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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 | 17 ratings
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STRAPPING YOUNG LAD Alien Album Cover Alien
4.36 | 31 ratings
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RAMMSTEIN Mutter Album Cover Mutter
4.24 | 49 ratings
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NINE INCH NAILS Broken Album Cover Broken
4.30 | 16 ratings
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4.20 | 32 ratings
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KMFDM Xtort Album Cover Xtort
4.50 | 5 ratings
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STABBING WESTWARD Darkest Days Album Cover Darkest Days
4.41 | 6 ratings
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STABBING WESTWARD Ungod Album Cover Ungod
4.50 | 4 ratings
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KMFDM Nihil Album Cover Nihil
4.50 | 4 ratings
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RAMMSTEIN Reise, Reise Album Cover Reise, Reise
4.06 | 42 ratings
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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)
4.13 | 13 ratings
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MINISTRY Psalm 69 Album Cover Psalm 69
4.05 | 30 ratings
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SHINING International Blackjazz Society

Album · 2015 · Industrial Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Having scored with the their international breakthrough “Blackjazz” in 2010, SHINING had hit upon an ever evolving formula that focuses on caustic extreme metal as the main driving force of their once jazz and prog fueled escapes that dominated the first four albums but despite this cementing of sounds into a more cohesive whole still wriggled around a bit from album to album as “One One One” tried to tighten things up even further in order to create a more accessibly although equal brutal listening experience.

It seems that after “Blackjazz” bandleader and main creative force Jørgen Munkeby tasted a bit of success and pondered the possibilities of the much desired crossover success that many less complex bands consistently enjoy. The result was in yet another simplification in the industrial metal approach that “One One One” refined yet still had elements of extremity beyond the comfort zone of all but the most hardcore extremophiles. Having adopted the “Blackjazz” album title as sort of a musical ethos of sort, SHINING attempted to capitalize on its notoriety and titled its seventh studio INTERNATIONAL BLACKJAZZ SOCIETY.

As was a given at this point, this album features another lineup change only this time with the departure of longtime original drummer Torstein Lofthus whose technical drumming prowess was becoming less relevant as Munkeby strived for a greater crossover appeal. Taking his place was Tobias Ørnes Andersen whose simpler approach took SHINING’s industrial metal sound out the more frenetic world and more in the direction of mainstream artists like Nine Inch Nails and Ministry. Despite the simplification the band once again became a quintet with the addition of keyboardist Eirik Tovsrud Knutsen.

Despite the “Blackjazz” title appearing in INTERNATIONAL BLACKJAZZ SOCIETY, there is not much on this one to bring back all those extreme adventures into prog complexity laced with jazz and avant-garde Western classical compositional fortitude. Instead this one is more of a simplified form of alternative metal with easy to follow song structures that adds a bit of industrial heft as well as the occasional saxophone squawks that have become less and less significant after “Blackjazz” to the point where Munkeby dropped the sax altogether on the following album “Animal.”
 While the guitars have that ballsy bluesy alternative metal sound that was common in the 90s, the drumming styles often mimic industrial metal bands like Ministry, Marilyn Manson and other late 90s / early 2000s similarly minded artists. Once again Munkeby’s vocal style mimics Marilyn Manson with those scream as loud as you can from beneath the swells of distorted din affect and still maintains an eccentric edge despite the music being tamped down for broader acceptance to the point where tracks like “House Of Warship” are more hard rock than metal however these less frenetic tracks also feature more saxophone squawks. On slower parts his screams are replaced by a more generic alternative rock style of vocals.

Overall this one is a major step down in SHINING’s quality control and clearly geared towards crossover appeal but unfortunately the result is a rather boring album for those on the prog side of the fence and not melodic or interesting enough for a straight on industrial metal type of albums. The melodic hooks aren’t memorable, the tracks while somewhat diverse aren’t as interesting and the overall effect is fairly weak not only compared to SHINING’s previous canon but in the context of both alternative metal and industrial rock. It’s not a bad album by any means and decent enough but unlike everything that came before comes off as a bit hollow.


Album · 2013 · Industrial Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Anyone who has kept up with the Norwegian band SHINING can only come to the inevitable conclusion that the mastermind and band leader Jørgen Munkeby is one of those restless creative types who can’t sit still for too long and with the exception of the band’s two debut albums which focused on a retro style of avant-garde post-bop jazz in the spirit of 60s John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, SHINING has practically reinvented itself every step of the way but somehow retained a bit of what came before only teased things out in unexpected directions that the fans could hardly see coming.

After 2010’s breakthrough album “Blackjazz,” SHINING latched onto a heavier extreme metal sound that caught on with a fanbase no doubt inspired by a lengthy tour with fellow Norwegiains Enslaved but that album still retained those extreme journeys through myriad musical genera that not only adopted the more extreme sounds of black industrial metal but retained the reverie of a classic King Crimson album as it equally reveled in dark psychedelic atmospheres laced with psycho-jazz interludes and over the top progressive rock workouts with the compositional fortitude of 20th century classical avant-gardists.

Never content to simply repeat a formula, for their next act SHINING reinvented its sound once again with that same tightrope act of keeping just enough of what came before to make it obvious it’s the same band (first two albums excepted) and thrown onto the work table to craft an entirely new Frankenstein. As evidenced by the stark contrast of the album cover art of “Blackjazz,” with the band’s following sixth studio album ONE ONE ONE sported a glowing neon orange packaging and so too did the musical style shift gears and take a complete 180 into a more direct extreme metal experience that focuses on quick streamlined molten attacks rather than sprawling prog fueled eccentricities.

