Posts Tagged ‘Rammstein’

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A Brief Industrial Introduction

March 31, 2010

I thought I’d do a little introduction to an area of music I totally love, because most people love or at least know the likes of NIN and Rammstein, but there are loads of awesome bands out there in the same genre that are a bit harder to find but just as amazing. Anyway this is just intended to be a brief intro to the area, so don’t moan if I’m not going in depth about a certain band. I’ve had to restrain my love for NIN as it is.

So, to start us off I feel a bit of an explanation is in order. ‘Industrial’ was a term coined by the group Throbbing Gristle in the 1970s when they formed their Industrial Records label. TG are massively influential and are attributed with starting the scene, however industrial music then, to industrial music now are regarded as very different things. Many people argue that modern “industrial” metal has no relation to the older industrial groups, despite many of the current bands citing the older bands as influences. This article is mainly going to focus on the genre regarded today as industrial metal (sorry to offend purists, but get over yourselves its quality music).

Throbbing Gristle referred to themselves as an art form rather than a band, and if you listen to them, you’ll see why (I wont go in depth about them, because they really must be heard to be believed, youtube it or something). They essentially consisted of band members but created music that can be best described as pure emotion and ideas. Where as the likes todays bands write about screaming their hearts out and whining about something that pisses them off, these guys would actually whine and scream, creating a sound that definately isn’t what you’d call chart topping but is far from just noise.

The next, I suppose, logical step up from TG is Skinny Puppy. These guys took what Throbbing Gristle did with their ambient and just fucking bizarre noises and made it move more. They added specific beats and repetition which would become a mainstay of industrial riffage later on. In fact their song “Dig It” went on to influence Trent Reznor into making “Down In It”, the first single released off of NIN’s 1989 debut album, Pretty Hate Machine. While Skinny Puppy clearly have the talent, integrity and odd live shows, they still aren’t for every metal fan. While they do just about use guitars and can be quite heavy in places, they aren’t metal. But it is catchy and a good first step to make away from the mainstream metal standards. A good album to start with would be their greatest hits, a nice introduction to something a bit different. Check out the track: “Warlocked”

The next band is one of the most mainstream groups. Nine Inch Nails burst onto the scene in the late 80’s and have stayed firmly in the metal mainstream since, which is where the line that divides between the industrial camps lies. These are the guys who spread the industrial metal name and placed the genre into the mainstream. Nine Inch Nails have been one of the most credible (thanks to it’s sole hard working mainman Trent Reznor) bands to enter the metal scene as a whole. Their die hard fan base building up to such an extent that he left his record label and released not only 1 but 2 albums within a year with no advertising. The latter being a full album, released for free as a thank you, and was downloaded 1.4 million times in just over a month. NIN’s best albums are arguably regarded as anything before 2005’s “With Teeth” but I would happily listen to the whole lot without complaint. However I would recommend buying “The Downward Spiral”, if you’re a die hard metal fan who likes his out and out extreme and angry stuff, then this album will knock your fucking socks off, and still does mine every day. Check out anything from The Downward Spiral, or the single “The Perfect Drug”, or their live videos. I could go on. (Also, despite Trent’s recent retirement from performing live, god dammit, there is something new coming from NIN camp, what, I don’t know. But rest assured I’ll be first in line)

Now that you’ve dragged me off of NIN I shall move on. Ministry, the brain child of Al Jourgensen (who, like Trent, also has fingers in lots of little pies), started about the same time as NIN, yet remained slightly more in obscurity throughout the years. Their music is based more around looped drum beats and repetitive riffs and sampling, one might opt to describe it as Industrial Thrash at times. Al incorporates the same techniques as NIN, yet slightly more stripped down, which can mean it’s a bit harder to listen to. While I’m not an expert on Ministry, I would highly recommend giving “Rio Grande Blood” a listen. However my main quarrel with Ministry is that though the riffs are amazing, there are some fucking irritating samples of George W Cunt Bush placed here and there, and while I get the fact it’s an industrial album, and thats what its about, in some places it ruins a fucking stunning song. Still, a worthy introduction to a quality band, that’s not only seen more members than a hooker, but one of them was the inimitable Joey Jordison.  Check out the track: “Senor Peligro”

I’m fairly sure you’re all familiar with this bunch of nutters. Rammstein appeared in the 90’s releasing the awesome albums Herzeleid and Sehnsucht, with the type of catchy, stompy riff that keeps us headbanging and a smoking hot (literally) live show. You already know about Rammstein, so I’ll leave you with a recommended album in “Mutter” or “Live Aus Berlin”, which encompasses all of Rammstein’s best early stuff. Check out: “Der Meister”

