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 (shared with Trance Metal):

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industrial metal Music Reviews

BLOODSTAR Bloodstar

Album · 1988 · Industrial Metal
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Unitron
In the Cold Ice of Outer Space

Unlike black metal, Bloodstar evokes cold imagery in a different way. Instead of walking through a forest during a Scandinavian winter, this is an icy interplanetary world from a science fiction novel, perhaps those written by band member Micha Pansi. It's a soundtrack for walking on the surface of Pluto in an alternate universe where we are free to travel through space.

There's thrash riffs, melodic leads, industrial programmed drumming, but it all comes second to the atmosphere, which is made even stronger with the great addition of the organ. One of the finest moments on the album is the fantastic doom metal-esque rendition of Goblin's "L'Alba Dei Morti Viventi"

Perfect listen for a lonely winter night, where the only thing entering your ears are the cold apocalyptic sounds of space from this little-known album.

RAMMSTEIN Made in Germany (1995 - 2011)

Boxset / Compilation · 2011 · Industrial Metal
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martindavey87
‘Made in Germany’ is a compilation by German industrial metal giants, Rammstein. Released in 2011 (the clue’s in the title), it features sixteen of the bands biggest and most powerful tracks, and is a well-rounded career retrospective for the sextet at that point in their career. However, as is always the case with these types of collections, the quality of the track list is subjective, and in my opinion, there’s an abundance of missing material!

But that comes down to my own personal tastes, and while there’s a few songs I’d have taken out and replaced with others, as a whole, this is a solid album which represents the band well. Full of bombastic and over-the-top hits such as ‘Du Hast’, ‘Sonne’, ‘Ich Will’, ‘Pussy’, ‘Amerika’, ‘Engel’, ‘Links 2 3 4’, ‘Mein Herz Brennt’ and album-exclusive track, ‘Mein Land’, there are so many awesome songs here that ‘Made in Germany’ still packs one hell of a punch, and will satisfy fans of the group or will make a fantastic entry point for newcomers.

However, while the track listing is fantastic, let’s look at some of the cons of this album. There’s a few fairly subtle edits that take away from the songs. While there’s nothing too severe, one notable exception that irks me is the awesome intro to ‘Du Riechst So Gut’ being cut in half. Not cool. There’s the obvious omissions, which comes down to personal taste again, but where the hell is ‘Feuer Frei’ or ‘Ich Tu Dir Weh’? But the biggest letdown is a bonus disc full of remixes. Sure, these things are normally more of a novelty, but for the most part, none of these remixes are really all that great, barring two; ‘Sonne’ remixed by Clawfinger is pretty good, and amazingly, a Scooter, rave-inspired mix of ‘Pussy’ is incredible, and saves that disc from becoming completely pointless.

Never mind all of that though, as the pros easily outweigh the cons, making ‘Made in Germany’ a fantastic album! While it will no doubt feel dated over time, as most compilations do, it does still hold up well, and the quality of the material on offer is of a high standard. Definitely worth a spin or two!

RAMMSTEIN Rammstein

Album · 2019 · Industrial Metal
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martindavey87
Released in 2019, Rammstein’s self-titled seventh album came out a lengthy ten-years after its predecessor, 2009’s ‘Liebe ist fur Alle Da’. The band managed to maintain popularity over the years by continuing to tour, with their world-renowned stage show becoming impossibly bigger and bigger each time. But with such an extended break from the studio, does absence really make the heart grow fonder?

There’s no doubt ‘Rammstein’ is quintessential Rammstein (aha!). It’s got all the elements that make the band so unique, be it Til Lindemann’s deep and powerful voice, the heavy, riff-oriented guitar work, the electronic pop elements or the overwhelmingly heavy and catchy compositions. But unfortunately, there’s just something a little underwhelming about the album as a whole, and I think that perhaps after ten years of waiting, it just kind of feels like it could have been a little bit better, maybe?

