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Ministry, live in Sydney

Live Review

Venue: The Metro Theatre, Sydney

Sydney is subjected to the industrial revolution

Sydney's Metro is a sold-out furnace tonight, and by the time Brummie visionaries Godflesh have finished with their peculiarly hypnotic spell of industrial enchantments the walls are already sweating.

Sure, it's hot outside, but there's a real sizzle in the air as the minutes tick down to showtime and when Uncle Al does appear, the applause is nearly hysterical. Call him a mad monk, industrial shaman, or heavy metal's very own Colonel Kurtz, that he's even standing after his recent health issues seems a feat in itself. The real achievement, though, is that he's kept his politically-minded outrage on the boil for over 34 years. For the beered-up Friday night congregation tonight promises to be a deliriously heavy trip up the river, and it does not disappoint.

The words that flash up on the big screen read, 'just lick my motherfucking balls, pearl necklaces for everyone.' As lyrical world-rankings go, it's safe to assume Bob Dylan won't be losing sleep tonight, but that isn't to say that Al Jourgensen isn't just as outraged. The man born Alejandro Ramirez effortlessly bellows a language of fury and bemused resignation at the state of world affairs, but it's his band, a slow-motion howitzer that makes this as jarring as it is spellbinding, drummer Aaron Rossi a slave-driving dynamo that supercharges proceedings and Al's own gravel-throated rage. From upstairs the crowd moves like a single, throbbing organism, the projected backdrop is a rapid-fire projected montage war, weirdos, and fucking. It's sensory overload. It's fucking brilliant.

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