Metal)
  • Amon Amarth (Melodic Death Metal)
  • Cold (Post Grunge/Alternative Rock)
  • Trapt (Alternative Rock/Post Grunge)
  • Velvet Revolver (Alternative Metal/Hard Rock)
  • Avantasia (Symphonic Metal/Metal Opera)
  • The White Stripes (Rock/Garage Rock/Blues Rock/Alternative Rock)
  • Mushroomhead (Industrial Metal/Nu Metal/Alternative Metal)
  • Coal Chamber (Nu Metal/Alternative Metal)
  • Rammstein (Industrial Metal)
  • Stone Sour (Alternative Metal/Post Grunge)
  • Brand New (Alternative Rock/Indie Rock/Emo)
  • All Time Low (Pop Punk/Pop Rock)
  • P.O.D (Christian Nu Metal)
  • Buckcherry (Hard Rock)
  • Vertical Horizon (Alternative Rock)
  • Iced Earth (Heavy Metal)
  • Taking Back Sunday (Alternative Rock/Pop Punk)
  • Bring Me the Horizon (Metalcore/Alternative Metal)
  • Epica (Symphonic Metal)
  • Riverside (Progressive Metal)
  • Panic! at the Disco (Pop Rock/Pop Punk)
  • Counting Crows (Alternative Rock/Rock)
  • Fear Factory (Heavy Metal/Industrial Metal/Groove Metal)
  • Marilyn Manson (Industrial Metal/Industrial Rock)
  • HIM (Gothic Rock/Gothic Metal)
  • A Perfect Circle (Alternative Metal/Alternative Rock)
  • Bloc Party (Indie Rock/Post Punk Revival)
  • Machine Head (Heavy Metal/Groove Metal)
  • Cradle of Filth (Extreme Metal)
  • Strapping Young Lad (Extreme Metal/Industrial Metal)
  • 12 Stones (Christian Rock/Post Grunge)
  • Vanilla Ninja (Pop Rock/Hard Rock)
  • The Used (Rock/Emo/Screamo)
  • Biffy Clyro (Alternative Rock)
  • Static-X (Industrial Metal/Nu Metal/Alternative Metal)
  • 36 Crazyfists (Metalcore)
  • Tokio Hotel (Pop Rock/Pop Punk)
  • Royal Hunt (Progressive Metal)
  • AFI (Alternative Rock/Emo)
  • Enslaved (Extreme Metal)
  • Behemoth (Extreme Metal)
  • The Rasmus (Rock/Alternative Rock)
  • Black Label Society (Heavy Metal/Groove Metal)
  • Napalm Death (Extreme Metal)
  • Placebo (Alternative Rock)
  • Matchbox 20 (Rock/Alternative Rock))
  • Flyleaf (Alternative Rock/Alternative Metal)
  • Bowling For Soup (Pop Punk/Pop Rock)
  • Marianas Trench (Pop Rock)
  • Garbage (Alternative Rock)
  • Pain of Salvation (Progressive Rock/Progressive Metal)
  • We The Kings (Pop Punk/Pop Rock)
  • Jet (Garage Rock/Alternative Rock)
  • Eighteen Visions (Metalcore/Alternative Metal)
  • Baroness (Sludge Metal/Alternative Metal)
  • Children of Bodom (Extreme Metal)
  • The Dirtbombs (Garage Rock/Garage Punk)
  • Sevendust (Alternative Metal)
  • Whitechapel (Deathcore)
  • Electric Wizard (Doom Metal)
  • Stratovarious (Power Metal)
  • The Gaslight Anthem (Heartland Rock/Punk Rock)
  • Pop Evil (Hard Rock Alternative Metal)
  • Billy Talent (Punk Rock/Alternative Rock)
  • Scar Symmetry (Melodic Death Metal)

© 2019 Ansel Pereira


Paprika on August 10, 2020:

Based on what? Total record sales?

Marcos on July 08, 2020:


yudh on July 05, 2020:

wtf happened to hinder?

Dave on June 07, 2020:

Alter Bridge #35? They are WAAAAY better than bands like Creed, Nickleback and others ahead of them!!! They are penalized because their music is not as mainstream, but they should be top 10!

william.wasylowski on May 15, 2020:

there is no fun,band is awesome anyone agree with me

Kurt Velghe on May 11, 2020:

Why nog Muse? A band that explored electronical instruments in rock music farther than any band has done before. Surely their importance to modern rock music is undeniable.

Sammy Dunne on April 23, 2020:

Velvet Revolver? Slash's Snakepit 2.0? Ozzy Osbourne?

Lots of missed acts

BettySwalls on April 22, 2020:

This list is sound. I knew i could count on the rankings as soon as i seen the number 1 ranked in the 80s rock category! Selling out stadiums alllll these years later. Damn straight he/his band is top.

BettySwalls on April 22, 2020:

Sabrena Whitley -

Breaking Ben is #53

Rania on April 13, 2020:

Where is MCR ?

Sabrena Whitley on April 08, 2020:

Where is Breaking Benjamin?!?

Emily on April 08, 2020:

Dude, why is MCR not higher up?? Their music saved hundreds of life and although they were only around for a short time, their fanbase continued to grow into the MILLIONS even after they broke up, and their first shows over 7 years after the breakup sold out in MINUTES! They should totally be higher up imo