Industrial metal is a form of heavy metal that is influenced by industrial dance music, punk, and thrash. The musical style is heavily reliant on sampling, and computer altered sounds. Vocals are often distorted and gruff, while the guitar parts are often repetitive to couple the industrial dance beat.
Industrial heavy metal came to rise in the late 80’s, with acts like Ministry, Godflesh, and KMFDM fronting the movement. Later, in the early 90’s, the industrial metal movement would see its biggest commercial success, with Nine Inch Nails, White Zombie, and Ministry receiving platinum albums. In the latter half of the 90’s, more industrial metal artists emerged like Marilyn Manson, Stabbing Westward, Static-X, Orgy, and Rammstein.
Industrial metal’s most viable moments came in the early 90’s, with the release of Ministry’s Psalm 69 and Nine Inch Nails’ Downward Spiral. Those two albums in particular were commercial successes, as well as critical ones.
The popularity of industrial led to several industrial metal remixes from metal and rap acts as an alternative way to find new listeners.
Industrial metal’s popularity played a significant part of the development of nu metal. Some of the early nu metal bands were regarded as industrial-nu metal crossover bands, like Orgy and PowerMan 5000.
As nu metal became the preferred genre of heavy metal, industrial metal quietly became integrated into other forms of metal, while some artists tried to shed the “industrial metal” moniker. With the continued success of industrial metal, it never experienced the crash and burn of nu metal, with bands like Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, and Rammstein still releasing commercially successful albums in the 2000’s.
Essential Industrial Metal Albums:
- Psalm 69 (Ministry)
- Streetcleaner (Godflesh)
- Nihil (KMFDM)
- Astro Creep: 2000 (White Zombie)
- Hellbilly Deluxe (Rob Zombie)
- Antichrist Superstar (Marilyn Manson)
- Broken (Nine Inch Nails)
- Downward Spiral (Nine Inch Nails)
- Machine (Static-X)
- Beers, Steers, and Queers (Revolting Cocks)
- www.pitchshifter.com (Pitchshifter)
- Point Blank (Nailbomb)
- Work Which Transforms God (Blut Aus Nord)
- Demanufacture (Fear Factory)
- Angst (KMFDM)
Aggrotech is newer form of heavy music that mixes industrial metal with influences from hardtrance music (hardtrance is a mix of trance/house music with heavier hardcore elements). It’s main elements consist of harsh song structures, heavy guitars, tons of reverberation, fast kick drumming, pitch-shifted vocals, angry lyrics and in many cases some black metal elements. Well known bands include Psyclon Nine, Dawn Of Ashes and Alien Vampires.