Album Reviews

Ministry – Relapse

on March 27, 2012, 7:59am
Ministry Relapse D-
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Al Jourgensen is a metal demi-god, with more lives than Keith Richards. From humble New Wave beginnings and fake British accents, to being industrial music’s central hub for all things anti-Bush, the Ministry front man makes Death his bitch and the letter ‘W’ his alliterative slave, while repeatedly dating his audible output without shedding an ounce of edge. Relapse intends to capitalize on these fun facts — what could possibly go wrong?

While a lot can be said about aggressive consistency, Jourgensen and company have, in the era of Obama, required change of their own variety.  You’ve got a (possibly sarcastic?) nod to FPS gamers likely to be found in several XBox 360 playlists in the near-future (“Double Tap”), topics currently trending on Google (“99 Percenters”, “Get Up Git Out N’ Vote”), a charming opening monologue about what a soulless, litigious monster the recording industry has become (“Ghouldiggers”), and the typical jabs at big government weaved in for good measure (“Kleptocracy”, “United Forces”).

Everything is fairly open to interpretation, but if an artist spends three-fourths of his or her career establishing a rather hostile identity, there will be bias, and there will be assumptions; matters get exacerbated once one considers how incoherent the vocals on any given Ministry album can be. In the case of obvious cash-grab Relapse, whatever your political affiliation, common knowledge in metal circles is that Jourgensen is both highly respected and creatively stifled, relying on old news and new gimmicks under the cloak of usual gut-punching percussion. 2008’s Cover Up was more socially relevant, even amidst tributes from as far back as Ram Jam’s ’77 interpretation of “Black Betty”.

Ministry will be doing an extremely short touring leg in the States to support Relapse, where I highly suggest you see this band while you can. Because there are always classics to be heard, and frankly, “Double Tap” will probably sound radically better live. As for this sort-of-but-not-quite comeback album, move right along.

Essential Tracks: ”Ghouldiggers”, “Double Tap”

7 comments

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al-alzarahad
August 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Al invited industrial you fucking ignoramus’. If another band is “harder” or w/e then it’s a sad deriviative, not the real deal original like Ministry. Get your facts straight you has-been-hipster-wannabe’s.

Gutter Candy
June 21, 2012 at 11:15 am

Since most of you will steal the album instead of paying for it, you don’t have any right to complain no matter how shite it may be.

Chimp-0-Neg
May 7, 2012 at 5:44 am

THere is a very simple explanation as to why Ministry got shit – Paul Barker. Barker was the brains, Al was the bark. Seriously , does anyone listen to Twitch or Every Day Is Halloween with the same adulation as Land Of Rape And Honey? After Psalm 69, Al Jourgensen increasingly marginalized Barker’s role until it was barely audible and he left after Animositisomina. Whilst Al had a commendable amount of energy and rage, every album since has sounded progressively inbred. Relapse is an apt title then really.

Matt
March 29, 2012 at 11:50 pm

I find this album to be a dazzling natural ghoulish extension of the mutating beast that is Uncle Al’s band known as Ministry.  I have to say that if you don’t love this album start-to-finish you probably gave up on Ministry after Psalm 69 and started listening to Green Day and (how out on a limb you went!) Pavement.  You quit.  You didn’t get Filth Pig, you were starting to clean up your little act, and you found Ministry, once in your service, to be confounding and threatening.  No longer did they make you appear fashionably edgy when you put them on the stereo.  Your guests wanted Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Ani DiFranco.  And you gave them what they wanted.  You missed out on some great shit, and, despite “listening” to Relapse, you continue to do so.  Your loss.  

Bill Clinton
March 31, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Well, junior…… I stopped listening after Psalm 69, Started Around Rape And Honey. After 69 it just became sad and awkward. Particularly the stabs at “political” themes. Not to mention the generic thrash metal surrounding them. You namedrop a lot of harmless, indie rock garbage (which is the only reason I bother replying) as if listening to Ministry is an Xtreme act in itself. Hate to tell you but Ministry is nowhere near extreme music and really never were. Ministry is no more and no less “underground” than anything else you mentioned above. I suspect that you are either a teenager or an aging pothead that has “stayed true”. No thank you..I’ll continue searching out new avenues of genuine extremity and leave junk like this to stagnate in the warehouses. That is not to say that I will ever stop listening to All of the good work Al has done or enjoying artists that have not turned gotten burnt out or lazy or just run out of ideas. Al got old..Ministry followed. Take it from an old guy who has never heard an Ani Difranco song in his life. Try something new. Some Whitehouse or something. 

ThinkingAtheist
April 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Props on the Whitehouse reference. Might I add a touch of Nurse With Wound? “Thunder Perfect Mind” for some head-wrecking Industrial anyone?

Anonymous
March 27, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Whaat! Move along? Fuck that.

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