If you wanted to explore the filthy fringes of metal music in the 80’s, you likely had several MINISTRY albums on rotation in your Pioneer cassette deck like I did. Al Jourgensen and his band of misfits practically gave birth to an entire genre of music. MINISTRY was the driving force that brought Industrial Metal to the masses, and if it wasn’t for them there’s a high likelihood that bands like NINE INCH NAILS would not exist. And if MINISTRY never existed my teenage anger would have been a little less angry having to resort to more mainstream offerings of the day.
AmeriKKKant (March 9, Nuclear Blast Records) is the newest release from the band after a five year hiatus. One thing is crystal clear from the first spin of this album: Al Jourgensen is not a big fan of the current political landscape of this country. In fact I’d go on record to say that if you support the the direction our leadership is taking us then please do not buy this album. You think RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE had some politically charged material? Take the training wheels off, kids, and buckle in. This album is a supersonic piece of hate strapped to the tip of a nuclear warhead, and I was more than OK with it.
Right off the bat we’re treated to some samples of our president’s finer moments on the mic. This instrumental piece is merely setting the table for what’s to come and afterwards things get personal, heavy and raw. “Twilight Zone” has a very basic tempo that chugs along. The instrument sound and mixing on this album might be the most loud and crisp I’ve ever heard. Everything is punchy and clear and the way the kick drum and bass guitar hit really fills the speakers. On top of that you get a crunchy riff and even some harmonica. Al is doing his thing, distorted screaming that just fits the martial. It’s what MINISTRY has been doing for decades and this doesn’t reinvent the wheel.
“Victims of a Clown” is where we hit a sweet spot and this song makes me literally want to break stuff, which is rare for me. Thunderous and primal, this track is flawless top to bottom. It’s on my permanent gym playlist without question, as are many songs from this album. “We’re Tired of it”, “Antifa” and the title track more than add up to a worthwhile purchase boarding on a modern masterpiece.
Hit after hit this record destroys. I cannot stress enough that you need to avoid this album if you think that America is becoming great again in 2018. If you can see cracks in the foundation though, and think things are just getting worse then this disc will speak to your inner anarchist. Al Jourgensen is telling us loudly that this isn’t working and this isn’t good enough for America. And I happen to think that works like this are very important and extremely patriotic at the end of the day.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM