There are instances where you get one band who is described as an earlier and edgier but less popular version of another band. Faith No More preluded Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Nymphs were the predecessors to Hole. Demolition Hammer predated Lamb of God in terms of bridging the gap between groove metal and death metal. Most infamously, Curve were the precursors to Garbage. Of particular note is The Nymphs. Their album had been delayed because the producer was working as a mixer for Guns ‘n’ Roses. By the time that the album was released (October, 1991), it was too late because their thunder was stolen by Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Hole (a band whose success is owed to Nirvana).
Skid Row’s Slave to the Grind (1991) foreshadowed Metallica’s fifth LP. Both albums had twelve songs – three of which were ballads that were carefully divided among the harder tracks. In Metallica’s case, the 3rd ballad was My Friend of Misery. Skid Row’s classic album was released two months before Metallica’s eponymous classic (these bands were hanging out with each other during the making of their albums). Dog Eat Dog (1992) was perceived as a bandwagon jumper (regardless of whether it was designed to be trendy or not). Warrant had the same metal producer as Slave to the Grind. Warrant were supposedly not allowed to be heavy until Skid Row did it, hence Michael Wagener being the producer.
When Anthrax released Sound of White Noise (1993), they were perceived as following in the footsteps of Alice in Chains (same producer). When Mötley Crüe released their self-titled album (1994), they were perceived as wobbling on the waves of Metallica (same producer). Anthrax would have done better had they recorded a rap metal album given their 1991 hit single. In doing such an album, they would have been perceived as influencing the Judgment Night soundtrack.
Truth be told, the coolest rock bands in the ’90s were already extensions of old sounds. The Doors spawned Pearl Jam. Nirvana were the new Blue Öyster Cult. Alice in Chains were the new Black Sabbath. Metallica were the new Deep Purple. Pantera were the new Judas Priest. Finally, Soundgarden were the new Led Zeppelin.