Industrial metal is a merging of industrial dance music, thrash metal and hardcore punk. It employs repeating metal guitar riffs, sampling, synthesizer and sequencer lines, along with distorted vocals. Pioneering bands include the membership of: Ministry, Godflesh, Fear Factory, Nine Inch Nails and KMFDM.
Industrial metal first became a commercial success in 1992 when Nine Inch Nails' Broken and Ministry's Psalm 69 went platinum in America, though the latter took three years to reach that status. It's commercial zenith arrived in the late 1990s when the top artists combined sold shy of 18 million units according to RIAA in America alone.
The fusion between industrial music and heavy metal began in the 1980s with Godflesh's self-titled EP. Godflesh was founded by former Napalm Death guitarist Justin Broadrick, and although the EP was not a major seller, the act proved to be influential with later bands. An early adapter to the style was Ministry on their The Land of Rape and Honey album, an album that gave the band pioneering status to set standards. The 'Wax Trax' label was the main conveyor of this music to the public in the USA. More recently, several thrash metal acts have requested remixes by industrial artists; black metal bands have also been heard incorporating industrial elements into their music.
By the change of the millennium many industrial acts were shifting influences to hip hop and electronica, however, and as a result, acts like Powerman 5000 are often classified as both industrial metal and nu-metal.
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