Now we delve into the slightly more obscure, however I am sticking with familiar territory, well mainland Europe. KMFDM (who incidentally are coming to London later this year, anyone wanna come?) were formed in Paris and as most industrial bands are, it is the bastard child of one man, Sascha Konietzko. Their albums (despite featuring similarly themed album covers and titles) are slightly more rocky than metal, I’d compare them to NIN’s ‘With Teeth’, incidentally, Sascha has remixed some songs for Trent. KMFDM vary quite a between songs. They definitely have the riffs and heavy thrashing of the metal scene, while some songs lend themselves well to an almost clubby vibe, catchy choruses and beats. A noteable album to check out is “WWIII”, which starts with the awesome double kick assault of WWIII, before dropping into the catchy and groovy stomp of “From Here On Out” which wouldn’t be out of place on the charts, should the general public ever gain any taste.  Track to check out: “From Here On Out”

PIG belongs to Raymond Watts, who is also a partner of KMFDM, yet on this project we have more of a grittier feel. The electronics being slightly darker, leaning more NIN than Rammstein, say. The guitar work has more of a chunky chug to it, with vocals akin to those haunting growls and screeches of Skinny Puppy. I would describe these guys best as a heavier, more obscure NIN. While not as extravagant and mainstream (though still good) as NIN, these guys are what NIN would have become if Trent had listened to less Gary Numan and more Slayer. Good album to check out is “Pigmata”, it’s a scorcher. Track to check out: “Suck Shit Spit”

Revolting Cocks (or RevCo) are a project of Al Jourgensen and is, in my opinion, nothing that amazingly different from Ministry, they still have those awesome beats, clever guitar and samples, but a whole album of it gets a bit much. The only album I’ve got is “Beers, Steers & Queers”, it’s not bad but I tire of it easily, but if you’re a huge Ministry fan, you’ll probably end up loving this quickly. Track to check out: “Beers, Steers & Queers”

The last band to add to the roster of ever growing groups I need to listen to more is Pigface. This was born for a Ministry tour, being instigated by Al Jourgensen and then taken over by Martin Atkins and (scene whore) Bill Reiflin. Pigface records with various musicians on each release. The list includes Trent Reznor, Al Jourgenson, Flea, Danny Carey (Tool), most of Killing Joke, ogHr (Skinny Puppy) and Throbbing Gristle amongst literally hundreds of contributors. They have some superb tunes and they all vary so much in sound, yet still sound like one band with one vision, which is awesome. The best album to get is “The Best of Pigface: Preaching to the Perverted” purely because it gives an awesome spread of the musical variation you’ll encounter across their music. Awesome tracks to check out: “Nutopia, Suck”

I’m just scratching the surface with the crazy amounts of Industrial bands out there, so I’ll try and post up some more about it as I discover more, if ya’ll like it, that is. If not, why the fuck have you read this far?

Natureboy

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Choice Pickings: Rammstein – Mutter

March 26, 2010

I love Rammstein, for various reasons, but largely because of their ability to laugh at themselves and generally not take life (or music) too seriously. The recent single ‘Pussy’ caused widespread outrage and caused a large number of forum and YouTube dicks to feel like they could take mis-aimed shots; ‘mate wtf is this shit? can’t they do sum proper songs?’ no, clearly not. But that begs the question, what is a proper song? (I’m gonna stop that debate now because otherwise it could go on for ages). Back to Rammstein, I realise that Mutter is their best known and ‘most commercial’ album but that’s not the reason I’ve chosen it. My first encounter with Rammstein was at the tender age of about 12 with the Vin Diesel (you know the gay guy who’s more macho than you could ever be). And the superb opening sequence featuring ‘Feuer Frei’;

Cracking ain’t it, well I think it is (and I’m the one writing this so clearly I’m right feel free to disagree though freedom of speech and all). It wouldn’t be for another couple of years till I would hear the full album and I was well and truly blown away. Largely regarded as the band’s ‘breakthrough’ album Mutter remains their finest moment to this day, it’s classic Rammstein, with songs about hermaphrodites (Zwitter) and wrestlers call ‘Son'(Sonne)  it’s pure brilliance.

The other thing of course is that it’s easily listen-able over and over again. In some ways it’s difficult to know what else there is to say about this record, except that no matter what you think of Rammstein this album deserves a place in any collection. Whether the band has gone ‘downhill’ since (but that’s always what hardcore fans say) or whether ‘all the songs sound the same’ (as is often the accusation) this album remains a musical gem. There are certain albums which just need to be heard and in many cases owned. Certainly one of my all-time favourites and a permanent feature in any ‘top 10’ or even ‘top 5’ list of albums ever (not just metal).

Well that’s it from me on Mutter the album can more than defend for itself.

Mr Bogle

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