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A style of music started in the mid-1970's by the seminal "band" Throbbing Gristle. Known for the painful noise and disturbed subject matter that seemed to spring eternal from their seriously crazed leader, Genesis P-Orridge (he was once threatened by the axe-murder Ian Brady... Prompting him to write a song about Ian), TG quickly claimed a name for itself. They were often described as "the wreckers of civilization." Industrial music was further explored by synth-whatever acts Suicide and Cabaret Voltaire, from New York and Sheffield respectively. Both shared a sort of skewed love for pop music, and both had a penchant for writing seriously weird songs, in the tradition of TG. Cab Voltaire especially was an enormous influence on the scene to follow. The Cabs were soon followed by the fledgling Einsturzende Neubauten, possibly the most notorious of the well-known industrial groups. With more members, no drum set, and a hatred for the guitar, Blixa Bargeld and his band of jaded Germans unleashed a wave of broken machinery and really cool-sounding German lyrics, and throwing in danceable beats, thus giving birth to (you can't blame 'em) the Holocaust that is modern-day industrial. With very little respect for the experimentation of their forefathers but a strong desire to somehow work machinery into their music, a whole host of over (I will NOT say über)-angsty Goths turned to the new genre of Industrial for sanctuary. Bands like Skinny Puppy, KMFDM, and many other groups who wore their hair like Goths but were really, REALLY angry, started coming out of the woodwork. J.G. Thirlwell was a notable exception, bringing some seriously needed humour to the genre with his whole host of aliases (most of them containing "foetus"). Things only went downhill from there, and before you know it, BAM! the Nine Inch Nails.
Just because it has the sound of a jackhammer in it doesn't make it industrial music.
by Owen July 23, 2003
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An electronic genre originating with influential group Throbbing Gristle in 1970's, on their own "Industrial Records".

The genre was created and defined by TG based off a phrase coined by Monte Cazazza, "Industrial Music for Industrial People". Consisting of abrasive lyrics, dissonant and relatively abstract distorted melodies, drum machines/samplers and gratuitous use of delay and other effects, Industrial music often draws upon transgressive and shocking themes while adhering with absolutely no fucking established musical conventions In other words, it is music theory's worst nightmare.

Although first wave Industrial artists are generally considered by Industrial historians to be the only "true" Industrial bands (and even that is sometimes reduced to just TG), the genre gave birth to dozens of genre that generally fall under the umbrella term of "Post-Industrial". This includes the Electro-Industrial genre, comprised of bands such as Skinny Puppy and Front Line Assembly, the EBM genre (Nitzer Ebb, early Ministry, Front 242, etc.) and the Industrial Metal/Industrial rock genres (later Ministry, Pigface, etc.) just to name a few (the commercially lauded and probably most known post-industrial band, Nine Inch Nails, dabbled in a handful of these genres, but mostly stuck with an Industrial Rock sound in later years).
Industrial-influenced artists pass on a legacy of being agressive, loud and creative, as well as hold some of the most brutal live shows you could ever attend (seriously, if you were in the pit of a show during the VIVIsectVI tour there's a fairly good chance you were either trampled or had ringing in your ears for weeks to come). If you've never listened to Industrial music at all, I suggest you grow a pair and listen to as much as you can.

Except for Ministry's recent album "Relapse" that shit is total fucking garbage and Al is a pathetic shadow of his former self.
by Rod_Jonse January 12, 2013
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A piercing of the ear that is composed of two holes connected by a long metal bar.
Q : Dude, that's an awesome industrial. Where did you get it done?
A : Oh, Micheal at the piercing parlor did it.
by Piercer November 07, 2004
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1 - A philosophy about music started in the later 1800's by supposed father of industrial music Luigi Russolo. The first recorded piece being "Corale" in 1921 by Luigi and his brother Antonio. The philosophy included using means other than the traditional means of creating music. With such devices as intonarumori, or noise machines.

