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):

industrial metal top albums

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DØDHEIMSGARD Supervillain Outcast Album Cover Supervillain Outcast
DØDHEIMSGARD
4.53 | 18 ratings
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STRAPPING YOUNG LAD Alien Album Cover Alien
STRAPPING YOUNG LAD
4.36 | 33 ratings
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RAMMSTEIN Mutter Album Cover Mutter
RAMMSTEIN
4.23 | 52 ratings
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STRAPPING YOUNG LAD City Album Cover City
STRAPPING YOUNG LAD
4.22 | 34 ratings
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NINE INCH NAILS Broken Album Cover Broken
NINE INCH NAILS
4.28 | 19 ratings
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STABBING WESTWARD Darkest Days Album Cover Darkest Days
STABBING WESTWARD
4.38 | 7 ratings
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KMFDM Xtort Album Cover Xtort
KMFDM
4.50 | 5 ratings
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STABBING WESTWARD Ungod Album Cover Ungod
STABBING WESTWARD
4.46 | 5 ratings
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RAMMSTEIN Reise, Reise Album Cover Reise, Reise
RAMMSTEIN
4.05 | 45 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)
MARILYN MANSON
4.14 | 15 ratings
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MARILYN MANSON Antichrist Superstar Album Cover Antichrist Superstar
MARILYN MANSON
4.07 | 29 ratings
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RAMMSTEIN Sehnsucht Album Cover Sehnsucht
RAMMSTEIN
4.00 | 43 ratings
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industrial metal Music Reviews

FEAR FACTORY Aggression Continuum

Album · 2021 · Industrial Metal
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UMUR
"Aggression Continuum" is the 10th full-length studio album by US metal act Fear Factory. The album was released through Nuclear Blast in June 2021. It´s the successor to "Genexus" from 2015 and features the same trio lineup, who recorded the predecessor: Dino Cazares (guitars, bass), Burton C. Bell (vocals), and Mike Heller (drums). Much of the album was already recorded in 2017 (including Bell´s vocal parts), but the release of the album was postponed for a number of reasons, including financial and artistic differences and a lawsuit from two former members of the band regarding the ownership of the Fear Factory name. in 2020 Bell had had enough and left the band. Cazares decided that some of the drums should be re-recorded and the tracks should be remixed in 2020-2021 before the album could be released, but other than that the tracks were already recorded in 2017.

"Aggression Continuum" is not an album which will surprise anyone familiar with Fear Factory. In some ways I´d even go as far as calling the album a generic Fear Factory release. All the trademarks of the band´s style are here and accounted for. Angular chugging riffs and rhythms, sci-fi lyrics and atmosphere, Bell´s raw shouting vocals on the song verses and clean vocals on the choruses, futuristic synths, samples, and effects to further emphasize the sci-fi atmosphere. check, check...check. You decide if that´s a good or a bad thing, but in my opinion a little development of sound and a few surprises would have been welcome. This is pretty much the sound of stagnation. High quality stagnation, but stagnation it is...

Not many tracks stand out and the album is a consistent affair, both in terms of style and quality. A few highlights would have lessened the feeling of monotony which sets in about half way through the album, but again there´s nothing on the album which is of sub par quality or which isn´t an instantly enjoyable listen, but the spark and innovation of the early days seem long gone on "Aggression Continuum". Both the musicianship and the sound production are of a high quality, so no complaints there, although Bell´s voice and vocal performance seem to be stuck in the 90s. He hasn´t really evolved much since then and he still sings in about the same register as always and delivers melody lines which are pretty similar to what we´ve heard on preceding releases by the band. So upon conclusion you´ll be treated to more of the same and if you´re content with that then I´m sure you´ll find "Aggression Continuum" another great release by Fear Factory. Me...I´m so old I remember the fire, the passion, and innovation of the early releases, and how they revolutionzed the world of extreme metal, and although there certainly is quality here and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is fully deserved, this album is Fear Factory by the numbers.