Ah, who am I kidding? It’s still a great release, and in a world where more and more bands are failing to feel as “big” as they once did, it shows that Rammstein, a German-singing industrial metal band, can peak chart lists and fill up stadiums of tens of thousands of fans the world over, with their less-is-more approach showing that you don’t need to be musical virtuosos to release a compelling metal album. And while the quality of the tracks do start to dip a little halfway through, there’s still some standout moments here that deserve mention.

‘Deutschland’, ‘Radio’, ‘Sex’, ‘Auslander’, ‘Zeig Dich’ and ‘Weit Weg’ are all fantastic and amazingly catchy tracks, and show that the band, 25 years into their career and still with the original line-up, are nowhere near slowing down. And while ‘Rammstein’ may not possess any unique, singular quality that makes it stand out from the German’s discography, it’s honestly just a great album that is sure to please fans of the band.

RAMMSTEIN Liebe ist für alle da

Album · 2009 · Industrial Metal
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martindavey87
2009’s ‘Liebe ist Fur Alle Da’ is the sixth studio album by German industrial rockers Rammstein. It comes four years after the fairly disappointing and disjointed ‘Rosenrot’, and not only does it completely make up for that last blunder, but it firmly establishes the band, not only as the absolute kings of industrial metal, but as one of the more prominent bands of the entire metal genre.

The most notable difference between ‘Liebe...’ and the previous two releases, ‘Rosenrot’ and 2004’s ‘Reise Reise’, is the production, in which here, Rammstein are a lot heavier, with a more clear and precise sound. The last two albums seemed a bit “muddy” in places, whereas in ‘Liebe...’ there is a better clarity and focus, taking the band right back to the sound of their 2001 masterpiece, ‘Mutter’.

As always, there’re some monstrously crushing guitar riffs which are interspersed brilliantly with keyboards, giving the music plenty of variety, at times either heavy or soft, with dance and electronic influences. Vocalist Till Lindemann pushes his voice harder than ever, from gentle singing to booming roars. But it all works to give the group their own distinctive sound.

With some of Rammstein’s heaviest, most intense or most interesting tracks, such as ‘Ich Tu Dir Weh’, ‘Rammlied’, ‘Pussy’, ‘Haifisch’, ‘Waidmann’s Heil’ and the title track, it’s clear that the German’s are still at the top of their game, and with the usual controversial lyrics, imagery, music videos and live theatrics, ‘Liebe ist Fur Alle Da’ is a sure stamp that Rammstein belong in the upper echelon of metal bands.

STATIC-X Shadow Zone

Album · 2003 · Industrial Metal
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martindavey87
With nu metal being at its peak in 2001, it’s no surprise that Static-X’s album that year, ‘Machine’, gave them a huge mainstream push and garnered them a bigger fan base than before. Looking to capitalize on that success (and apparently with record label pressure to boot), it’s even less of a surprise that their third album, 2003’s ‘Shadow Zone’ picks up where its predecessor left off.

While there is a slightly more melodic emphasis to this album than previous releases, ‘Shadow Zone’ is still an unrelenting assault of industrial grooves and pounding, jackhammer guitar riffs, sounding massively overproduced to help make the music as big and beefy as possible. The songs are well written, and Wayne Static’s unique blend of singing, shouting, grunting, and whatever other random noises he makes, helps give the band a bit of their own identity (although, there are a couple of instances where he sounds reminiscent of Korn’s Jonathan Davis).

All the tracks on ‘Shadow Zone’ are very short in duration, with only three of them barely scraping by the four-minute mark by mere seconds, however, this makes the album easy to digest, and while some of the songs are catchier than others, none of them have time to drag on, making this album flow effortlessly. And an abundance of electronic effects give the music a great ambience and vibe.

Songs like ‘Shadow Zone’, ‘Monster’, ‘Destroy All’, ‘New Pain’, ‘Kill Your Idols’, ‘The Only’ and the melodic and eerie ‘So’ are all highlights that make this album worth checking out. While nu metal’s day at the top were Static-X’s best realistic chance at mainstream success, ‘Shadow Zone’ is still a great listen for industrial fans, and any metal fans that like their music intense, heavy and accessible might enjoy this too.

industrial metal movie reviews

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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