Another album, another lineup change with the two members Even Helte Hermansen (guitar) and Bernt Moen (keyboards) leaving the band and the addition of newbie guitarist Håkon Sagen thus making the band a quartet once again with absolutely no guest musicians to be found. This new streamlined attack of jazzified industrial metal featured an incessant barrage of guitar and bass riffs and hefty percussive workouts in conjunct with Munkeby’s eccentric vocal screams that in this case sound a bit like Marilyn Manson in his 90s heyday although the keyboards still exist as supplemental atmospheric generators despite not appearing in the credits. Another unique feature about ONE ONE ONE is the tamping down of the jazz elements with Munkeby’s sizzling sax squawks only making a rare appearance now and again.

ONE ONE ONE for all its wild and rambunctious metal mania sounds more based compositionally speaking in good old-fashioned rock and roll with a boogie-woogie swagger but dressed up in extreme metal regalia with extremely fast tempos and dissonant guitar distortion. This is one incessant noisefest from beginning to end with only brief moments of contrast such as the solo saxophone intro of “How Your Story Ends.” Other than that it’s high octane guitar, bass and drum rampage for the album’s run which at 36 minutes of playing time is significantly shorter than the band’s sprawling escapades into the avant-garde universe and beyond of its previous three albums.

As with all SHINING albums, this one is certainly an acquired taste but compared to everything that came before also the most accessible with instant gratification as far as melodic hooks getting under your skin however it wouldn’t be SHINING if there wasn’t some sort of barrage of elements that make its products difficult listening music. As far as the prog goes, ONE ONE ONE seems more early Yes than King Crimson with riffs that resemble that intro part of “Heart Of The Sunrise” ramped up in both speed and volume but ultimately ONE ONE ONE is much more interested in fleshing out pop hooks nurtured in the context of caustic industrial metal bombast. It’s true that SHINING will find few who stick around for long but for hardcore extremophiles, ONE ONE ONE is another interesting twist in this unique band’s alternate reality.

GODFLESH Streetcleaner

Album · 1989 · Industrial Metal
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Sometimes when you listen to one of these acclaimed albums and don’t like them so much, you can still see what makes the album so great. You can recognize what other people see in it and write it off as just not being your thing. But sometimes, you might just be left mystified, wondering “What am I missing?”

Just before Streetcleaner, I had been listening to Peter Gabriel’s Passion, one of his most revered releases and a widely acclaimed New Age/World Music album. The album didn’t do anything for me, mostly because I’m not a fan of the style of music. However, I could still acknowledge the great compositions and brilliant atmospheres crafted in the soundscapes, and it was no mystery to me why it is so well liked.

Streetcleaner is a different case. I love metal. I love dark, misanthropic, heavy music. But listening to Streetcleaner, I struggle to find any appeal at all. The songs are all incredibly simple, and it sounds much less like a performance and much more like each member came up with one loop and just had it repeat for 5 minutes. There’s nothing innately wrong with this, but if you’re gonna repeat something for so long, at least make it good. The riffs are barely there; boring, slow, uninspired guitar that does little other than add a sludgy atmosphere, and ditto for the bass. The drum beats are equally boring and uninspired, and aside from some occasional addition of double bass, never do anything interesting. The vocals are sometimes there, and that’s all I can say about them.

The album is certainly dark, but the problem is that it is not active in achieving this. All the music is incredibly passive, and by that I mean there’s a lot of nothing going on aside from sounding heavy and dissonant, and it becomes the listener’s job to project any actual mood to it. The music doesn’t invoke anything on its own, but rather acts as a pool to collect such projected feelings. Unique at the time, and influential for everything that came after… but I’d say this is another case of influenced far surpassing the influencer.

GODFLESH A World Lit Only by Fire

Album · 2014 · Industrial Metal
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Deep, dark and exceptionally moody, A WORLD LIT ONLY BY FIRE was the first GODFLESH album released in nearly 13 years after 2001s HYMNS. I get the impression that they were trying to record something of refreshed version of their first studio album STREETCLEANER which I think they did successfully. Call it a STREETCLEANER 2.0 if you will. It has the same relentless rumbling aggression, very low tuning and Broadrick's signature bark but with a fresher feel from the modern production. If you listen with headphones up full blast and close you eyes, you can practically see the fire mentioned in the album title (or maybe it just makes me think of the album cover of STREETCLEANER??)

Having said that, I would still put STREETCLEANER in front of this down to its originality at the time of its release even though the music itself has a less professional feel which is generally the case for most first releases anyway and certainly not always a bad thing.

One thing that lets A WORLD LIT ONLY BY FIRE down in my opinion is that it can feel that it drags on somewhat towards the end and on occasion, i do not make it quite to the end of the album. For this reason, I cannot give more than 3.5/5. Still a great album which I would recommend to anyone who likes their metal dark and bleak.


MINISTRY The Land of Rape and Honey

Album · 1988 · Industrial Metal
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The album starts off quite energetically, with some simple yet aggressive and heavy riffs and some artificial but effective beats with some nice double bass work giving it some extra power. After the first couple of songs, it shifts more towards Electro-Industrial territory and loses its metallic edge. It also slows down considerably, and relies on sampling to break its simple, repetitive beats. Most of the non-musical noises thrown in add little to the sound and are usually just abrasive for the sake of being abrasive. The instrumental tracks are especially hard to bear, as Al’s manic, crazed vocals are one of the main appeals to the album.

An incredibly unique record when it was first conceived, and highly influential to Industrial Metal and other similar circles of music. Today, it is too simple and limited without offering any staying power to hold up very well.

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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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