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Industrial Metal is a sub-genre of metal music that is known for combining industrial music and various other forms of electronic music with various forms of heavy metal. While it is known as being founded in the late 80's by artists like Slab!, Godflesh, and Ministry, the band Killing Joke are widely known as being the forerunners, starting as a post-punk act with industrial elements. The band eventually switched to the style they helped create during the 90's, which was the peak of industrial metal's popularity. Many critically acclaimed industrial metal albums were released during this time. Skinny Puppy should also be mentioned as a big influence on the genre.

While Industrial Metal bands have made use of a wide range of styles of electronic and heavy metal, there are a few styles that are more notable. Many of the early industrial metal bands blended thrash metal or sludge metal with their industrial sound. Ministry, KMFDM, Varga, and Die Krupps are some notable acts of the industrial thrash variety, while Godflesh and the early albums of Pitchshifter included sludge elements. Sometimes bands would combine both sludge and thrash elements, such as Treponem Pal. Some of the more mainstream industrial acts, like Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson, added in an alternative rock element to the style. Some of the more notable specific sub-genres include:

Industrial Black Metal is a more recent form of industrial metal, the most notable act being Samael, who switched from pure black metal to an industrial-infused sound on their album "Passage". Industrial Black Metal combines raw black metal vocals with elements of both black metal and industrial thrash. Other notable acts include Aborym, The Axis of Perdition, and Dødheimsgard. However, many industrial black metal bands are more black metal than industrial, so many industrial black metal acts are placed under black metal.

Neue Deutsche Härte (New German Hardness) is a music scene in Germany, which is known for combining the crunching riffs of groove metal or thrash metal with heavy dance beats. The most notable band in this scene is Rammstien, who are known for creating some controversial music videos. Other acts in the scene include Oomph! and Megaherz.

Cyber Metal, taking more influence from EBM (Electronic Body Music) and Aggrotech, is usually used to describe industrial metal acts that are on the more extreme side. Cyber Metal bands typically have more use of atmospherics and harsh vocals. Notable acts include Fear Factory and Sybreed, though other industrial metal bands have included elements of cyber metal, such as Static-X.

Some bands, like Nailbomb and Strapping Young Lad, make use of a vast selection of influences along with industrial. The former is sometimes known as industrial death metal, which is less prominent than Cyber Metal which has death metal as only one of it's influences. Both bands are placed under industrial, as industrial extreme metal gives a good idea of the bands' overall sound.

Industrial metal has shown its influence throughout the genres of metal, so there are some bands that take influence from industrial metal while being mainly a separate genre. Bands like Prong, Voivod, Meathook Seed, and Ultraspank have taken influence from industrial, but have largely stayed closer to their respective genres. It has also shown its influence with bands more commonly associated with regular industrial music. Front Line Assembly has a few industrial metal albums spread throughout their largely electronic discography, and Aggrotech band Combichrist eventually switched to an industrial metal sound.

- Genre biography written by Unitron.

Sub-genre collaborators (shared with Trance Metal):

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DØDHEIMSGARD Supervillain Outcast Album Cover Supervillain Outcast
4.56 | 17 ratings
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STRAPPING YOUNG LAD Alien Album Cover Alien
4.34 | 29 ratings
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RAMMSTEIN Mutter Album Cover Mutter
4.24 | 48 ratings
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STABBING WESTWARD Darkest Days Album Cover Darkest Days
4.53 | 5 ratings
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NINE INCH NAILS Broken Album Cover Broken
4.22 | 16 ratings
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4.17 | 30 ratings
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GODFLESH Streetcleaner Album Cover Streetcleaner
4.21 | 15 ratings
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MINISTRY The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste Album Cover The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste
4.31 | 8 ratings
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RAMMSTEIN Reise, Reise Album Cover Reise, Reise
4.08 | 39 ratings
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MARILYN MANSON Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) Album Cover Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death)
4.13 | 13 ratings
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STRAPPING YOUNG LAD The New Black Album Cover The New Black
4.11 | 14 ratings
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STABBING WESTWARD Ungod Album Cover Ungod
4.35 | 4 ratings
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Album · 2005 · Industrial Metal
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2001’s ‘Mutter’ solidified German industrial rockers Rammstein as global megastars, and while it’d be an impossible task to top, 2004’s ‘Reise Reise’ was a more than worthy follow-up which maintained the bands high standards. So what went wrong here?

‘Rosenrot’, released just one year later, is essentially a “leftovers album”. Despite containing a number of singles which were given music videos, the album, mostly consisting of tracks that didn’t make it onto its predecessor, came out to minimal promotion and advertising. But understandably, when the quality of the material doesn’t live up to what the group had released prior, perhaps that’s why.

