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Industrial Metal is a sub-genre of metal music that is known for combining industrial dance 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 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.

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:

Industrial Thrash Metal was among the first forms of industrial metal, being characterized in bands such as Ministry, KMFDM, and Varga. These bands combine varying forms of electronic and industrial music, with the rapid guitar riffing and frantic drum work of thrash metal.

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.

Electro-Industrial Metal is among the most popular forms of industrial metal, often combining aggressive guitar riffs with more elements of techno, alternative rock, and glitch than other forms of industrial metal. The band Skinny Puppy is known as being a notable influence on these acts. Notable acts include Nine Inch Nails, Stabbing Westward, Celldweller, and Blue Stahli.

Neue Deutsche Härte (New German Hardness) is a music scene in Germany, which is known for combining the crunching riffs of groove 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.

Trance Metal, sometimes known as Dance Metal, has a much more melodic style. It often combines uplifting electronic dance/pop melodies with fast guitar riffing and double bass drumming. One of the most popular acts is Amaranthe.

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 with Static-X also having made use of Cyber-Metal elements.

Some bands, like Nailbomb and Strapping Young Lad, make use of a vast selection of influences with industrial being just one of those. 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 band's overall sound.

Industrial metal has shown it's 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. Electronicore (Electronic mixed with Metalcore), despite having characteristics of industrial metal, is placed under Metalcore.

- Genre biography written by Unitron.

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • Unitron (leader)

industrial metal top albums

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MINISTRY Psalm 69 Album Cover Psalm 69
4.45 | 21 ratings
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DØDHEIMSGARD Supervillain Outcast Album Cover Supervillain Outcast
4.36 | 17 ratings
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4.37 | 14 ratings
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STRAPPING YOUNG LAD Alien Album Cover Alien
4.30 | 28 ratings
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MINISTRY The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste Album Cover The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste
4.47 | 8 ratings
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RAMMSTEIN Mutter Album Cover Mutter
4.22 | 45 ratings
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ROB ZOMBIE Hellbilly Deluxe Album Cover Hellbilly Deluxe
4.45 | 6 ratings
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FEAR FACTORY Genexus Album Cover Genexus
4.35 | 8 ratings
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STABBING WESTWARD Ungod Album Cover Ungod
4.49 | 4 ratings
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RAMMSTEIN Reise, Reise Album Cover Reise, Reise
4.15 | 38 ratings
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GODFLESH Pure Album Cover Pure
4.35 | 6 ratings
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MINISTRY Relapse Album Cover Relapse
4.48 | 4 ratings
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industrial metal Music Reviews


Album · 1997 · Industrial Metal
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Few industrial metal bands really broke through into the ears of other music scenes, hence why you will rarely hear mentions of bands in the genre apart from the big-name acts like Ministry, Godflesh, Rammstein, and Fear Factory. This is always unfortunate, as one of the best releases in the genre came out in the year of 1997 from one of the more obscure acts when the golden age of industrial metal was nearing its end.

That band was the French group Treponem Pal, with their 1997 album Higher. Higher is probably one of the most varied industrial metal albums out there, with a blend of all sorts of stylistic elements that work side by side one another. There's jagged thrash and groove riffing that hits you like a slab of concrete, delivered with the rhythmic groove of funk and tribal music. Some of the electronics have a strong almost Orbital-esque beat to them, which fit perfectly alongside the guitar riffs, making sure that these songs never leave your head. Add in some middle eastern instrumentation and killer soloing, and you got all the elements of this record.

Michel Bassin is an unsung hero of industrial metal guitarists, as few bands have the pure forcefulness that he has here. His guitar hooks are catchy as all hell, but pummel you to the ground at the same time. It's like getting beaten over the head with a sledgehammer, and when his power riffing combines with Marco Neves' commanding vocal attack it packs a real mean punch. This pure groove/thrash crunch is contrasted well with the rhythm section. The bass is often funky, while the drums usually have a tribal sound to them. Most industrial solos are screechy and distorted, but Bassin's solos are surprisingly clean and traditional sounding. As good as a screeching solo can be with some gritty guitar, it's refreshing to hear more traditional sounding metal solos incorporated into industrial metal.

It's almost impossible to pick highlights with albums like these, because the whole album is equally catchy and crushingly heavy. I would say The first five songs as well as "Funk Me", "Sick Train", and "Psycho Rising" are the main highlights if forced to choose. "Unchained" shows some excellent syncopation with the main riff, while the same riff switches to more of a straight thrashing during the chorus. "Lose Control" has the perfect punchy hook that swings you into the song's groove, and may very well be the best on the album.

