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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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SAMAEL Solar Soul Album Cover Solar Soul
4.52 | 10 ratings
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GODFLESH Pure Album Cover Pure
4.58 | 6 ratings
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NINE INCH NAILS Broken Album Cover Broken
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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DØDHEIMSGARD Supervillain Outcast Album Cover Supervillain Outcast
4.28 | 16 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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WHITE ZOMBIE Astro-Creep: 2000 Album Cover Astro-Creep: 2000
4.25 | 13 ratings
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STABBING WESTWARD Ungod Album Cover Ungod
4.49 | 4 ratings
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industrial metal Music Reviews

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!

VAUXDVIHL Siberial Church Recordings

EP · 2001 · Industrial Metal
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siLLy puPPy
The Australian progressive metal band VAUXDVIHL only released one full album “To Dimension Logic” in 1994 and offered a midway point between the 80s Queensryche metal sound and a grungier alternative metal sound that was dominating the 90s. After the release of the album guitarist Frederic Leduc and bassist / keyboardist Edward Katz immediately left the band to pursue greener pastures leaving founder guitarist and vocalist Fab Gallen with the dilemma of whether to continue the his band that had been plagued by so many difficulties. Despite all trials and tribulations he opted to continue on and release two more EPs. SIBERIAN CHURCH RECORDINGS was the second of these short releases but contains two tracks from the “96 Demo” that debuted the new sound that jettisoned most of the 80s influences in favor of more dark and sinister sounding industrial bleakness.

SIBERIAN CHURCH RECORDINGS is a short but surprisingly startling set of only four tracks that only clock in at 14 minutes and 22 seconds but manages to include a diversity of cold, dank and emotionally draining tracks. “Plots, (To or F) Are Necessary Thing?” starts off with the tintinnabulation of church bell and then eerie ambience ensues for a while and then becomes some grungy type of metal. Despite jettisoning the Queensryche and Fates Warning influences such as the high register vocals and progressive metal type guitar riffs, there are still plenty of progressive time signature changes although it is now on a down-tuned and more dreary soundscape. “ISIS / PEKT” becomes even stranger as it has a frigid industrial ambience with a bass and drums and tinny guitar sustain before power chords erupt behind the electronically processed vocals. It becomes more energetic and sounds a lot like some of Enslaved’s more progressive newer albums actually. “Movement” is a slower piano based track that has a dreadful atmospheric haze that is punctuated by heavy drumming and dirty guitar and bass. It’s also quite progressive and brings darker progressive metal bands of the 21st century to mind. “Summoning” is a short little dark ambient track that creates some hellish sound effects and tortured monster type utterances.

SIBERIAN CHURCH RECORDINGS is a short but effective slice of darkened progressive metal with industrial bleakness and makes me wish they would have released a full album of this type of material. Even though it’s completely different than their previous releases it’s quite an interesting listen and better than the previous “Vog” EP. No need to hunt this down on its own. This one can be found along with “Vog” as bonus tracks on the 2014 expanded release of “To Dimension Logic” in a nice double album package with freaky photos and lyrics in the included booklet.


EP · 1998 · Industrial Metal
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siLLy puPPy
The Australian progressive metal band VAUXDVIHL only released one full album “To Dimension Logic” in 1994 and offered a midway point between the 80s Queensryche metal sound and a grungier alternative metal sound that was dominating the 90s. After the release of the album guitarist Frederic Leduc and bassist / keyboardist Edward Katz immediately left the band to pursue greener pastures leaving founder guitarist and vocalist Fab Gallen with the dilemma of whether to continue the his band that had been plagued by so many difficulties. Despite all trials and tribulations he opted to continue on and release two more EPs. VOG was the first of these two final releases that came out four years after their debut following their “96 Demo” which was a promo to showcase their new musical sound. The band was down to a duo with Gallen handling the guitar and vocals while Chris Deloy continued on drums and picked up keyboard duties as well.

In contrast to their debut, VOG has a much darker and sinister feel to it as it is dominated by eerie and frigid atmospheres and electronic percussive beats accompanied by heavily distorted guitar and bass sounds that sound like a much more metal version of Skinny Puppy actually, however the compositions are much more progressive as they not only meander through the full industrial metal assault with raging angry shouted vocals but also have softer ethereal passages with clean vocals that echo and reverb to infinity. The production on VOG is particularly pleasant as sounds sort of slide off into infinity while others pick up and overlap. Tracks like “Assassination” include piano and heavy symphonic backgrounds that overpower the metal aspects that get pushed to the background. There is also a touch of Gothic mysticism in the feel of the album although there are never any Dracula inspired vocals found in bands like Type O Negative for example.

VOG is a mixed bag actually. While it is always admirable for a band to expand its horizons and try something new, this new sound seems a little scattered at this point and i wish that they metal aspects had more prominence than they do. While some of the heavier parts are quite satisfying, some of the softer parts resonate along for too long and don’t develop any sort of satisfying crescendo. The electronic percussion can be a bit too much as heard on “The Funeral Party” and at points like this with weird electronically processed vocals it begins to sound more like something that would have been heard on “The Matrix” soundtrack with big beat hardcore breaks that remind me more of bands like The Prodigy than any type of metal act. While i find all the tracks to be interesting, there is a clear lack of cohesion between them as they all sound disparate and crying out for some sort of continuity. A decent release but not as interesting as the followup “Siberian Church Recordings.” Both VOG and the following EP can be found as bonus tracks on the 2014 re-release edition of “To Dimension Logic.”


Demo · 1996 · Industrial Metal
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After releasing their debut album “To Dimension Logic” in 1994, VAUXDVIHL founder Fab Gallen was left to pick up the pieces after two members went on to pursue other musical endeavors and without their influences Gallen was free to pursue his own experimental path which led him out of the world of 80s Queenryche type of metal and into a darker form of progressive alternative industrial metal. He released 96 DEMO in 1996 and was a prequel to two EPs that would showcase this new more sinister sounding style. DEMO 96 contains only three tracks and was released independently on cassette assumably for promo purposes. Two of the tracks (“Pilots” and “Isis-Pekt”) would find a home on the 2001 release “Siberian Church Recordings” which left only the track “Alienation” never to find a home on any official release.

The track “Alienation” is the opener and is a heavily brutal industrial metal track with heavily distorted guitar and bass with depressive vocals and bleak ambient background. While it tends to sound a lot like a more metal version of Skinny Puppy at first it changes into a type of progressive metal sound that reminds me of Enslaved’s later albums with clean vocals. The other two tracks follow suit with the same type of intense build of an industrial wall of sound with extra emphasis on murky distortion feedback that resonates with higher pitched key sounds sustaining in the background. Overall this is a really decent sound that VAUXDVIHL moved on to and proved that their 80s vs 90s sound on “To Dimension Logic” wasn’t just a gimmick but that they could master both decades with ease.

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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