MINISTRY Psalm 69

Album · 1992 · Industrial Metal
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SilentScream213
A lot of really good ideas and unique aspects to this album that were groundbreaking at the time. Probably most later Industrial Metal bands used this thing as a blueprint. The speedy, riff-focused parts of this are great, like Tv 2 and Hero, which rip along at chainsaw shredding speed. Al usually sounds good, which a very gruff yet nasally yell that is no doubt processed with some distortion.

What really ruins this album for me is the insane repetitiveness, especially in the annoying samples. Most of the songs here have parts where some vocal sample is repeated about 16 times, and it’s abundant with random shout or spoken samples that are thrown in at the rate of a snare drum. On the same note, even when the guitar riffs and rhythm section are good, it quickly goes stale after the same measure has been repeated about 32 times. There’s very little variety to each track, making each one more or less based around one repetitive section.

The title track is an example that almost uses samples well, specifically the choir vocals that add an epic touch to it, but then the rest of the track falls into the same habit of throwing in voices and what not so much that it just becomes annoying. Despite the abundance of interesting and unique ideas here, it’s something I have no desire to revisit because of how annoying it can be.

GODFLESH Songs of Love and Hate

Album · 1996 · Industrial Metal
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Unitron
I could ramble on about how much I love this album and how much it's helped me though my life, but I'll keep things concise. This is Godflesh's peak, screaming with the most emotion while also having the catchiest hooks. It's depressive in such an honest way, Broadrick's vocal performance screams all the feelings emoted by the music, and the atmosphere is drenched in lugubriousness. Brooding hip hop beats in Circle of Shit and Kingdom Come are both groovin' yet enhance the haunting atmosphere. It's probably the closest there's ever been to Illbient metal.

If you're just looking for noisy industrial, Streetcleaner is your album. However, if you love electronic and hip hop and want something that's really emotionally heavy, this and Us and Them are Godflesh's best. This can be either catharsis or simply a fantastic and infectiously catchy album.

FEAR FACTORY Aggression Continuum

Album · 2021 · Industrial Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
2021’s Aggression Continuum is the tenth full-length canonical studio album (discounting compilations, remix albums, demos, and their almost-debut Concrete – which doesn’t count) by the veteran Metal band Fear Factory. It has a long and storied history, which you can go into at length online should you wish, but the gist of it was that the band recorded an album called Monolith a few years ago, featuring less polished versions of these tunes, but that record got delayed due to legal issues and wasn’t released. Most of the various old band members hate each other, and all of them seem to hate guitarist and current band leader Dino Cazares, who crowdfunded for the cash to improve Monolith and turn it into this current album via a series of small upgrades. He used the cash to hire Mike Heller on drums (who’d done a great job on their previous album Genexus) to replace Monolith’s drum-machine tracks with actual drums, and to add in additional keyboards, electronics and atmosphere to flesh the whole thing out and give it the finishing touches. In the meantime however, iconic singer Burton C. Bell left the band in a less-than-amicable split, but rather than start afresh with a new singer, Dino decided to keep just his old vocal recordings from 2017 and release the album anyway, as a weird hybrid of old and new.

A messy genesis to be sure, but you better believe I crowdfunded this record and was looking forward to it, because despite the recent mess they have become, Fear Factory were actually one of my favourite bands growing up and when they are on top form they can be one of the best bands in the entire genre. After the uncivilized sniping by the press; I really wanted one more record from them, and I wanted it to be great. Even though it is sad to see how the mighty have fallen, and hard to believe they would ever continue without Burton, it is still good to have this one last record.

