When it comes to Industrial sounds most are HEAVY in their own right. When it comes to the godfathers of industrial; who you will find at the top of our list; to the many industrial metallers and alternative groups of today, one cannot argue that the records listed are all albums that stand the test of time. Starting off with six honourable mentions, it’s time to crank the speakers and wake the neighbours.
Nailbomb: Point Blank (1994)
Pitchshifter: www.pitchshifter.com (1998)
Deathstars: Synthetic Generation (2003)
Static-X: Machine (2001)
KMFDF: Nihil (1995)
Revolting Cocks: Beers, Steers and Queers (1990)
Top 10 Industrial Albums
10. Mortiis: The Grudge (2004)
Håvard Ellefsen, former bassist of legendary black metal group Emperor fronts his own industrial metal group going by the Mortiis moniker. Having released a number of records, twelve in fact including the most recent The Great Deceiver (2016), it comes down to a matter of opinion in regards to his best album. This writer has chosen his ninth being, The Grudge, which features a good mix of heavy and industrial bliss.
Standout tracks: Broken skin, The Grudge, Twist the Knife.
9.Rammstein: Sehnsucht (1997)
German industrial (alternative) metal band, Rammstein stand to be one of the most successful acts pumping out incredible albums with film clips to go to with. Busy frontman, Til Lindemann also fronts his project Lindemann, joined by Peter Tägtgren, frontman of Hypocrisy and Pain. The latter being another honourable mention along with the Lindemann project, however, it is near to impossible to include all honourable mentions when there is so much more than six out there. Going back to the album it could be argued whether the debut, Herzeleid (1995) or their second offering, chosen here, Sehnsucht (1997) as being the greater of the two. Going with the latter as it is the album most got to know Rammstein from. With hit after hit, there is no stopping the album being stuck on repeat.
Standout tracks: Engel, Du hast, Bück Dich
8. Marilyn Manson: Antichrist Superstar (1996)
Well known for controversy over the years, mostly in the nineties, the god of fuck as he is known to his fans, Marilyn Manson, taking the name of the late supermodel, Marilyn Monroe and the still living serial? killer, Charles Manson. The follow-up to the debut, Portrait of an American Family (1993) and the fifteen track EP, Smells Like Children (1995) saw Manson at his peak with Antichrist Superstar (1996). For an alternative industrial metal band, this album stands the test of time as a fan favourite of the talented Brian Warner. Yes, the man has a real name.
Standout tracks: Irresponsible Hate Anthem, The Beautiful People, Tourniquet
7. Fear Factory: Demanufacture (1995)
Industrial metallers, Fear Factory need no introduction, when it comes to releasing stellar albums. The follow-up to the debut, Soul of New Machine (1992) or Concrete (1991), if you’re going to get all technical; Demanufacture (1995), stands to be not only a fan favourite but a classic, certified gold, here in Australia and silver in the UK, with the pom’s always being one step behind. Frontman Burton C.Bell‘s vocals owe a lot to Justin Broadrick of Godflesh, a heavy influence on his vocal style. The distinct guitar work of Dino Cazares who also plays bass on the album with Christian Olde Wolbers, joining the band while hitting the road. The drums of Raymond Herrera completed the classic lineup. To this day with numerous lineup changes, Fear Factory prove to be one destructive machine.
Standout tracks: Self Bias Resistor, Replica, Zero signal
6. Strapping Young Lad: City (1997)
Canadian extreme metallers, Strapping Young Lad, contained elements of thrash, death, black, progressive and most importantly industrial metal. The follow-up to the debut, Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing (1995), was the definite Strapping release, City (1997) lead by the incredibly talented and crazed frontman, Devin Townsend. Accompanied by Jed Simon on guitar, Byron Stroud on bass, also a touring member of Fear Factory between 2004 until he left the band in 2012, and the legendary Gene Hoglan of Death, Dark Angel and currently sticks man of Testament. With a stellar line-up, this album proves to be one of the most hard-hitting extreme metal records containing heavy industrial tones. Definitely a classic with all killer, no filler here. Hoglan performed drums on industrial metallers Fear Factory‘s Mechanize (2010) and toured with them from 2009 til 2012, replacing long-time drummer Raymond Herrera. Hoglan was later replaced by Fear Factory‘s current drummer Mike Heller. Unit 187 was also an industrial group whose second album Loaded (1998) was produced by Townsend. Stroud recorded bass on Unit 187‘s first two records. Keeping with industrial music Simon joined Canadian electro-industrial group Front Line Assembly as a touring guitarist and provided additional guitars on Implode (1999). SYL may not be industrial metal as such but certain members have definitely sprouted into industrial veins and earlier in his career, the great Townsend was influenced a great deal by industrial music.