The thing is, while ‘Rosenrot’ isn’t a terrible release, it’s just not very memorable. Most of the tracks are pretty generic and bland, and they all tend to sound pretty similar. The monstrous anthems of ‘Mutter’ or the electronic dance grooves of ‘Sehnsucht’ are nowhere to be seen, and there just generally seems to be a huge lack of keyboards here, compared to earlier albums, anyway. Most of the songs tend to plod along with the same monotonous guitar riffs and baritone vocals. Still, the music itself is heavy and pounding, and when the band is on top form there’s a couple of decent numbers here.

‘Benzin’, ‘Rosenrot’, ‘Mann Gegen Mann’ and ‘Te Quiero Puta!’ are all respectable highlights, and fit well in the bands discography, but none of these hold up all that well to the likes of ‘Sonne’, ‘Du Hast’ or ‘Mein Herz Brennt’. Arguably the weakest album the band have put out at this point, ‘Rosenrot’ is still worth a listen or two if you’re a fan of Rammstein, but if you’re a newbie then you’re better off going with anything the band released prior to this.

ROB ZOMBIE The Sinister Urge

Album · 2001 · Industrial Metal
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Oh, sure, a different album in Rob Zombie's discography happens to bear the name "Hellbilly Deluxe 2" - but set that aside, this is basically Hellbilly Deluxe 2: Industrial Rock Boogaloo. Having established a pretty fun songwriting formula on Hellbilly Deluxe, driven it into the ground during the production of that album, and then thoroughly beaten the dead horse via the remix release American Made Music To Strip By, Rob Zombie was finally faced with the task of cooking up some new solo material, having apparently decided that he needed to grow his repertoire beyond Hellbilly Deluxe's selection and old White Zombie favourites.

Joke's on Rob - to a large extent, Hellbilly Deluxe's best songs and the White Zombie back catalogue are more or less what people are interested in, and musically speaking seem to be all Rob has to offer anyway. That, at least, is the impression one gets from The Sinister Urge (named after an Ed Wood movie lampooned on Mystery Science Theater 3000, because Rob Zombie is the industrial rock guy who loved movies so much he ended up having a better career as a director than as a musician).

Remember all the songs you really liked from Hellbilly Deluxe? They aren't here. But there is a crop of songs which follow the formula of those old classics closely enough that the only real emotional or aesthetic effect the album accomplishes is to make the listener think "wow... I really wish I was listening to Hellbilly Deluxe right now". And then, because there's almost zero chance you bought this one if you didn't already own Hellbilly Deluxe, you turn The Sinister Urge off and go listen to Hellbilly Deluxe. That album, after all, is the full-bore full-fat full-sugar Rob Zombie solo experience; this one just seems a little watered down for radio airplay in comparison (and given how carefully crafted for radio airplay the previous album was, that's saying a lot).

PAIN Coming Home

Album · 2016 · Industrial Metal
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Kev Rowland
Coming Home’ is the most recent album from Peter Tägtgren (Hypocrisy), their eighth, released in 2016. Tägtgren started Pain as a side project to bring together his interests of industrial and techno into metal, and in the studio provides all the music and vocals himself, with the rest of the guys being the live band. I have been playing this album quite a lot recently, as with this album he has also been bringing in some symphonic elements, and although there are times when he is influenced by Rammstein there are plenty of others when it could be Dimmu Borgir or even Nightwish. It is the sort of metal album I can imagine getting plenty of flak from reviewers as there are quite a few numbers that one could imagine being played on a rock radio station as they are quite commercial. That it made it into the Top 30 in four different European countries doesn’t surprise me at all.

The album starts with a country and western pastiche, with is worrying on a couple of fronts: namely it’s country and western and the production seems to be missing all of the bottom end. But then the guitars really kick in and “Designed To Piss You Off” lives up to its name. There is something about this album that makes it incredibly listenable to, right from the off, which is probably why I have been playing it so much in the car recently. It is perfect travelling music, bashing the steering wheel and singing along with the music blasting very loudly indeed. Funnily enough I don’t have many passengers. This is industrial metal for those who feel that Rammstein are just too Germanic, who enjoy the odd symphonic influence but don’t want it to always be there or be over the top, and enjoy strong bottom end nu-metal vibes with English lyrics. Now that they have finished touring this one, they are promising album number nine in the future. Something to look forward to.