Despite being released near the end of industrial metal's golden age, Higher is one of the best albums in the genre. It has both the crushing heaviness and the catchy hooks to make it very memorable. It was produced by KMFDM frontman Sascha Konietzko, and I certainly see why one of the industrial metal spearheads would want to produce this album. If you're looking for a heavy, catchy, and unique underrated classic, nothing fits that better than this. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

MAXDMYZ Alcehmical Metal

EP · 2017 · Industrial Metal
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Kev Rowland

According to their website, Maxdmyz is a London based 5-piece band consisting of Twister (vocals), Roger (guitars), Jay (drums), A’Zedd (bass guitar) and Vortex (keyboards). They released their first recordings in the late Nineties and is well established in the UK scene having built its reputation over the years with stunning live performances and recording some of the most innovative and original alternative metal ever to come out of the UK music scene. One of the band’s highlights include past collaboration with Eminem, and their influences are wide and varied, from Lou Reed and Black Sabbath, to Squarepusher, Pantera and 80’s electro pop.

To be honest I had never come across them prior to being sent this four-track EP to listen to, and I can certainly see why the label says that fans of Rammstein, White Zombie, Ministry and Sisters Of Mercy should check them out, but there are a whole host of others that could be added to that. They describe their style of music as ‘Alchemical Metal’ and that’s probably as good a handle as any, as I have no real idea on how to describe it. There are definite industrial influences, but mathcore also rears its head, yet is also melodic and poppy at the same time, and there are elements that would fit in a techno/rave scene. The only way to really experience this band is by listening to it: whatever words I write just won’t do it justice, and I am certainly intrigued enough to want to hear a full album from these guys.

DØDHEIMSGARD Supervillain Outcast

Album · 2007 · Industrial Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Four full albums in from beginning as a rather ordinary second wave black metal outfit and DØDHEIMSGARD perfected their blackened industrial avant-garde metal sound on SUPERVILLAIN OUTCAST which was introduced on their EP “Satanic Art” and further developed on “666 International.” Many changes took place since the last album with the most obvious being that the band shortened their name to DHG and a huge lineup change left almost a completely new band with the only founding member Vicotnik left on his guitar, samples and programming duties. Vocalist Aldrahn left the band and was replaced by Kvohst. The bass baton was passed from Apollyon to Clandestine and Mr Magic Logic’s keyboards were dismissed while the other members picked up different secondary instrumental duties. Czral went from official percussionist to the unofficial “additional personnel.” With all this dystopia rocking the band’s world i would expect the music to sound completely different but despite it all, the music sounds exactly like the next logical step of development in the avant-garde musical world that DØDHEIMSGARD had been leading up to. Only this one is done right. Perfectly so.

SUPERVILLAIN OUTCAST begins with a short intro that makes me think of Chinese music from the 30s or something with the instrumental “Dushman” but violently bursts into black metal fury on “Vendatta Assassin” for a few measures with progressive touches of time signature freak outs and then jumps into the heavily caffeinated industrial metal sound with heavy bass and drums leading the fury and the guitars adding jittery licks at hyper speed all the while Kvohst delivers shouted vocals that are somewhat blackened but he also mixes up his vox box with death growls and whispered industrial sounding utterings. Generally speaking many of the tracks are garnished with heavy black metal riffing that alternate with industrial metal types of power chord riffing while ambient keyboards create eerie howling in the background with heavy percussive blastbeats dominating the rhythmic section and a hyperactive bass interaction to match. There is much attention paid to sound effects and electronic noises and textures to add a whole other dimension behind the metal sounds. Vocals vary quite a bit when not in extreme metal mode. There are several passages with chanting and clean vocals that steer the music into progressive metal territory.

In addition to the majority of hyper-extreme tracks there are a few that stand out from the general feel of the album. “Secret Identity” is a short a cappella track that sounds like monks chanting in some far away monastery and like many of the metal tracks has a slight trace of dissonance. The following “The Vile Delinquents” is full-on industrial metal with choppy industrial riffs and heavy electronica sound effects before erupting into more heavy guitar riffing. “Apocalypticism” sound more alternative metal and reminds me a lot of the track “Caffeine” from Faith No More’s “Angel Dust” especially in the vocal phrasing department but also has a cool guitar tone and techno like percussion. “Chrome Balaclava” is another a cappella track with several voices harmonizing wordless utterings while an intermittent shaky thing adds a little percussion. “All Is Not Self” is probably the most out-of-place sounding track on SUPERVILLAIN OUTCAST. This one sounds like a big beat techno track with vocals that reminds me of Richard Butler from The Psychedelic Furs! The electro-beat is heavy with background vocals providing ghostly haunting sounds. The fury returns on the next track and then another a cappella type shorty with “Cellar Door.”

