The descriptor 'Industrial' was attached to bands such as Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire back in the mid-70s. Their fusion of electronic components with harsh mechanical sounds and confrontational attitudes (and subject matter) placed them on the fringes of rock music but gathered fans amongst the deep alt scene. Some elements, such as musique concrète, came from much earlier eras while the noise component, illustrated by Lou Reed’s controversial Metal Machine Music, chimed an industrial chord with those seeking the avant garde in rock music.
Bands who played a prominent role in the genre include Einstürzende Neubauten, SPK, Coil and Nine Inch Nails. It should be noted that breaking taboos and confronting audiences (either live or on recordings) is a central part of Industrial rock. Themes of non-mainstream sexuality, unhealthy relationships and challenging society’s mores abound. In sum: always interesting, but not for the faint-hearted.