RAMMSTEIN Live aus Berlin

Live album · 1999 · Industrial Metal
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Here’s an album that just hasn’t aged well. I’m pretty sure I enjoyed Rammstein’s ‘Live Aus Berlin’ when I was younger, but hearing it now, it just doesn’t do the band justice.

The thing is, anyone that knows Rammstein knows that they are all about being “huge”. They sound huge! Their stage show is huge! Their image is huge! Everything about them is bombastic and over the top, and this album, released in 1999, just doesn’t live up to what the band would go on to become.

With only two studio albums released at the time, the set list is pretty solid, but again, when compared to the bands later output, it’s pretty lacking now. Still, it’s a decent enough look at the band in their early days, even back then, with only two albums under their belts and speaking their native German, they were a live force to be reckoned with.

The production as well, is pretty weak, and just doesn’t compare to the studio albums. All the early hits are here, including ‘Du Hast’, ‘Engel’, ‘Sehnsucht’, ‘Heirate Mich’ and ‘Du Riechst So Gut’, but none of them can compete with their studio counterparts.

Rammstein are one of my all-time favourite bands, and ‘Live Aus Berlin’ by its own merits is not a bad album, but as I started my review by saying, it just hasn’t aged well, and today it’s pretty irrelevant. I’ll stick to the studio albums.


EP · 1992 · Industrial Metal
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This release gets 4 1/2 out of 5 stars as one of the best in Trent Reznor's sizable discography. It's unusual to say that about this amount of music. However, its conciseness is its strongest selling point. NIN's next effort, "The Downward Spiral", is brilliant. However, over an hour's worth of angst can be draining.

"Broken" is definitely more aggressive than "Pretty Hate Machine". In my mind, that's a very good thing. At almost 30 minutes, "Broken" succeeds very well emotionally IMO. Favorite tracks are "Wish", "Help Me I Am In Hell', and "Happiness in Slavery" . However, everything here is worth listening to.

I've always thought that it was strange/funny that Trent was covering an Adam Ant song, of all things. However, injecting "Physical" with his own intensity in a typical NINE INCH NAILS arrangement works. I think the song points to what makes NIN's work successful; it's so musical. For all the rage in Trent's music, he can write strong melodies and lyrics. That's why "Broken" is NIN at their almost best, if not best.

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ROB ZOMBIE The Zombie Horror Picture Show

Movie · 2014 · Industrial Metal
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The Zombie Horror Picture Show is a live release by the Industrial Metal band Rob Zombie. It was filmed in Texas and released in 2014 on DVD and Blu Ray, his first full concert video release. The Blu Ray version is in 1080p with DTS HD Master 5.1, Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and PCM stereo options.

Live CDs are great, but Rob Zombie has always been about spectacle, about visual, about putting on a show. It just makes more sense to release it in a visual medium. Here’s a list of things you can find on this concert film: Multiple costume changes (including prosthetic Nosferatu ears and a light-up mouth-guard) …when the band are already decoratively dressed and wearing make up to begin with; Multiple screens (showing a mixture of crowd footage, scenes from the music videos and dedicated footage such as horror imagery, strip tease, psychedelic visualizers and karaoke sing along prompts), light-up guitars, a see-through drum kit (which also has pentagrams projected onto it at one stage), balloons, confetti, fireworks and pyro and steam cannons, lights and lasers, customized mic-stands, fake snow falling, hired dancers in big puppet costumes, a giant prop that says ‘Zombie’ on it, a giant radio prop, a giant skeletal podium prop and even a giant steampunk-robot-chariot that drives around the stage and can move its head around. That’s more than most bands do in a whole career these days.

Its a very visual concert, with a lot to take in. The editing and camera work is all very high-budget stuff, lots of different angles available, movement, concentrating on the right parts of the song. There’s the occasional grainy film filters, or psychedelic looking screen mirrored down the middle or what have you, and during the intro, outro and a small selection of the more quiet parts it’ll cut to footage from the road. Its a very good looking film, well put together, not too stylized but not to plain. Very in keeping with Zombie’s tastes and artwork (Which makes sense seeing as Zombie himself directed it). Perhaps, there’s a few too many titty-shots. … a much higher proportion than normal really. If that’s off-putting to you then this aint the concert for you I fear, as there’s no getting around it here.

The band, featuring drummer Ginger Fish and guitarist John 5 (Hey, remember how cool Marilyn Manson was live when those two were in the band!?) as well as bassist Piggy D are all on top form, no free rides! Rob himself performs well and enthusiastically, really getting into it, dancing, interacting with the audience, going into the crowd etc. His vocals, which have been criticized on previous live releases are very strong here, and not a weak link at all. From everyone involved its a good performance, and the crowd seem into it.

