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Ministry and Co-Conspirators: Cover Up

Many of us are probably sick of all the 'covers' albums that have been released over the last few years-so many of them are completely forgettable, but occasionally you get one that warrants a few spins and is actually enjoyable to listen to. As Allen Jourgensen brings the veteran band Ministry to an end this year, their swan song is Cover Up, a collection of classic rock songs done up Ministry style, well, that is Ministry and Co-Conspirators, which are a string of guest stars that give this release a big time feel. Fear Factory's Burton C. Bell lends his vocal support to a rousing rendition of The Rolling Stones classic "Under My Thumb", and Josh Bradford (Revolting Cocks) screams up a storm on "Bang A Gong" and a wild industrial rave up of Golden Earring's "Radar Love", which also has a screaming guitar solo courtesy of Sin Quirin. Prong's Tommy Victor does a fantastic job on a speed metal version of Deep Purple's "Space Truckin' ", easily hitting all the required Ian Gillan-typed screams and laying down plenty of scorching guitar licks alongside Jourgensen's tasty Hammond B3. Industrial meets bruising speed metal on a crazed rendition of "Black Betty", while Victor again shows up on a modern take of Mountain's "Mississippi Queen". Mainman Jourgensen gets down and dirty on ZZ Top's "Just Got Paid" turning this bluesy heavy rock classic into a scorching thrash/death metal barnburner. The same can be said for "Roadhouse Blues", which sees Ministry having an almost Motorhead type intensity that takes this song to places The Doors probably never intended it to go. Black Sabbath's "Supernaut", covered by 1000 Homo DJ's (side project featuring Ministry/NIN members), is a raucous industrial hodgepodge of demented sounds and noises, Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay" as far away from folk as you can get, and "What a Wonderful World" a gothic & creepy take on a timeless classic.

If nothing else, you have to give Jourgensen & Co. credit here for giving these songs their own spin, and not just churn out identical renditions of their favorite songs, which quite frankly we hear all too often. If the boys in Ministry wanted to go out on a fun note, this party was a good choice.

Track Listing
1. Under My Thumb 3:57
2. Bang A Gong 4:48
3. Radar Love 5:21
4. Space Truckin' 3:51
5. Black Betty 3:29
6. Mississippi Queen 3:14
7. Just Got Paid 3:13
8. Roadhouse Blues 4:27
9. Supernaut 7:07
10. Lay Lady Lay 5:43
11. What A Wonderful World 7:05

Added: March 28th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: 13th Planet Records
Hits: 1786
Language: english

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Ministry and Co-Conspirators: Cover Up
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-03-28 15:11:31
My Score:

Just when you thought it was safe to purchase original music again along comes Ministry with an album of ----- you guessed it ----- COVERS!!!! It was only a couple of months ago that the band released their final official studio album with "The Last Sucker" and now it seems as though Al Jourgensen will officially be closing the book on Ministry by joining in on the all too common trend of offering up their own take on a number of classic tunes. It would seem that these kind of albums have been released by the boatload over the past couple of years and while some of them rock (Shaw Blades, Tesla, Queensryche), there are others that are not quite extraordinary when it came down to it (Poison, Atrocity). With so many of them already being delivered to the music fan of today one would wonder just how good or bad Ministry would actually do with the idea and oddly enough it wasn't all that bad when it is looked at on the whole. Let's start at the beginning which is an interesting version of the Rolling Stones classic "Under My Thumb". The tune is sung by Fear Factory's Burton Bell, and while he does a good job of it, this is just one of those tunes that I am not crazy about any reworking being done on. Next up is "Bang A Gong" and it's done rather traditionally and doesn't deviate too much from the original in my opinion. I liked the bands take on Golden Earrings "Radar Love", but found it quite weird to hear the drum solo being done by the programming since that is such a great part of the original tune. Either way it managed to work. Prong's Tommy Victor was also a big help to the albums recording and offers up some cool vocals during "Space Truckin'" and "Mississippi Queen" with his raspy growl. These are thrashier than I would have expected to hear and that was interesting since both of the originals have this slow chugging Bluesy vibe to them even though they are heavy numbers to begin with. I enjoyed the way "Black Betty" came out but admitted to being a minor patron of the tune in the first place while I felt that the bearded boys in ZZ Top would smile a wicked grin had they heard just how different their "Just Got Paid" could be done.

We visit "The Last Sucker" with a thrashing, Speed Metal version of "Roadhouse Blues" and while I don't think the guys in The Doors ever thought a song of theirs would inspire a circle pit, I had to say that I was glad that Al re-presented it here where it fit in best. "Supernaut" was actually recorded by 10,000 Homo DJ's, another of Jourgensen's side projects for the Black Sabbath tribute "Nativity In Black", and it worked well along these other covers. I wasn't crazy about the Dylan number "Lay Lady Lay", but it's never been one of my favorites anyways and yet Al and his twisted compatriots managed to make it darker than it was ever intended to be. It was originally presented on their album "Filth Pig". They close the album and apparently the band's interesting and chaotic history with "What A Wonderful World", a Louis Armstrong classic that comes at the listener about three times. The studio cut is first and then there is a little dead air time before a live cut comes in and then another visit to the studio cut. The coming back for more makes me feel that this is not truly the last we have heard from Ministry, but perhaps I am wrong. Either way, this was a lot better than I had hoped it would be and can safely recommend it for people who love the band or are for some reason unbeknownst to me collectors of these cover albums.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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