Even going in wating to like it, I am a bit skeptical of the album, and feel there is something a bit cynical on some of the tracks. Perhaps the biggest fault on Aggression Continuum is that there isn’t enough importance placed on the drums or especially not enough focus on the bass, whereas the band had one of the best rhythm sections in the history of Metal in the 90s, which was an equally big selling point to their sci-fi lyrics, clean/growl vocal dynamic and crunchy staccato guitar style that made them famous. Sure that was the hook, but there was always more to it than that. Maybe there is bit too much repeating old glories (one of the songs is a pretty shameless fan service reference to their ‘90s hit “Replica”) and maybe there is a bit to reliance on formula. The album lacks the diversity and nuance that made their earlier work pop, focusing instead on the aforementioned surface level similarity between those early records. Whereas their first four albums were a constant evolution and no two albums sounded that much alike, ever since Raymond and Christian left the band, Fear Factory have kind of just fall into a formula of what they think they should sound like, rather than pushing what they can sound like or even what they did actually sound like. Before, there was a signature guitar and lyrical style in a diverse catalogue. Now its all just riffs and robots, but lacking in all the other parts that complemented the surface level similarity of recurrent crunchy metallic terminator vibes, and stopped a recognisable style from being a gimmick, instead turning it into the basis for some utterly classic albums.

That all being said however, this album isn’t the worst thing the band have released. It may be a bit by-the-numbers. It may be a bit cynical. However; It is more realized and less rushed than 2005’s hit and miss Transgression, and it is better produced and less boring/forgettable than 2012’s The Industrialist (having a human drummer instead of a drum machine certainly helps it compare favourably to that record).

Sure the spark that made their best albums really shine is missing, but there are a few really quite good tracks, such as the exciting opener “Recode,” the energetic title track “Aggression Continuum,” the bouncy single “Disruptor” and also the deep track “Monolith” which has a nice little guitar solo (a rarity in Fear Factory songs). Its also short enough not to overstay its welcome, which is always a plus. I don’t think in years to come this album will be anyone’s absolute Fear Factory album, but it is an OK end to the Burton C Bell era of the band, and it is not an embarrassment.

Overall, not their best release, but not without its merits. Buy if you are already a fan, don’t start here.

KILLING JOKE Hosannas From the Basements of Hell

Album · 2006 · Industrial Metal
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Peacock Feather
Killing Joke has always been a slightly neglected formation from among those that had a huge impact on the musical movement both in Britain, native to musicians, and in the North American continental part on the planet Earth. With their work of the early 80s, they made a local revolution in post-punk, showing the true power of this genre, and moreover with completely unexpected inclusions of early industrial and Jamaican dub. The roots of the monstrous sound of Killing Joke have sprouted in the music of such bands as Ministry, Godflesh, Nine Inch Nails, Jane's Addiction, Nirvana; even Metallica did a cover of The Wait from the imperishable debut album of 1980. In short, it is pointless to dispute the influence of Killing Joke on the industrial rock movement and its derivatives, their magnitude is too strong on the music scene, but at the same time it is often critically underestimated.

The musicians themselves, after the bright post-punk 80s, decide to take a course to weigh down the sound, hints of industrial heavy music have already slipped through in the releases of the 90s, and in the noughties with the reunion, the band finally started playing the same industrial metal, whose forefathers they were in fact once in the 80s. And despite the recursive borrowings from the work of the same Ministry, and Jaz Coleman has generally become a local Lemmy in terms of vocals, their music is unmistakably fixed as a Killing Joke.

"Hosannas From the Basements of Hell" is the quintessence of the sound of the band from the noughties. A non-stop dance mash of an hour long, which, due to the repetitivity of the genre, not everyone can withstand in one go, therefore, the best acquaintance with this album will be the first 2 compositions that capture attention from the first seconds with their frenzied energy and primal anger. The whole album will continue to create the impression that it was recorded in the darkest depths of Hell and was revealed to the common people for communion. As for the rest of the hosannas, the oriental and pompous Invocation is a great greeting to the legendary LZ Kashmir, Implosion makes you dance furiously as if in an epileptic fit, the songs following it only strengthen this feeling, and relative calm, catharsis await the listener only on the last composition, Gratitude.

A wonderful album in its expressiveness, form and content. Perhaps some people will be scared off by excessive duration, but when everything is well tailored and designed, will it bother you when listening? The answer to this question, it seems to me, is unambiguous.

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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