Monday, September 2, 2013

Ministry: " From Beer to Eternity"

In some ways this feels like 1994 with both bands putting out albums so close together. Where Trent has hung up his industrial hat , Al is not so apologetic about it. This album feels a lot less mall metal than some of the other post- Darkside of the Spoon albums.  The opener is a weird one slower paced , yet more dynamic than what we have been getting from Uncle Al in recent years. As a whole the songs are more dynamic and tend to just pound out the machine drone like they did on "Filth Pig" the only draw back to this is the slick product and glitch blips here and there make this seem less apocalyptic in scope.

The lyrics to "Punch in the Face" seem pretty juvenile to me and the mix on the vocals is a little dry making the gruff quality sound more overtly metal like Fear Factory, but aide from that it's by no means a bad song, but as you know if I'm a fan I hold the bar pretty quality and don't like to make excuses because of their legacy. It's pretty powerful stuff and will be a hit with more mainstream metal heads. When it comes to industrial strength metal, the song "Permawar" does a better job as a whole, there is a greater range of dynamic and it's evident Al took more care in the song writing process. The vocals in the verses dumb it down into more of a straight forward Pantera like metal thing.

They stay on a similar Fear Factory like course on "Perfect Storm" in the fact there is more metal groove than the industrial pound of their most classic work. The samples work more like a call and response than to create a mood like they have in the past ,  the vocals in chorus redeem the song for me and the build at the solo section rocks as well.

The samples feel more like a White Zombie album than the more cerebral tone Ministry should take. The album becomes a glitch ridden sound scape of samples that feels more like a Ministry album, this changes after " Fairly Unbalanced". They begin to take a harsher more experimental direction with the samples and beat you with them similar to the approach that frequents "Psalm 69" . This bleeds over from the end of "Fairly Unbalanced" drowns "the Horror" in it's chaos but keeps it breathing with the pulse of the underlying beats. Fans of Pyschic Tv and Swans will find it very pedestrian but for those who didn't seek out anything more experimental then I 'm sure there will be a fair amount of bugging out but the stoned masses. "The Horror" bleeds into the chaos of the next song.

 The march of " Lesson Unlearned" helps to constrict the album back to together as they flex their metallic muscles and it almost sounds like a groove laden version of KMFDM with the female vocal hook.  "Thanx But No Thanx" starts off in a manner that reminds me of the Lords of Acid song " Marijuana in Your Brain" if  Williams S Burroughs got a hold of it. While I can appreciate the quirky nature of  the first half of this song it feels more like a Tom Waits b-side that I'm not sure I really need to have in my ipod and it could have been put to better use on a Revolting Cocks album. When it builds into the heavy guitar the hooks it cool but it feels like two songs were smashed together.

There is more experimental ambiance to "Change of Luck" serves as one of the albums more interesting moments. The closer "Enjoy the Quiet" is just a static sound scape. While the album includes two remixes for the purpose of this review we are just looking at the sources because if the remixes are better then why didn't they just do that in the first place. I'll give this album a 9.5 and room for it to grow on me, I think the production could stand to be thicker but over all it delivers much closer to home for where I want Ministry to be.

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