The setlist is great; out of all of ‘Zombie’s live albums this has the most wide-ranging setlist, covering five solo albums and two White Zombie albums. Across its 80 minute length you’ll find all the hits you’d expect like ‘Dragula,’ ‘Living Dead Girl,’ ‘Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy),’ ‘Sick Bubblegum’ etc. There’s material from the then-new album Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor (including a really storming rendition of ‘Dead City Radio…’). There’s also a brief drum solo and a slightly longer guitar solo where John 5 really gets to shred. There’s the popular Grand Funk cover of ‘We’re An American Band.’ The Educated Horses album is the least drawn-from album but then there was already a live album from that touring cycle so its good not to just repeat the same setlist twice. Everyone’s tastes are different and I’d personally have loved to add in ‘Scum Of The Earth’ and ‘Werewolf Women of the SS’ but otherwise it is a pretty amazing selection.

Sound wise, its is decent. The White Zombie covers sound nice and thick, and the more organic material from his solo catalogue fairs really well. Some of the more industrial sections maybe sound different live than on record but not in any way that spoils them. My only minor gripe is that my favourite ‘Zombie song, the very catchy ‘Ding Dang Dong De Do Gong De Laga Raga’ isn’t just as crunchy and massive live. Its good, but not just as satisfying. I think its just because there’s only one guitar track live and in the studio they can beef it up with more. Minor nitpick at most though.

There isn’t much in the way of extras at all, just a gallery, not even a booklet with linear notes or anything, but to be honest I bought it for the concert in the first place so that’s ok I guess.

Overall, in terms of set,sound, performance, spectacle, visuals and editing this is a very good concert film and I highly recommend it. If you are a fan already it is pretty perfect and as an introduction to the band it serves as a pretty high quality ‘greatest hits’ package with a nice career spanning collection of songs to give you a flavour for different eras.

MARILYN MANSON Guns, God And Government Live In L.A.

Movie · 2009 · Industrial Metal
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Marilyn Manson may divide opinion, he may be taken too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others and it just makes sense that if you don't already like Marilyn Manson then this Blu Ray isn't something you should buy. I'm not going to get into a debate with anyone about whether or not Marilyn Manson albums have been declining in quality over the years but I will say that if you think they have, then the track listing of this concert is perfectly suited to you, with all the material dating before the divisive 'The Golden Age of Grotesque' album.

You may already know this; but for those who don't, this Blu Ray is not a simple transfer of the previously released DVD 'Guns God And Government,' which featured footage from all around the world on different nights. The Blu Ray is taken entirely from one concert in LA during the same tour but also features the same bonus features as the original DVD (chiefly a documentary/montage entitled 'The Death Parade')

The concert is just over and hour and a half in length and features sixteen tracks, including the unreleased 'Astonishing Panorama of the End Times,'as well as seven tracks from the then new Holywood album in addition to a selection of live favorites from older albums. The band features John 5, Twiggy Ramirez, M.W. Gacy and Ginger Fish, in what many fans have come to consider the classic line up.

The video quality is pretty incredible and its surprising just what a huge improvement this is over the previously released DVD, especially when the house lights are up. When the lights are up, this 2002 concert looks better than many live Blu Rays filmed as recently as last year and the team behind this Blu Ray have clearly done an excellent job. In addition to the sterling video quality, the sound is utterly fantastic and as with the video it honestly rivals the majority of modern concerts on Blu Ray.

The performance is excellent, right from the start you know you are in for a theatrical and over the top experience as Manson arrives on stage in a chariot pulled by bikini girls to a stage featuring huge backdrops of crucified fetuses, crucifixes made of various rifles and revolvers, a tonne of dry ice and even naked dancers. The set also contains the infamous slit walk and 'growing,' as well as several costume changes for Manson and one or two minor costume enhancements for the rest of the group.

If you didn't already know, while the band do perform live Marilyn himself sings over a prerecorded live vocal track when he is doing anything theatrical such as the stilt walk or standing behind the pulpit and from repeat viewings I have begun to think that while he sang live over the track on the night, these vocals were erased from the mix and replaced with the live track entirely although I am not 100% certain.

The Blu Ray specs are as follows: 1080i HD Widescreen (1.78:1) LCPM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Master Audio.

In summary this is an absolutely excellent product in and of itself, doubly so if you prefer this period in Manson's history, and an extra star is warranted if you aren't put off by the vocal track not matching up to Manson's mouth movements.

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