Friday, August 27, 2010

Not Quite Metal: Killing Joke's influence on the music world

I'll admit, I didn't even really give Killing Joke a proper listen until I heard Fear Factory's cover of "Millenium" on the lackluster 2005 album Transgression.

I thought enough of Fear Factory's cover to check out the English post-punk band (who had a mix of punk, prog and industrial sounds) and picked up a copy of 1994's Pandemonium.

While this album definitely isn't for everyone, I found it to be captivating, and listened to it straight through from start to finish. On further listens I heard all kinds of elements I missed the first time through in terms of composition and song structure.

Frontman Jaz Coleman really does know how to create a masterpiece alongside guitarists Kevin "Geordie" Walker and Martin Glover (Coleman claims to have an IQ of at least 190 and is an award-winning composer).

Even though it's not entirely "metal," Pandemonium features plenty of heavy riffs and beats. It's no wonder the band's earlier catalog influenced the likes of bands as varied as Metallica, Faith No More, Fear Factory, Tool, Rammstein, Lamb of God and Opeth.

Note: Metallica's 1987 cover of "The Wait" off Killing Joke's debut album.

It wasn't until even later that I actually checked out the critically acclaimed self-titled album, which really was an innovation for all industrial music, which would gain popularity in the years to come.

Hopefully if you've already heard of Killing Joke, this post will bring back some good memories. And if not, do yourself a favor and give the band a listen (I would recommend starting with the self-titled album, before ingesting Pandemonium).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice post and great coverage of an often overlooked band that has heavily influenced the course of music. From the Metallica cover you posted to Kurt Cobain's admitted * influence* of KJ's "Eighties" on "Come As You Are", Jaz and company have been slightly ahead of the curve for a long time. I IMPLORE any metal fan to check out 2003's self titled "Killing Joke"...its packed with great, heavy guitar and Dave Grohl beating the crap out of some poor drum kit...not to mention some of the best lyrics I've heard, so listen close, and listen often! Thanks for the great post and covering this great - and they just released their 14th album, Absolute Dissent, spanning 30 years!