Thursday, July 15, 2010

Morning Commute: Ministry - The Land of Rape and Honey

Ministry's 1988 album sees Uncle Al and friends in mid-leap from crap fake English accent darkwave synthpoppers to full on industrial thrash merchants. Some of the cut-up sampling is horribly dated, and the overall effect is like being assaulted with a nail gun and a frying pan for 45 minutes, but it's good fun, if a bit one-note. There's a significant Skinny Puppy influence in hindsight, particularly on the drums and some of the vocal treatments, although the latter can't hide Jourgensen's continued Dick Van Dyke impersonation. Highlights: title track, "Stigmata" and "You Know What You Are".

Ministry would perfect the assault on 1989's The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste and 1991's Psalm 69, then move full-on into second division thrash to rapidly diminishing, if remarkably consistent, returns, with everything released from 2000 in particular thoroughly avoidable. Best entry point is probably 2001 compilation Greatest Fits, optionally augmented with early synthpop albums With Sympathy and Twitch, not least because Al would greatly prefer everyone forget the former forever.

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