Ministry - "Relapse" CD Review (13th Planet Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ministry - "Relapse" CD Review (13th Planet Records)

STREAM: Ministry - "Relapse"

In thinking about all the ‘farewell’ tours of the past twenty years (which have included UFO, Ozzy Osbourne, The Who and Elton John), I can’t remember any musicians that have stayed ‘retired’. As such, it should come as no surprise that, after a five year hiatus from studio recording, Al Jourgensen has put out a new disc under the Ministry banner.

Relapse is Ministry’s twelfth studio disc and it was released on March 23rd through Jourgensen’s 13th Planet Records. Hold-overs from last decade’s ant-Bush trilogy, Mike Scaccia (guitars) and Tommy Victor (guitars) rejoin Jourgensen for this outing along with newcomers Tony Campos (bass), Arron Rossi (drums), and Casey Orr (bass, keyboards).

 Jourgensen described this new disc as “being the fastest and heaviest record I've ever done” but I don’t think that is quite the case as this new disc is closer to the Bush trilogy than the pissed-off industrial sounds of Psalm 69. Jourgensen is still righteously angry but his venom is directed toward record companies and band managers, Operation Geronimo and the hunt for Bin Laden, Wall Street and Big Business and there is also a semi-confessional tale about drug abuse. The disc also includes a straight-forward run-through of Stormtroopers of Death’s “United Forces”.

 In an interview with Metal Hammer, Jourgensen was asked “without a Bush in office what’s your muse?” “Trust me I got plenty of Republican’s to rail at. Look at Wall Street look at the complete destruction of the middle class in the world, I mean we have a ruling oligarchy which happened in the early 1900s with the robber barons. What these idiot greedy bastards don’t realize is that if they make a class of poor and a class of super wealthy, who’s gonna buy their product? There’s no middle class, there’s no money. That’s the Republican strategy. In the political process and the right wing too with the Murdochs and the Camerons and the shit u got going on over there. If you’re 1 % of the population and you own 80% of the wealth, who’s gonna buy what you’re making?

 It is great to see Ministry back in action! Now for the bad news...this disc has a ‘radio friendly’ gloss, sing-along choruses and little of the menace that made the Psalm 69 era of Ministry great. Only the disc’s final track, “Bloodlust” shows signs of the Ministry of the past and songs like “Ghouldiggers” and “Weekend Warrior” sound like GWAR or Meatmen leftovers that are geared toward a “Hot Topic bro-pit” audience. I’m not one of those people who get grumpy when a band changes their sound – Relapse isn’t a bad disc but it is indistinguishable from the numerous “flavor of the month” bands that played the second stage at OzzFest and similar festivals. Without the Ministry name on the packaging, this disc would likely get minimal attention.

 Ministry is playing a short run of US show which includes a stop at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square with Blackburner on June 23. Tickets are $69.69 and VIP tickets are $110. (Hmm Al…good job raging against the ‘greedy bastards’ and then come through with a $70 ticket).

Ministry 2012 Tour Dates
June 17, 2012 – Denver, Ogden Theatre
June 21, 2012 - Los Angeles, Club Nokia
June 23, 2012 - New York, Best Buy Nokia
June 28, 2012 – Chicago, The Vic Theatre
June 29, 2012 – Chicago, The Vic Theatre