2 - A short lived genre revived from a philosophy by Throbbing Gristle and continued by bands such as Einsturzende Neubauten, Laibach and Skinny Puppy.

3 - A term wrongly used to identify electronic and electronic rock music. Fits in with terms like techno and electronica. Industrial rock evolved out of this.

4 - Word associated with electronic music because of the artificial way it is made.

5 - Music beyond music.
That can't be industrial! They used traditional instruments. Not an experimental instrument to be found!
by pr0ph3t January 10, 2006
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The absolute best. Heavy Duty. Strong, Sturdy. Over the top. Fantastic
1. The industrial strength detergent cleaned better than the bargain brand.

2. I don't dance often; but, when I do it is industrial (slang for absolute best)

3. This saw is industrial quality.
by zantern January 17, 2012
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A genre of music that can be easily summed up as an electronica/rock n roll crossover, its follwers refer to themselves as Industrialists or Rivit Heads.
Originated from the Brittish band Throbbing Gristle who founded the record lable Industrial Records in the late 70's.
TG experimented with college rock and synths, distorting the original music with calming instrumentals and violent mechanical sounds.
Industrial later split into 2 forms: Electronic/Experimental Industrial (very similar to EBMelectronic body music in sound)and Industrial Rock/Metal.
Electronic Industrial can be summed up with VNV nation, a band that use no recognisable guitar and sounds like dark techno with angry/angsty vocals (It must be pionted out that any "True" Rivit Head must love this band even though they are almost dance music and whine more than Emo).
Industrial rock can be summed up by the band KMFDM, they use angry vocals, with political lyrics, heavy guitars mixed well with techno and dance beats.

Industrial has its own subculture that is very closely linked tot he Goth scene.
The America the Industrial scene (researched from visiting many websites) tends to be much more snobby towards the music they lsiten to, whilst the UK scene tends to mix more with the goth scene with less elitism.
Industrial has many sub-genres and cross over genres and cultures that have produced Cyber Goths (Followers of Industrial, EBM and Future Pop and sport UV cloths, hair and acsessories), Uber Rivit Heads (American Elitist Industrial fans who shun most guitar based and mainstream bands Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein and Marilyn Manson for not being "true industrial") and Mansonites (Followers of ONLY mainstream industrial and Nu-metal).
Experimental/Electronic Industrial Bands: Throbbing Gristle, Mesh, Front 242, VNV nation<c.r.a.p.>, Wumpscut and Skinny Puppy (Possibly the most well known Underground Industrial band and seen on the same level by Rivit Heads as Metallica are to Heavy Metal).

Industrial Rock/Metal: KMFDM, MDFMK, Gothminister, Pig, Dkay, Newleydeads.

Mainstream Industrial Rock: Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Rammstein.

Nu-Industrial: Fear Facktory (not very good).
by Mike November 26, 2004
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A class of music that manifested in the late 80s during the post punk era and defined by emerging underground bands such as Ministry (pre-heavy metal i.e. Twitch, Land of Rape and Honey) (and other Alien Jourgensen side project bands), Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, Nitzer Ebb, Front Line Assembly, Front 242, Bigod 20, etc etc... mostly of American and European origins and became more refined by the early 90s. With a telltale trade signature characteristic of using samples of mechanical sounds found in real world industrial work places. Clanging sheet metal, grating circular saw and metallic crash sounds being typical. The drum machine, the sampler, the vocoder and the synth being tools of the business sometimes incorporating distortion amp/guitar as well. In addition the use of samples of well known movie sound bytes originating from old Outer Limits/Twilight Zone, horror movies, old westerns, cult films, etc etc were/are used. At times the pace of the songs are danceable i.e. clubby but at other times it is more of a mosh pit pace experience.
And was pretty much the music of a counter-culture group of stereotypes that were labeled as either punk, death-rockers or alternative; in addition to the anti-racist skinhead types.
Skinny Puppy's song "Smothered Hope"
industrial music, techno-industrial, death-rock industrial
by Night.Rider July 24, 2014
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