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Ministry: The Last Sucker

For many, Ministry's sonic power remains tied to the late'80s and early '90s, about the time that industrial music clawed its way into the national spotlight, the mainstream, the cover of the once reliable Spin magazine, etc. This writer has to admit an impossible-to-deny affinity for The Land Of Rape And Honey, A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste and In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up. Even the "breakthrough" album Psalm 69 penetrated my psyche for one entire summer, the year that Al J. and company ripped my mind a new a-hole with a stunning live performance at the Alpine Valley Music Theater. But there were dark times ahead for the empire as evidenced by Dark Side Of The Spoon and Filth Pig, two albums that suffered under the weight of who-knows-what going on who-knows-where.

Now, with another Bush about to end his tenure in the White House, Al's back, read to tear our minds asunder with enough filth and fury to make ol' Marilyn Manson feel as though he really hasn't done much to advance the cause of shock rock over the last decade or so. If the album smacks a little bit of Prong at times, perhaps it's 'cause Mr. Prong himself Tommy Victor lends his talents here, adding nice touches that unite the two titans of industrial metal in a match that wrestles poseurs to the death.

Listen to the title cut, "The Dick Song" or "Watch Yourself" to hear the band at its absolute best and its angriest self in at least two or three years. The cover of "Roadhouse Blues" (by Mr. Fragile Eggshell Mind and his band of merry pranksters) rips with an intensity that few can muster in this day and age. Interestingly Al has said that this will be Ministry's last album and that is as it should be––there's no way for this band to grow old gracefully, to grow old without attempting too hard to repeat past glories, without lapsing into self parody. Like some of the best bands in the universe––Supertramp, The 13th Floor Elevators, Seals and Croft––Ministry occupies a unique space in time, a time that can never fully be replicated and hopefully won't be. With a changing of the guard likely on the horizon in American politics, it'll be interesting to see what Al gets up to in the next phase of his career––we can at least be certain that'll be nothing less than integrity-filled and bathed in the dark passion that's buoyed him from obscurity, to fame, then back again.

Track Listing
1. Let's Go
2. Watch Yourself
3. Life Is Good
4. The Dick Song
5. The Last Sucker
6. No Glory
7. Death And Destruction
8. Roadhouse Blues
9. Die In A Crash
10. End Of Days (Pt. 1)
11. End Of Days (Pt. II)

Added: September 21st 2007
Reviewer: Jedd Beaudoin
Related Link: Ministry Website
Hits: 2488
Language: english

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