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 24, 2003
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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 8, 2004
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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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1) Of, or pertaining to manufacture.

2) A style of music combining techno and rock instrumentation.
Godflesh is industrial, Trent only wants to be.
by Psiberzerker April 11, 2004
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A style of music naming itself after a strong sonic association with warehouse machinery (see Einstürzende Neubauten). Arising from audio pioneers such as Kraftwerk and Throbbing Gristle, this genre crossed with punk in the late 70s, creating an idustrial sound heavy with guitars evidenced in such populsr bands as Ministry and KMFDM. Modern industrial music is performed and created mainly electronically with keyboards and synths, developing a strong resemblence to edgy dance music with aggressive vocals. Some unique mainstream artists (such as Trent Reznor, who has worked with Al Jourgensen and KMFDM)have more recently been labeled industrial due to certain characteristics of the sound they play, possibly derived from influences such as Throbbing Gristle. A subculture has developed surrounding the music constisting mainly of airy, bitter drugheads. Examples of industrial music combined with the goth subcultures include VNV Nation, and the Swans.
industrial, vnv nation, skinny puppy, throbbing gristle, ministry, young gods, the swans, front 242, your mom having sex
by Starlite November 9, 2006
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A genre of music started by such bands as throbbing gristle. It is characterized by it's brutal and harsh sounding music wiht lyrics usually associated with pain and .. stuff like that. It's like goth but heavier. Many 'true' industrial fans like to call bands such as nine inch nains fakes. I do agree with the idea that nine inch nails is NOT an industrial band; but get mad at the dumb-ass fanboys who make it look like they're pretending to be industrial and not the actual band.
Wow, listening to industrial music is like a robot having sex with your head. In a good way.
by dr delicious March 27, 2005
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