Killing Joke is an English rock band formed in October 1978 in Notting Hill, London, England. The original line-up included Jaz Coleman (vocals, keyboards), "Big" Paul Ferguson (drums), Kevin "Geordie" Walker (guitars) and Martin "Youth" Glover (bass).
Their first album Killing Joke was released in 1980. After the release of Revelations in 1982, bassist Youth was replaced by Paul Raven. The band achieved mainstream success in 1985 with both the album Night Time and the single "Love Like Blood".
A key influence on industrial rock, their early music was described by critics Stephen Thomas Erlewine and John Dougan as "quasi-metal [...] dancing to a tune of doom and gloom", which gradually evolved over the years, incorporating elements of electronic music, synthpop and gothic rock,NME. [http://www.nme.com/blog/index.php?blog=10&p=5890&more=1&c=1 "Release The Bats - It's The 20 Greatest Goth Tracks"] By Luke Lewis « 11. Killing Joke - Love Like Blood Aligning love and sex with blood is a standard goth trope, but Jaz Coleman's lyrics always cut deeper than the usual 'doomed romance' cliches. On this 1985 single, one of the few times KJ ever troubled 'Top Of The Pops', he uses martial imagery to create a sense of apocalyptic struggle.
Most gothic moment: "Strength and beauty destined to decay".»Murray, Robin. [http://www.clashmusic.com/news/killing-joke-2010-uk-shows "Killing Joke 2010 Uk Shows"]. Clash (magazine). « One of the first bands to be labelled 'gothic' Killing Joke helped inspire a movement that has travelled across the world. » though always emphasising Coleman's "savagely strident vocals". Killing Joke have influenced many later bands and artists, such as Metallica, Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden. Coleman and Geordie have been the only constant members of the band.