Industrial music is a style of experimental music that draws on transgressive and provocative themes. The term was coined in the mid-1970s with the founding of Industrial Records by the band Throbbing Gristle, and the creation of the slogan "industrial music for industrial people". In general, the style is harsh and challenging. Allmusic defines industrial as the "most abrasive and aggressive fusion of rock and electronic music"; "initially a blend of avant-garde electronics experiments tape music, musique concrète, white noise, synthesizers, sequencers, etc.) and punk provocation"
Originally, the term solely referred to music created by Industrial Records and related artists. As time progressed, the term began to refer to artists either directly influenced by the original movement, artists using an "industrial" aesthetic such as imagery devised around mechanical objects and industry itself and, more distantly, artists who were only minimally, often not at all, influenced or inspired by Industrial Records and related artists. The broadening of the term's musical definition has led to an overwhelming number of sub-genres and lines of influence.
Industrial often shares elements with metal ("industrial metal") and electronic ("electro-industrial", as well as post-industrial genres such as powernoise and martial industrial.