SUPERVILLAIN OUTCAST is an outstanding album for many reasons. Firstly it is the pinnacle of the avant-garde industrial black metal sound that DØDHEIMSGARD had been perfecting and all the new musicians pull if off beautifully. Secondly the production is also perfect as every little sound is allowed space to be heard and the instruments have their own role within a larger context that create a complete band sound. Another successful strategy is the focus on the extreme avant-garde metal with little serene fillers that punctuate the frenetic nature of the album and to top it off the compositions are just perfectly catchy with super aggressive hooks and electronic embellishments to add layers of counterpoint creating a mesmerizing contrast with the dominant guitar riff focus. The black metal is perfectly balanced with the industrial and the avant-garde is used as a supplement instead of getting into territory too strange for the uninitiated listener. Personally this is one of those albums that made a huge impact the first time i ever heard it and still holds up after many listens. What could you call this? I’m not sure but think Ulver’s first album mixed with some Ministry and maybe even some Prodigy and you’re getting close.

FILTER Short Bus

Album · 1995 · Industrial Metal
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In the land of industrial rock and metal, many bands get unfairly compared to Nine Inch Nails. While those who are more familiar with the genre will find that these comparisons are often silly and nonsensical, these are probably simply due to NIN being the one that really "made it big". Sure, other bands have had their fair share of popularity over the years, but NIN remains the most remembered and popular.

One of the many industrial rock/metal bands to get these comparisons was Filter. True, frontman Richard Patrick was a live guitarist for NIN before forming Filter, but Patrick felt there was something missing in Reznor's sound. Once you finish the first song on the album, the hit "Hey Man, Nice Shot", it's quite apparent. That which was missing was a crushing metallic slab of guitars, blended with menacing industrial soundscapes. This continues throughout most of the album, think less NIN and more Godflesh and Pitchshifter. The crunch of the riffing, drum grooves, and screeching industrial distortion all makes it fit right in line with the classic industrial metal sound, while also having just the right amount of that misanthropic angst that industrial music had at the time.

The aforementioned hit that opens up the album is of course probably the top highlight, but there's many other songs here that slam your face into the pavement. "Under" is one of the best of these, with an awesome pummeling groove. The two surrounding songs of "Dose" and "Spent" are also among the highlights and deliver with great force. All of these mentioned songs along with "Gerbil" and "White Like That", all have this absolutely massive guitar and colossal drum sound blended with Richard Patrick's raging screams, which is this album's strength.

Unfortunately, not all these songs display the power riffage and edgy screams that this album is great for. Right after a crushing number like "White Like That", you get a double-whammy of pathetic whimpers in "Consider This" and "So Cool" which both fall flat on their faces. The former has electric guitars, but they may as well not be there, while the latter is an acoustic ballad that sounds like a rejected Porcupine Tree ballad. "Stuck in Here" is another one of these tracks, but maybe a bit less annoying.

Despite there being a few terrible tracks, all the punchy groovy industrial behemoth tracks make up for those mistakes. If you're looking for an industrial metal album that balances out the heaviness and distortion of Godflesh and Pitchshifter with the extra edge of alternative metal, Filter's Short Bus delivers. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

KMFDM [symbols]

Album · 1997 · Industrial Metal
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[symbols] is the tenth studio album from industrial metal band KMFDM. The actual name of the album is five unpronounceable symbols, hence why it is often referred to as simply Symbols in brackets. While Xtort marked the end of the band's string of amazing albums that began with 1992's Money, KMFDM wasn't finished with releasing industrial metal/rock of high quality afterwards.

Xtort showed the band experimenting more, especially on the electronic end of the spectrum. [symbols] continues developing that sound, with less of a focus on the thrash side of their sound than previous offerings. Opener "Megalomaniac" for example, still has metallic guitars, but the techno and various electronic elements begin to come upfront here. It could be called a remix of "Light" from the band's seventh album, Angst, as most of the guitar riffs are somewhat glitched versions of the ones from the aforementioned song.

The majority of the album actually follows in this fashion with the guitar, despite being aggressive, quite often sounding buried under the electronics. That's not to say there aren't some really great tracks here. "Stray Bullet" is on the more melodic side of things, with some quite nice laid-back guitar work that contrasts well with the catchy upbeat techno breakbeats. "Mercy" is another highlight, which has bit of a electro industrial-vibe to it and an infectiously catchy and groovy chorus.

The band does thrash on a few tracks, the two most notable being "Spit Sperm" and "Waste". Both songs pack quite a punch, but the latter especially beats you over the head with chugging riffs. The best part of "Waste" is bassist Abby Travis's vocal performance, which is of a total old-school thrash delivery. It makes me wonder why she was never in a thrash metal act, her vocals just kick so much ass on the aforementioned track.

While a bit inconsistent and a bit of a step down from masterpieces like Angst, Nihil, and Xtort, [symbols] still holds some really great tracks and is certainly no weak album. If you're looking for some industrial metal that relies more on the electronic end of the spectrum, [symbols] would be a great choice. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

industrial metal movie reviews

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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