Thursday, July 21, 2011

Industrial Metal?

I have heard the argument advanced that, since "real" industrial music eschews any conventional form of structure in favor of an anti-musical approach, it cannot truly be combined with any standard musical form. As such, the arguer claimed, "industrial metal" is a false term that represents a musical style which is not really a fusion of its namesakes. Personally I am neither a fan of nor an expert on industrial music. I typically just use the term to refer to metal which includes elements of electronic music. I can't vouch for the "correctness" of the term, but that's how I use it and most people seem to understand what I mean when I use it that way.

I'm curious what others' thoughts are on the matter. Also, does anybody out there with a more specific expertise in the area of industrial music have anything to add?


  1. I think the serious fans of industrial music generally agree with the sentiments of the person you speak of. I think Ogre of Skinny Puppy referred to industrial rock as cock rock (a less-than-nice way of saying glam rock). And if you listen to Throbbing Gristle (I don't recommend it) there's really no resemblance to music at all. It's quite literally noise, not music, unlike noise rock.

    But to say that industrial rock and industrial metal don't incorporate elements of industrial music is just wrong. Sure, it's not true to the original ideas of industrial music, but it's strongly influenced by it. His argument is basically the same as the one that says nu metal isn't metal, because it's not true to everything about metal. Hell, it's a stretch to say that metalcore as we know it today has anything to do with hardcore, either, but any idiot can see the influence there.

    I've talked about my love of industrial metal a handful of times on my blog, and the sad truth is that although I like the idea of it, the actual product is rarely any good. I believe Metallattorney also said something similar once. There are a couple of good ones though, especially Red Harvest, The Berzerker, and of course Godflesh, Ministry, and (if you don't mind their more mainstream popularity) Rammstein. I also recommend reading my posts on the subject for more (especially the one on Ensoph).

  2. Thanks for the response Kelly. I was hoping somebody would have something valuable to add, so it was nice to see a nice, full statement.