With a little over twenty six hours before they take to the stage in Manchester I’m still debating on a short trip north to see Ministry.
I’ve been a fan of theirs since the years before Jesus Built My Hotrod propelled them to the mainstream, but it wasn’t all that long after that release when I stated drifting away from them.
I brought Filth Pig, the follow up to Psalm 69, but couldn’t seem to get into it. All the albums after that have passed me by. I made no real effort with any of them until I had a slight revisit of the newer albums around the time of the C-U-LaTour in 2008, which was the first (and currently only) time I’ve seen Al Jourgensen perform indoors and it is up there as one of my biggest gigging low points.
The set list was predominantly made up of songs post Psalm 69 and only four from a seventeen song set list were from their golden era. The whole thing seemed very subdued and from what I recall sounded awful, everything turned up to 12 and sounding overly distorted. It just felt like a band going through the motions, indeed this tour was supposedly their last jaunt to promote their latest at the time The Last Sucker. Roll on a decade, four tours and a trio of albums later in contemplating shelling out to see the Cuban native take to the stage again.
I’ve seen the recent set lists and yet again they are skewed heavily in favour of current release AmeriKKKant and still too much material post 1992, but this time I’ve listened to the newest offering and thoroughly like it’s venomous lyrical tirade and rhythmic electronic power. In places it takes me back to the days of Twitch, The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste and The Land of Rape and Honey.
I’ll see what kind of mood I am in when I get home from work and see if I can drag myself to a train station and add a new venue to my ever expanding list. That’s all assuming it hasn’t had the sold up sign posted up.
My original plan was to write a few words about Californian industrial duo G.G.F.H. but I’ve not been able to find a video for them, just some audio rips. Expect something by them later in the year, let’s pencil in October 31st?
I can’t really do a run of industrial metal and skip over Ministry. They’ve been featured once already in this blog, but with something from their new wave synth-pop era. In 1992 they hit the mainstream with their breakthrough album Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs to give the record its full title.
They reinvented themselves between the new wave era and hitting the limelight and there were three previous albums that – in a gloating kind of way – I was listening to well before Psalm 69 hit the stores. They’re one of those bands though where I can’t really recall how I got into them. I’m thinking it was probably a recommendation from local industrial band Hatemonger who’s frontman I knew.
It wasn’t until the 2000’s until I got to see the band live, from what I recall a pretty inebriated Al Jourgensen was on stage in blazing afternoon sunlight at the 2003 Download Festival. My next, and currently last, time seeing them was in 2008 on the Wolverhampton stop on their C U LaTour – touted as their final tour. I was one of many people who came away pretty disappointed from the show as the main bulk of the set was made up from more recent releases and we had to wait for the encore to get a pair of songs from Psalm 69 and The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste.
I’ve had the live video In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up for more than a quarter of a century now, but it’s been such a long time since I last viewed it, mainly because it’s a VHS cassette and we have no video player in the house and I’m not sure if it surfaced on DVD at any point in the intervening years. I would have loved to have seen the band in their most dangerous heyday, ensconced behind the chain mail barrier between the band and their rabid audiences. My only two experiences have been rather lacklustre affairs, which is why I declined to see them a few weeks ago.
Stigmata is taken from the band’s third album The Land of Rape and Honey their first with a more metal edge. The album title is lifted from the motto on a coffee mug seen in Canadian town Tisdale, Saskatchewan, who’s local agricultural heritage is based in rapeseed and honey.
Al Jourgensen has been fronting Chicago based band Ministry since the early 1980’s. Last week the band announced another brief UK visit in the summer. So what do you do in the meantime? You listen to some classic Ministry.
Before their farewell tours and prior to Jesus building their hot rod there was the industrial stylings of The Land of Rape and Honey and Twitch. But even before that there was the bands Synthpop era! Yes, the industrial heavy metal titans once sounded like some of the British New Wave bands like New Order, Thompson Twins and Depeche Mode.
I believe this has been wiped from Jourgensen’s memory banks and described as “an abortion”. I’m sure I’m not the only who’s done this, but I brought the CD of With Sympathy by mistake. I’d got the three studio albums prior to the bands 1992 break through release Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs – to give it its full title.
I came across the With Sympathy CD at a local record fair. It said Ministry on it, and I didn’t have it. In the days before you could preview things on Spotify I handed over my cash and took it home. I was in for a bit of a shock when I pressed play and thought I’d got some kind of miss pressing. It never grew on me at the time and I don’t think I even have the disc any longer.
I came across this video whilst I was looking for some “earlier” Ministry videos to post here. I like this album a lot more now than I did when I originally got hold of the CD. I daren’t look how much it could be worth now, hopefully nothing. I’ll rectify this post in the very near future with something pre Psalm 69.