Industrial metal is a genre that has been led by Trent Reznor since his forming of NINE INCH NAILS in 1988. Many people seem to think that, seeing as Reznor so plainly and clearly advanced the generation in the pairing of technology and metal music, that he single-handedly brought the genre to the charts and into the mainstream. But there is another band that is filed under the same genre, and was formed three whole years before the formation of NIN, that is usually forgotten in the eyes of the public.
Ungod is the debut album by the Chicago-formed American industrial metal act, STABBING WESTWARD, released in 1993. Being the first release by the band since their 1990 demo release of "Iwo Jima", the band had taken very much time to develop a sound that appealed to them. A three year gap in recordings may seem a little ridiculous; I sure thought it was when I did some research on the band, but after listening to the album I have come to release that it was time very well spent.
After a few years of me listening to NIN, I have come to know Industrial metal as an extremely experimental genre, with several different sounds and tempo fluctuations that coincide with heavy metal guitars and bass (along with other instruments). But the main thing I gathered was that metal was embedded into the techno-like experimenting to make for still brutal but more artful grace in the way it was played. STABBING WESTWARD does it very differently.
In fact, this album is on the verge of me calling it alternative metal, because it's less electronic rhythms combined with metal, and more heavy metal that use different electronics to help the guitars and other instruments along, filling in gaps that they wouldn't usually fill alone. It's very interesting to listen to not traditional industrial all the time, because alternative industrial metal is a (sub)sub-genre that was pioneered by this band. Ungod really shows that quite well, and in a way better than a lot of Reznors releases.
Some highlights of the album that I would suggest is 'Lies', with very angry lyrics mixed with industrial, very cliche NINE INCH NAILS but it is a very familiar territory for metal heads. 'Throw' succeeds it, and is actually much better. Industrial experimentation has gone down quite a few notches to make way for heavier chords and bass/drum lines, but is quite good. 'Violent Mood Swings' takes the cake for my favorite song on the album and perhaps by this artist. It combines experimentation and quick riffing to make for a piece that is just right on the ears. Although very Reznor-like in sound, it is different when you listen to it with an open mind. The fantastic album closer 'Can't Happen Here' brings a more instrumental piece as opposed to an angry, heavy, and pounding one. Although it might seem a little 'mainstream', it is enjoyable, as I said before, if you use an open mind while listening.
So even though NIN may be your top pick as an industrial metal artist, I would highly suggest you give a listen to these guys. They are definitely worth their salt.
Go give it a listen.