Standout tracks: All Hail the New Flesh, Oh my Fucking God, Detox.
5. Nine Inch Nails: Pretty Hate Machine (1989)
The debut for industrial rockers, Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine (1989), stands to be the modern industrial rock album of all time. Considering the band have just released an EP which shows the band’s return to form with that industrial sound mixed with metal outbursts, Not the Actual Events (2016) things are looking up for NIN. The distinct voice of Trent Reznor gained many fans worldwide. Originally released through TVT records, the album went out of print and was re-released via Rykodisc in 2005 and reissued and remastered in 2010 by Tom Baker. This album stands the test of time.
Standout tracks: Head like a Hole, Terrible Lie, Sin.
4. Ministry: Psalm 69: The Way to succeed and the way to suck eggs (1992)
Choosing the number one album for industrial metallers, Ministry with their extensive catalogue of thirteen records is not an easy task though their fifth release, the aptly titled, Psalm 69: The way to succeed and the way to suck eggs (1992) is a definite contender that takes the prize. From album opener N.W.O to final track, Grace the listener is taken on a journey, which proves to be one industrial trip. The Al Jourgensen, Paul Barker combo is at its peak and the added guitar wizardry of the late Mike Scaccia add that metal edge to the industrial sound. One album that should be in every house of any industrial fan is this beauty. Also be sure to check out Uncle Al‘s latest project, Surgical Meth Machine (2016), another honourable mention.
Standout tracks: NWO, Just one Fix, Jesus Built my Hotrod.
3. Killing Joke: Killing Joke (1980)
After an incredible fifteen releases, the self-titled debut, Killing Joke (1980) takes the prize in the number one album for the Brits. Fronted by the quirky Jaz Coleman, Killing Joke the original industrial rock group that still kick ass to this day. Having gotten heavier over the years they have influenced many industrial acts. Not only industrial acts take inspiration as they have been praised by the likes of Dave Grohl of Nirvana, Foo Fighters fame and Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine. The originators deserve to be way up the top of this list and it is a matter of opinion as of how high.
Standout tracks: Requiem, Wardance, The Wait.
2. Godflesh: Streetcleaner (1989)
While Killing Joke gets the prize for the original Industrial rock act, Godflesh deserves the prize for the original industrial metal act along with their contenders from the U.S. Ministry. The debut from the Brits was released through Earache Records and hailed as a creative masterpiece. The use of a drum machine drew influences from hip-hop artists of the late 80’s. The band is now made of two men and a drum machine. That being frontman Justin Broadrick who provides vocals and guitar and bassist, G. C. Green. Godflesh is one force to be reckoned with and the force behind Fear Factory and many bands that are inspired by the crushing sounds.
Standout tracks: Like Rats, Christbait Rising, Streetcleaner.
1. Skinny Puppy: VIVIsectVI (1988)
Since forming in 1982, the Canadians have released a staggering fourteen records being one of the most influential industrial bands. The Canadians are heavy in their own right and VIVIsectVI (1988) is a classic of theirs. Consisting of Nivek Ogre on vocals, cEvin Key on synthesisers, guitars, bass guitars, drums, accompanied by Dwayne Goettel also on synthesisers and sampling. Fans of industrial music should check out the back catalogue as they well deserve the number one spot when it comes to industrial music as a whole. The album to follow, Rabies (1989) featured Al or Alien Jourgensen, as credited co-producing with Dave Ogilvie and Key. Ogre even was a live member of Jourgensen‘s Revolting Cocks project in 1988, the same year VIVIsectVI was released. The likes of the late Wayne Static of Static-X and Danny Carey of Tool, who provides acoustic drums, both feature on Use Less, a track off The Greater Wrong of the Right (2004), showing how Skinny Puppy keep with the times. Still releasing industrial greatness, their last effort being, Weapon (2013) we are due for some new music from Skinny Puppy. Also check out Ogre’s project, the aptly titled ohGr.
Standout tracks: Dogshit, VS Gas Attack, Testure.