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Anyway, assuming you're up-to-date on this... after Skinny Puppy brought Industrial music a slight amount of recognition in not-underground-but-not-mainstream-either circles, a man named Al Jourgenson took note. He was a member of the Synth Pop band Ministry, and he was incredibly bored and contemptible of the music his band was making. So, at some point, he rediscovered his old passion, the electric guitar, and decided to combine metal with this "industrial music" he'd heard so much about. And so, Ministry drastically changed their style from Synth Pop to... industrial metal.
Ministry weren't the only ones who kickstarted the industrial metal genre, however. The German band KMFDM were one other early pioneer (albeit less influential than Ministry), as was the British Godflesh (who, while not as successful as Ministry, had a larger impact on the genre than KMFDM did). The genre really kicked off, however, when one man took note of all this and decided to get involved. This man was named Trent Reznor, and, having left his previous band, he decided to form a solo project. This solo project was called "Nine Inch Nails", and had a similar musical style to Ministry except with more angsty lyrics and, at first, slightly less metal content (they really started piling on the guitars in The Nineties). Nine Inch Nails was the band that brought industrial music into the mainstream with their/his album, The Downward Spiral, in the early nineties. The album with that "I-wanna-fuck-you-like-an-animal" song which is known as "Closer" to some people. Ministry also got a lot more recognition with their album, Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs.
And so, industrial became massively popular. One band, Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids, opened for Nine Inch Nails and, thanks to Trent Reznor's mentorship (if that's a word), dropped the "and the Spooky Kids" bit and basically stuck with the name of its frontman. Thanks to that, people confuse the band with the guy. Initially, Marilyn Manson were (we're talking about the band here) very popular amongst goths, but in recent times have become a joke within the goth scene.
Industrial music, particularly Marilyn Manson, got more focus in the mainstream thanks to the controversy caused by the Columbine killings. The news spread rumours that the two teens responsible for the massacre were "convinced" to do it by Marilyn Manson's music. This idea kept spreading even after it transpired that the two teens listened not to Manson but to KMFDM and Rammstein, neither of whom were picked on as much. And, given that KMFDM and Rammstein are German, you can guess what the next allegation that the press threw at these bands happenned to be.
In recent times, industrial seems to have fallen out of favour. Ministry have broken up, Nine Inch Nails is/are moving in entirely different directions, Manson are jokes, so on and so forth. Only Rammstein seem to be that popular anymore. Newer bands seem to be moving towards the upgraded version of Electronic Body Music: Aggro EBM/Hellectro, unless they go in a similar direction as Rammstein (though it was actually Oomph! that created Rammstein's style) into the sub-genre of Neue Deutsche Härte ("New German Loudness") with bands such as Eisbrecher, Megaherz and ASP leading the way. This genre also seems to be the go-to genre for Gothic Metal and Black Metal acts to change to when they undergo a Genre Shift, like Theatre of Tragedy, The Kovenant and to an extent Cradle of Filth eventually did.
Oh, the music, right. Well, industrial metal is a fusion of industrial music and metal. It's characterised by frequent use of samples, synthesizers and keyboards, and repetitive guitar riffs. Vocals are often distorted, and drum machines are sometimes used.
Notable industrial metal artists include:
- Aborym (Industrial Black Metal)
- Anaal Nathrakh (Industrial Black Metal; also incorporate elements of Grindcore and Death Metal)
- The Axis of Perdition (Industrial Black Metal)
- The Berzerker
- Blut Aus Nord (Industrial Black Metal)
- Chimaira (mostly Groove Metal, Thrash Metal, and Metalcore, but the industrial influence is obvious on their first album)
- Dead World
- Electric Hellfire Club
- Frank Klepacki
- Fear Factory
- Front Line Assembly (typically Industrial (although they usually have one or two songs with metal guitar on each album) but their Millennium album is Industrial Metal)
- Head of David
- Julien-K (mixed with Synthpop)
- The Kovenant (Industrial Black Metal after a Genre Shift)
- Marilyn Manson
- Ministry (Ur Example and Trope Maker)
- Mortiis (After being dark ambient, and then borderline Synth Pop)
- Nine Inch Nails (Trope Codifier)
- Oomph! (Trope Maker and Ur Example of Neue Deutsche Harte)
- Pigface (Supergroup)
- Pitch Shifter
- Rammstein (Trope Codifier of Neue Deutsche Harte)
- Revolting Cocks (Ministry side project, with a heavy emphasis on absurdist humour)
- Seraphim Shock
- Stabbing Westward
- Strapping Young Lad (Industrial Death Metal)
- Theatre of Tragedy (After a Genre Shift)
- White Zombie
- The Young Gods (Swiss band around since The Eighties, cited by Nine Inch Nails and Ministry as an influence)