Ministry - Relapse (AFM Records)

The old grey Ministry she ain't what she used to be...
Release Date: 
23 Mar 2012 (All day)

If you have a couple of minutes, read the whole review. If you only have a few seconds, here's the summary. Relapse is shit.

I can see where Al Jougensen and this incarnation of Ministry is coming from. A few years after shelving one of the more original and dangerous sounding bands of the late 80's and 90's, Al obviously needed some money to fund his new passion, Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters. You see, Al is getting on a bit and I admit it would be near impossible to run around the stage at the frenetic, breakneck pace associated with Ministry's sound unless you were smashed on amphetamines ( which Al was, frequently). To further fund his new love affair Al has dragged out an obvious cash machine in the form of his most successful band, Ministry and released Relapse. All this would be perfectly acceptable if they had bothered to put any effort into it.

Ghouldiggers opens the album and is a great prologue to the rest of the tracklist. Boring, cliched and uninspiring. The vocals are a typical Jourgensen rant, interspersed with the oh so 90's supposed answering machine messages. Seemingly aware that the lyrics would be dissected and ridiculed Ministry do what it does best. Cover everything with a jackhammer set of programmed drumming and guitars that drowns everything out. The second song, Double Tap is just wash, rinse and repeat. But HANG ON, it's about killing Bin Laden so it is all controversial!!! 99 percenters is about the Occupy Wall Street movement and I dunno, maybe Al hoped they would pick it up as an anthem but in this fast moving world it is already "occupy who?".That was so last year.

Look, the album isn't all bad. If you want to annoy your neighbour, you know the old dragon that shakes her walking stick at you every time you walk past and yells after you to cut your hair and get a real job, then Relapse is abrasive enough to make an old persons' chocolate starfish pucker. The final track on the album, Bloodlust, even has a good groove to it albeit under all the double kick/computerised hellfast drumming.

At the end of the day a bad Ministry album is still a hell of a lot better that a lot of other pap out there. It's just, whenever I sit around with friends playing old guy games like "What would you have on your Desert Island Mix Tape?", Stigmata and Jesus Built my hotrod always get the call up. It's a shame to see this horse ripped out of its' coffin and beaten senseless with a double kick drum.