Industrial music is characterized by its mix of goth, electronic, and heavy metal music. The genre doesn’t quite fit into any specific sound. It is this same unique quality, which has attracted fans of industrial music. If anyone has ever expressed an interest in industrial music, they have probably heard of at least 90% of the bands on this compliation.
As far as compliations go, Music of the Shadows is about as complete a sampling as they get. The album consists of 16 tracks performed by 16 different artists. The styles range from Throbbing Gristle’s more electronic and experimental “United,” to Nitzer Ebb’s repetative and abrassive “Join in the Chant,” to My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult’s dancey popular hit “Sex on Wheels.” Not all the songs are good, but the album in its entirety is an effective representation of the many facets of the industrial music sound.
Some of the other artists, who compose this album include: Ministry, KMFDM, Einstürzende Neubaten, to name a few.
The compliation is finished off by some very extensive liner notes by Athan Maroulis, who fancies himself an industrial artist and guru. Although his notes are informative in offering the histories of some of the bands on the album, as well as on the history of the industrial movement, the tone is somewhat comic in its attempt to portray the industrial movement as being anymore than a bunch of freaks dressed in black running around with eyeliner. This is unfortunate because instead of the album being more of a volume in the history and progression of “dark” music, it ends up coming across as more of a plea for acceptance and authenticity.
Music of the Shadows is not an easy listen. The selections are varied in each of their respective styles, yet they are all tied together by the post-goth sound of aggression and experimentation.