Review: Ministry

(Sanctuary Records)

The relentless pacing of fuzzed out guitars with even more fuzzed out keyboards with vocals that are totally… fuzzed out. In typical Ministry fashion, the mixes on the drums are always being challenged so they find additional and unexpected undertone tones in the rhythms. Layer that on top of studio-tricked breakdowns, and you have one-two stomp that is the latter career Ministry.

So why add another album to your collection? Because they keep the edge. They keep the anger. They keep the tempo moving and shifting, adding layer of distortion on top of howling and echoing vocals. They’ve embraced a large chunk of rock within the processed electronic laced industro-trick foundation of the Ministry sound. The guitars are playing a large part of “Animositisomina”.

Since there is a lot more rock going on than the electronic undercurrent of the sound the band is known for, it’s refreshing that a few of the tracks really challenged the rhythms, both in structure and chances taken with the actual sounds of the instruments. The only part of this I’m finding hard on my ears is how the ‘tsssssss’ sound of the crashes and midranges seems to be pushed so heavily, it gives a lot of this the feel of being too thin. I have to boost the bass really hard to get the low end to rumble the way I’m sure some of this aggro-techno-agression is aiming for. So you stereo jockeys can mess with this, but it’s worth your time. The writings mostly there.

If you’ve swallowed their repetitive, drive it into your skull rhythms and fuzzed-beyond recognition vocals previous, this is more up-tempo and up-beat than say ‘Filth Pig’, which seemed more dark and somber, but not quite as jacked-up as their more recognized ‘Psalm 69’ era. And obviously they’ve moved completely away from the old-school electro-newwave-industro-attack of their first albums. This is the Ministry where the guitars pump straight riffage (ala KMFDM) while the whole thing gets wrapped in Jourgensen fuzzbox vocals. More rock than electronic, and that tastes a bit funny, but they are a good band. This album proving no matter what direction they go in, the end result will be worthy music.