Various Artists

Very Best of Industrial Revolution

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When you see lofty titles like The Very Best of Industrial Revolution, it pays to be skeptical. After all, many labels won't think twice about exaggerating if they think it will increase their sales. But this 2000 compilation, which contains a variety of industrial recordings from the 1980s and 1990s, is generally excellent -- although it certainly isn't the last word on industrial. Major industrial artists like Throbbing Gristle, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Front 242, and KMFDM are missing. However, the CD does offer exciting tracks by such industrial heavyweights as Einstürzende Neubauten ("Yu-Gung"), Front Line Assembly ("Epidemic"), Skinny Puppy ("Haunted"), and Killing Joke ("Money Is Not Our God"). Much to its credit, Cleopatra shows us how diverse industrial music is. Industrial tracks can be amelodic, ultra-abrasive collages of noise that lack a real song structure, and parts of this CD fit that description. But gems like Penal Colony's "Third Life" (which is relevant to both alternative metal and industrial) and Laibach's quirky "Gubert Einer Nation" are relatively melodic. Again, The Very Best of Industrial Revolution doesn't tell the whole story where industrial music is concerned, but it is among the compilations that is easily recommended to those who are exploring the genre for the first time.

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