Music has been a part of our life since the beginning of time. With every decade that passes, there had been many factors that affected the development of music. With the innovation of technology and musical instruments comes the birth of different kinds of music. With the use of electricity, electronic devices such as synthesizers were developed and so another musical genre, the electronic rock.
Electro rock, as influenced by a lot of musicians and artists have transitioned and developed into a lot of musical genre. We have come to know punk rock, garage rock and industrial rock. Industrial Rock or often referred to as industrial metal is a fusion of industrial music and different kinds of rock music. It was in between the advancement of punk rock, mid- to late 1970′s, that industrial rock also took its way up in the musical ladder with Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, NON and SPK as their pioneering industrial musicians.
The acts such as the Velvet Underground and Frank Zappa, psychedelic rock artists such as Jimi Hendrix and composer John Cage are the forerunner in influencing the development of industrial rock. The group Cromagnon is believed to have been one of the bands which perceived the beginning of industrial rock with the song “Caledonia”.
The use of electric guitars, drums and bass paired with white noise blasts, synthesizer, sequences, samplers and drum machines including metal percussions which are generally made with industrial waste such as pipes and tubes, and other products are used by the industrial musicians.
The guitars used in industrial rock are commonly heavily distorted and treated while the bass guitars and drums are played live or replaced by electronic musical instruments or computers. A device, “Gristle-izer” played by Christoperson of Throbbing Gristle, was invented by Carter which encompasses a one-octave keyboard and a number of cassette machines bringing about pre-recorded sounds.
Industrial artists have their own experiments when it comes to music and they incorporated noise and creative controversial topics. They also did a series of tape editing, stark percussion and distorted loops which gives a harsh noise. The industrial musicians Cabaret Voltaire had been using these techniques and were described by journalist Simon Reynolds as “hissing high hats and squelch snares of rhythm-generator”. Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaires’ Vocals was actually electronically treated to have that sporadic effect.
Further development in the industrial rock music was done during the late 1980’s which include fusion with noise music, ambient music, post-punk and electronic dance music. It was labeled that industrial rock is among the most essential musical trends in the new generation that eventually led to the development of new explicit genres which includes Indietronica, new rave, dance-punk and electro clash.
A birth of a new musical genre, industrial metal, occurred during this development when industrial rock and heavy metal was fused. Industrial metal adopted repetitive use of metal guitar riffs, sampling, synthesizer or sequencer lines and also awry or twisted vocals. With the rise of industrial metal artists: Ministry and Nine Inch Nails, industrial rock was truly recognized commercially. Marilyn Manson is one of the most popular industrial artists until today.