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Ministry: From Beer To Eternity

Album Review

Al unleashes another incendiary swansong

What do Ministry have in common with rowdy maniacs The Macc Lads? The title of this album. And in a sense that’s apt, because, as always, the industrial legends balance all attempts at serious political comment with a taste for hedonism and irreverence. Can you imagine Killing Joke using a record cover like this one?

Of course, Al Jourgensen answers to no man, and on this, the band’s final album (though we’ve heard that before), he seems determined to go out with a bang. Drawing upon recordings made by guitarist Mike Scaccia prior to his death late last year, the record also draws on various choice moments in the group’s back catalogue, the end result being an album that is at times accessible and at others somewhat more challenging.

There’s the brooding Punch In The Face, the stomping swagger of Perma War and the heads-down fury of Perfect Storm and Fairly Unbalanced, not to mention the dubby overtones of Thanx But No Thanx. Elsewhere Al chooses to assault the listener with unrelenting dirges such as The Horror and the memorably named Side Fx Include Mikey’s Middle Finger (TV 4).

It’s a journey; not an easy one, mind you, but the most memorable never are.

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