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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
4.53 | 18 ratings
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STRAPPING YOUNG LAD Alien Album Cover Alien
4.39 | 35 ratings
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4.30 | 36 ratings
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RAMMSTEIN Mutter Album Cover Mutter
4.20 | 55 ratings
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NINE INCH NAILS Broken Album Cover Broken
4.28 | 21 ratings
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STABBING WESTWARD Ungod Album Cover Ungod
4.44 | 6 ratings
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STABBING WESTWARD Darkest Days Album Cover Darkest Days
4.38 | 7 ratings
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KMFDM Nihil Album Cover Nihil
4.44 | 5 ratings
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RAMMSTEIN Reise, Reise Album Cover Reise, Reise
4.05 | 47 ratings
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KILLING JOKE Killing Joke Album Cover Killing Joke
4.35 | 6 ratings
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MINISTRY The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste Album Cover The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste
4.09 | 16 ratings
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RAMMSTEIN Sehnsucht Album Cover Sehnsucht
3.99 | 45 ratings
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industrial metal Music Reviews

GODFLESH Songs of Love and Hate

Album · 1996 · Industrial Metal
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Godflesh remains one of those bands I just don’t “get.” Each song is more or less one rhythmic pattern repeated nonstop and a handful of boring, repetitive riffs. Back on their debut, at least this style was novel, though I liked it no more then than I do now. By Songs of Love and Hate, there were already a few other Industrial Metal bands offering a lot more than Godflesh, and I still fail to see the acclaim given here. Honestly, I actually dug this more on the first listen, not paying too much attention to it and enjoying the rhythmic aggression. Unfortunately, more focused listened revealed just how boring it is, with almost no memorable moments whatsoever.

That aside, there is one accolade I will give this album. The track Frail is legitimately good musically, it sounds quite different from the rest, with a bit more energy, melody and emotion.

I would love to see them explore more sounds like on their Cold World EP, or like the track Frail here, but alas…

CONTROL HUMAN DELETE Terminal World Perspective

Album · 2007 · Industrial Metal
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"Terminal World Perspective" is the debut full-length studio album by Dutch industrial black metal act Control Human Delete. The album was released through Code666 Records in March 2007. Control Human Delete formed in 2001 and released the "Error Spectre" EP in 2003.

Stylistically the material on "Terminal World Perspective" continue the industrial black metal style of the preceding releases. It´s a pretty long album featuring 9 tracks and a total playing time of 71:18 minutes. Two of the tracks are 10 minutes plus long ambient keyboard/synth darkwave compositions though, so there´s some variation to the concept there. The remaining tracks are loaded with programmed blasting drums, fast-paced black metal riffing, the occasional mid-paced, heavy, and often dissonant part, and snarling aggressive black metal vocals. The tracks often feature sci-fi tinged effects, samples, and keyboards/synths, which will transport you right into space.

"Terminal World Perspective" is a well produced release, featuring a powerful, raw, and detailed sound production, which suits the material well, and Control Human Delete are a well playing unit too, so the basics are in place and of a good quality. The songwriting is also relatively intriguing, although few tracks stand out or are memorable beyond their playing time. The two ambient tracks are a little too long for their own good, and while I don´t think they are out of place on the album in terms of atmosphere, they would probably have been better suited on a sci-fi movie soundtrack.

So upon conclusion "Terminal World Perspective" is arguably an interesting and different sounding black metal release, although other black metal artists have done similar things before, and with better results too. Still a 3.5 star (70%) rating isn´t all wrong.


Album · 1997 · Industrial Metal
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"City" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Canadian industrial extreme metal act Strapping Young Lad. The album was released through Century Media Records in February 1997. It´s the successor to "Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing" from 1995. An album which was essentially a solo album by lead vocalist/guitarist Devin Townsend, featuring some contributions from session musicians. After the release of "Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing (1995)", Townsend temporarily moved to Los Angeles, where he wrote the material for "City". Before entering the studio Townsend assembled a permanent lineup, thus making Strapping Young Lad a band instead of a solo project. New in the lineup are guitarist Jed Simon and bassist Byron Stroud, who Townsend had worked with before, and to complete the lineup he recruited drummer Gene Hoglan, known at that point for his work with Dark Angel and Death.

"Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing (1995)" was an erratic and experimental industrial metal album, which featured moments of absolute brilliance, but it was ultimately a bit too inconsistent in style and quality to reach the sky in terms of high ratings (my subjective opinion). "City" is in many ways a completely different beast. Townsend and Co. have created a more clearly defined extreme metal sound although the music retains some of the debut´s dark scizophrenic approach. The industrial elements are toned down a bit (which doesn´t mean they are gone) in favor of a more aggressive guitar driven sound, which takes its cues from both death- and thrash/groove metal. Townsend have in many interviews stated that he was strongly influenced by Fear Factory in those days, and while Strapping Young Lad has a very different (less accessible and generally more extreme) sound to that band, there are audible similarities and the influence is definitely heard more than once during the playing time.

