Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, along with Godflesh, are often considered the two most important and commercially successful purveyors of industrial rock and metal – at least since the late 1980’s. For fans of the harsher side of the genre, though, you likely know Fear Factory are a massive influence. If 1992’s debut album Soul Of A New Machine (highly groundbreaking in its own right) was the opening salvo, then 1995 sophomore record Demanufacture was its devastating follow-up.
Venue – The Riviera Theater
Location – Chicago, IL
Date – April 7th, 2018
Lineup – Ministry, Chelsea Wolfe, The God Bombs
Ministry played a packed hometown Chicago show to a room full of fans that just couldn’t get enough. With a band firing on all cylinders and frontman Al Jourgensen leading the way with their unique brand of industrial metal the crowd was sure in for a huge night. Featuring special guest Burton C Bell of Fear Factory fame doing a few songs on vocals each night gave a unique twist. No one could expect however what would come at the end of the night as Al stated he had a guest to do one song that hasn’t been with Ministry since the 80’s and it was none other than Chris Connelly. This one off was something special to see and a great way to top off a killer set from the band.
Musical trends are often a cyclical beast. If you take any major rock subgenre of the last 30 years or so, you’ll tend to find a revival of it somewhere – whether successful or short-lived. Nu-metal is a subgenre that’s been revived fairly well the last 5 or so years – one need only look at current bands like Sylar, Issues, Cane Hill, Sworn In, Islander, and My Ticket Home to realize that their influences lie 20+ years deep in the proverbial water. The aforementioned bands (as well as others not mentioned) successfully have infused classic nu-metal sounds to fit a more modern audience, and that’s why you see Issues and Cane Hill especially getting slots on high-profile festivals.
You know the most popular bands that represented this movement the best – Linkin Park, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Deftones, P.O.D., Mudvayne. But what about the so-called “lesser lights”? Pulse Ultra? Project 86? Nothingface? Even Stuck Mojo, who could be the most influential of them other than Korn, was underappreciated in their heyday. This article is a look back on nu-metal’s origins, its peak, subsequent oversaturation/decline, and recent rebirth. Grab your JNCO jeans, Surge sodas, and Adidas shoes, because we’re going on a rocketship 30 years ago. Here’s part 1 of our 5 part series exploring the genre’s history, from the late 80’s to the subsequent nu-metal revival that’s happening right now.