Various Artists

Industrial: Music of the Shadows, Vol. 3

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Be honest: Did you ever think you'd live to see the day when K-Tel -- the same company that, not too long ago, was flogging Top Forty hits on TV -- would put out a best-of-industrial compilation? What's the world coming to, anyway? This is a respectable 16-track compilation of the genre, and while it does generally favor some of the more accessible, song-oriented efforts in the industrial style, give credit where it's due. K-Tel does not shy away from the most extreme exponents of the form, with tracks by Throbbing Gristle, Einstürzende Neubauten, Cabaret Voltaire, and Chrome next to the somewhat more dancefloor-friendly Wax Trax crowd, such as Ministry, KMFDM, and My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult. There's also room for some mid-level practitioners of this black art -- Leather Strip, Young Gods, Nitzer Ebb, Attrition -- and some less familiar names like Apoptygma Berzerk and :Wumpscut:. The biggest bone of contention is the track selection: It's hard to represent artists with such voluminous discographies (like Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, and Ministry) with just one cut, and some may feel that the ones chosen aren't frightening enough. But, after all, the object of this compilation isn't to capture industrial aficionados, but to introduce the genre to others, or to provide a sampler of the style to those who want a little but not a lot. It includes liner notes by Athan Maroulis of Spahn Ranch.

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