"City" is the kind of album which opens by sending a jackhammer to the face of the listener. From the opening intro track "Velvet Kevorkian" until the sixth track "AAA", where things finally slow down and become a little more melodic and mid-paced, the listener is bombarded with a wall of sound and alien atmospheres. Sometimes the riffs and rhythms move at a frantic pace, while the vocals by Townsend are completely schizophrenic changing from ultra aggressive shouting/screaming, to melodic singing, to unintelligible almost cartoonish babbling. Everything of course delivered with ease and great skill by Townsend. "Oh My Fucking God" is probably the prime example of Strapping Young Lad, when they are most extreme. "All Hail the New Flesh" and "Detox" at least feature some handles to hold on to, while still being incredibly energetic and intense tracks.

As mentioned "AAA" is a heavier, mid-paced track, which is a breather after the album opens in such an intense fashion, and actually after "AAA", "City" changes character a little bit and becomes more varied. "Room 429" is another heavy and more melodic track, while album closer "Spirituality" features an almost dreamy ethereal atmosphere. It´s a track which wouldn´t have felt wrong on one of Townsend´s solo albums. So "City" is most definitely an eclectic size and its frontloaded aggression and craziness doesn´t continue throughout, which is a clever move from the band, as it would probably have lessened the impact of the high energy aggressive tracks on the album. Aggression and brutality are almost always most effective when delivered in doses.

"City" features a detailed, powerful, and futuristic sounding production job, which suits the material perfectly. It´s just one of the features of the album which have been improved upon since the debut album. The idea to assemble a permanent lineup of skilled musicians is another and "City" just reeks class and skill in every department. This is not only a unique sounding release, it´s also a very well crafted one. A 5 star (100%) rating is deserved.

FEAR FACTORY Demanufacture

Album · 1995 · Industrial Metal
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Rhythmically, very energetic and engaging. The album culminates extreme metal drumming and frequent double bass with almost danceable rhythms in between. The patterns are djent style focusing on polyrhythmic patterns and pure aggression. Almost every song has a clean-sung chorus that gives it some identity beyond the constant pummeling. The choruses aren’t catchy, but more atmospheric, using the clean vocals as a sustained melody rather than a hook.

Worst part of this album is the monotonous guitar. Again, very djent in nature, hitting a lot of rhythmic 0’s and featuring no memorable riffs. However, the energy and fantastic drumming help to cover this weakness.

The album is dark and mechanic, but in a fun way, and is quite consistent all the way through, unfortunately ending on the most boring track; the near 10 minute “A Therapy for Pain.”

MISERY LOVES CO. Misery Loves Co.

Album · 1994 · Industrial Metal
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"Misery Loves Co." is the eponymously titled debut full-length studio album by Swedish metal act Misery Loves Co.. The album was originally released through MNW Zone in October 1994, but was soon after picked up by Earache Records for a 1995 re-release, which helped the band spread their music to a wider audience and ultimately gave them a decent amount of commercial success. Misery Loves Co. formed in 1993 and released the "Private Hell" single prior to the release of the debut album.

In their heyday Misery Loves Co. were often put in the same catagory as contemporaries Fear Factory, but although both acts use industrial elements in their music, I ultimately don´t agree much with the comparison and I think Misery Loves Co. have a sound which is closer in style to acts like Ministry and Nine Inch Nails (early Marilyn Manson could be mentioned too). Stylistically the music on this album is relatively hard edged industrial metal with groove/alternative metal elements. Lead vocalist Patrik Wirén has an aggressive raw vocal delivery, but also sings clean vocals, so his vocals are nicely varied.

The lyrics are dark and filled with angst and despair, dealing with subjects like depression and abusive relationships, so "Misery Loves Co." is definitely not a happy release. The album opens with the most catchy track "My Mind Still Speaks", which is an instantly memorable hook laden composition. A heavy riff/rhythm verse with aggresive raw vocals, and a melodic/atmospheric chorus featuring melancholic clean vocals (that particular section reminds me a bit of Depeche Mode). There aren´t any other tracks on the album which are as instantly accessible and hook laden, and the repetitive industrial elements are already increased from track number 2 "Kiss Your Boots" and onwards. Although there is a lot of repetition on individual tracks "Misery Loves Co." is not a one-dimensional release, and most tracks on the album stand out and there is decent variation between tracks too. Both in dynamics and style.

The album features a well produced soundscape where hard edged sharp guitar riffs meet programmed drums and industrial effects/noises. This is a sound production made by professionals who arguably know exactly what they do. So upon conclusion "Misery Loves Co." is a pretty mature sounding debut album, and while it´s not exactly a seminal industrial metal release, it is one of the most commercially successful releases in the genre, and the inclusion of alternative rock/metal melodies and angsty lyrics do provide the album with an original sound (for the time). A 3-5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

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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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