Industrial Metal

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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:
  • Unitron (leader)

industrial metal top albums

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RAMMSTEIN Reise, Reise Album Cover Reise, Reise
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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)
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industrial metal Music Reviews

RAMMSTEIN Live aus Berlin

Live album · 1999 · Industrial Metal
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martindavey87
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.

NINE INCH NAILS Broken

EP · 1992 · Industrial Metal
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FMOTP
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.

NINE INCH NAILS Fixed

EP · 1992 · Industrial Metal
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FMOTP
NINE INCH NAILS have achieved a level of success which is unusual for electronic music. Is it because Trent Reznor writes what most people would consider actual songs, with lyrics and melodies? I'm part of the band's large fan base. I rarely listen to any other bands who play electronically-based music, for lack of a better term.

Over all, I enjoyed Fixed quite a bit. This EP is almost as much the work of Trent's collaborators as it is Trent's. Their radical tweakings of his songs are mostly compelling. The nine minute version of "Wish", surprisingly, is probably my favorite. Unless you know the Broken EP very well, I wouldn't choose these remixes first. This certainly isn't metal. However, this is a very interesting 40 minutes of music.

STATIC-X Wisconsin Death Trip

Album · 1999 · Industrial Metal
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Unitron
"Speed toward hell, shed no tears"

By the end of the 90's, there was not an explosion of new fantastic industrial metal bands and albums like there was at the beginning of the decade. Treponem Pal had released their masterpiece "Higher" in '97, which would be their last album for about a decade, and Fear Factory and Rammstein were going strong. That was about it. However, come the year of 1999, and the industrial metal band Static-X unleashed their debut studio album Wisconsin Death Trip to the world.

Static-X brought their own fresh sound to the industrial metal scene, using a blend of the atmospheric heaviness of Fear Factory, the groove and catchiness of a Godflesh beat, and the pulsing EBM/Electro-Industrial of Front Line Assembly. Bringing together all the elements of what makes industrial music so great, while not copying any of these bands is what makes this album have such a winning sound.

As soon as the grooving "Push It" blasts through your speakers, this album doesn't let up until the ambient "December" closes out the album. This is perfect cyberpunk video game music, the kind of stuff that goes perfectly with a game of Quake II or even Doom. That's not to say that it doesn't work on it's own, quite the contrary. Take the mechanical screeching in "Push It" that emulate power drills, or the underlying atmosphere throughout the album, this embraces everything industrial.

Going back to the mention of cyber, the menacing "The Trance is the Motion" showcases an early example of the cyber metal sound. It may take place as my favorite on the album. It is engulfed in a stark atmosphere, screeching and down-tuned riffs, chaotic screams, and has a pretty epic vibe for being only 5 minutes long. Honestly, I think this song should have closed out the album rather than the slightly boring "December". Apart from that last song though, the rest of the album is all fantastic. Especially the songs dominated by a massive groove while keeping the futuristic atmosphere. "Stem", "Bled for Days", and the title track are in particular highlights.

Despite the highlights, this is an album that is meant to be listened to all the way through. Each song bleeds into the next, and makes for a good CD to turn on for any occasion that requires a surge of industrial metal goodness. This is a classic album of the industrial genre, and one that the band wouldn't match until 2007's Cannibal. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

RAMMSTEIN Reise, Reise

Album · 2004 · Industrial Metal
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martindavey87
It's the same dilemma that countless bands and artists have suffered before; 2001's 'Mutter' was a monumental album that made German industrial metal band Rammstein international superstars. So what now? Having spawned five hit singles and firmly establishing themselves as the premier band of their specific genre, it would be hard for anyone to release a follow-up that would live up to expectations.

But 'Reise, Reise' is a damn good effort.

Cranking up the heaviness that worked so well on their previous release, 'Reise, Reise' has ditched all the dance and techno elements of the bands earlier work, and in its place is a thunderously heavy album with massive guitar riffs and plenty of haunting keyboards. The sound is slightly muddier and grungier than before, but it's still a well-crafted assortment, with plenty of headbanging anthems that are almost instantly recognizable as Rammstein.

Of course, the main attraction with a band like these lot is their live show, and these songs are tailor-made to be played in huge arenas with plenty of pyro, choreography and imagery.

With skull-crushingly heavy hits such as 'Mein Teil', 'Keine Lust', 'Morgenstein' and 'Stein um Stein', eerily melancholic ballads like 'Armour' and 'Ohne Dich', and all-out cheesy pop-inspired songs like 'Amerika' (one of the bands most famous hits) and 'Moskau' (with infectious female backing vocals), there's a wide diversity of songs on 'Reise, Reise', that ensures that even while it doesn't reach the same heights as its predecessor, Rammstein still sit firmly atop the throne as the kings of industrial music.

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ROB ZOMBIE The Zombie Horror Picture Show

Movie · 2014 · Industrial Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
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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Kingcrimsonprog
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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