Where it came from, I don't know, but I've found myself listening to a lot of industrial music lately. It kinda started, I guess, with the last couple Skinny Puppy albums and the latest Nine Inch Nails album, all of which are very good. But I've been digging back to a lot of older stuff too, particularly Front Line Assembly's Tactical Neural Implant.
So I got curious, and started looking into what some of these bands have been up to, and who are the big acts right now. I'm admittedly very out of touch with the scene, I lost interest years ago. In reading a bit about FLA, I come to find that former member Rhys Fulber has re-joined the band. Thing is, FLA with Rhys was among the best industrial of it's time, but FLA without Rhys was among the absolute worst. Bill Leeb is a hack, so without Rhys he's nothing. I decided to check out the newest FLA album, Artificial Soldier, made with Rhys so (presumably) not filled with suck like the sans-Rhys stuff. Holy shit, it's actually really good. Nearly as good as Tactical Neural Implant was in it's day, and stylistically very similar. Here's hoping Rhys sticks around for a while and makes some more music with FLA.
Beyond that, I also checked out the latest Haujobb release. Back in the day, Solutions For A Small Planet was one of my favorite industrial records, but the band kinda lost their way after that and started making sub-par minimal IDM. Their newest album is 2003's Vertical Theory, so I gave that a listen. Once again, I was surprised by how much it didn't suck. They've gone back to that Solutions era style and left behind the minimal noodling that they, quite frankly, weren't very good at. It's no Solutions, but it's still rather good.
I should note that both those albums were attained through legal means, Haujobb through my E-Music subscription and FLA from Amazon's MP3 store. Memo to the RIAA: give people the music they want in the formats they want and they'll actually (mostly) buy it rather than steal it. Look to Radiohead's and Trent Reznor's recent digital distribution experiments for further proof.
Looking into what's currently hot in industrial music was rather depressing though. What passes for industrial nowadays seems to be really shitty trance run through a distortion pedal. Utter crap. Someone needs to step up and take back industrial from the gaggle of Oakenfold wannabes in black eyeliner that have taken over the scene. Ugh.