There are many rock bands out there that have evolved over the past eight years, but only a few of them have really made a difference in the music world today. Of course, everyone has different tastes when it comes to rock music, but when researching to see which bands really made an impact on the 21st Century, these five bands seemed to appear wherever I looked.

1. Audioslave: Audioslave caused quite a hype when they first came together. The band consisted of former Soundgarden frontman, Chris Cornell, and former Rage Against the Machine guitarist, Tom Morello, so for anyone who was a fan of both Rage and Soundgarden, their music was like a dream come true. They sounded like a mix of Soundgarden's 90's grunge rock and Rage's aggressive, hard-rock instrumentation. Their debut self-titled album was released in November of 2002, which reached #7 on the Billboard chart after only one week. The band released two more albums, 'Out of Exile', in 2004 and 'Revelations' in 2006. They broke up in 2007, shortly after the release of 'Revelations', due to "personality conflicts and musical differences," Cornell stated. Cornell has since decided to tour solo, and released a solo album "Carry On" in May of 2007.

2. Fall Out Boy: Fall Out Boy was formed in 2001 and released their first major label debut, "From Under the Cork Tree" in May of 2005. The album soon became a success, selling over 68,000 copies in it's first week and placing the #9 spot on the Billboard charts. Their first hit single, "Sugar, We're Goin' Down", reached the top 10 on numerous different pop and rock charts, as well as MTV's TRL. Fall-Out Boy's songs all had a certain catchy, pop beat that attracted the majority of teens all over the nation. Fall Out Boy is currently working on a second album, "Infinity On High", which Pete Wentz has stated will have more of a folk-style to it than the last album. Nevertheless, since Fall Out Boy has made such an impression on the music scene today, I have no doubt that his album will be just as successful as the last.

3. The White Stripes: The White Stripes are a grammy-winning rock duo, consisting of singer/guitarist Jack White and his wife, Meg White (drums). Their music is unlike anything else you've ever heard before. It's been described as "50's inspired rock music." I've found that the majority of people either love them or despise them, there's rarely an in between. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1999, but they didn't become a musical success until the release of their third album, "White Blood Cells", which was their first major label album and featured their hit single, "Fell In Love With A Girl". Their most recent album "Icky Thump" was released in 2007, and has been compared to Black Sabbath's earlier albums.

4. The Killers: The Killers are a Las-Vegas based rock band most famous for their hit singles "Mr. Brightside" and "When You Were Young". Their debut album, "Hot Fuss" was released in 2004, followed by the release of their second album, "Sam's Town" in 2006. The first two albums have sold over 10 millions copies to date. Although they are an American rock band, they sound like they're a British rock band. When I first heard them, I had no idea they were from the states. Nevertheless, they've become quite a hit to teens everywhere over the past few years.

5. Muse: Muse are an English rock band who are best known for their energetic and intense live performances. Their music is often compared to Radiohead, but with a louder, heavier rock tone. Muse actually released their debut album 'Showbiz" at the end of 1999, but didn't really become a big hit until their third album 'Absolution' was released in 2003. Their biggest hits off this album would have to be 'Time Is Running Out' and 'Hysteria'. They released their fourth album 'Black Holes and Revelations' in 2006. They have been quoted by many as "the greatest band in the world", but they've also been quoted as "the best Radiohead cover band out there". Personally, I think they're one of the greatest bands that rock has seen in a long time. Their music is unique and captivating.

Honorable mentions:

A Perfect Circle: Led by Tool frontman, Maynard Kennan, A Perfect Circle released their debut album in 2000. They had quite a following since Tool is a very well-known band, but in comparison to Tool, their music has much more of a relaxed, mellow vibe to it.

Tenacious D: Who knew Jack Black could sing? I mean, come on, we all knew the guy could act and that he's hilarious, but singing seemed out of the question. When I first heard that Jack Black was in a band with one other guy (Kyle Gass), it seemed like a joke. There's no way that a comedian could form a band with one other guy and be anywhere close to talented, right? Wrong. Believe it or not, Jack Black actually has a great voice. Their music is kind of like mixing acoustic rock with a stand up comedy act, but surprisingly, some of their songs are not only funny, but pretty catchy.

Velvet Revolver: Velvet Revolver is yet another collaboration of well-known music artists thrown together. They not only have STP's frontman Scott Weiland as their lead singer, but some of the remaining members of Guns N Roses as well: Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum. The band released their first album, "Contraband" in 2003, which sounded a bit like a mix of old-school rock and roll and 90's grunge. Hopefully Weiland will get his act together soon so we can see more of what these guys are really made of.

30 Seconds To Mars: When I first heard these guys, I had no idea that the lead singer was "Jordan Catalano" from the TV series "My So-Called Life", AKA Jared Leto. What's up with all these actors showing their vocal talents these days? The band actually released their self-titled debut album in 2002, but didn't become a hit until their second album was released in 2005. Their first hit single, 'The Kill" actually won the MTV2 award in 2006 and I have to admit, the lyrics may be a little tormented, but overall it's a very emotional, powerful rock song.

Story by Rachel Burke
Starpulse contributing writer