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Ministry - Reissues album review

Album Review

Hits and misses from Al Jourgensen’s industrialists

As gloriously demented as he is, Al Jourgensen is smart enough to know that neither Sphinctour (6/10) nor Animositisomina (5/10) are particular highlights in the Ministry catalogue. That said, both have their charms.

The former was the last album to feature long-time bassist Paul Barker and sounds very much like the work of a band on the edge of collapse. There are some great riffs, some choice bits of vocal insanity and a decent cover of Magazine’s The Light Pours Out Of Me, but compared to the dizzy heights of 1992’s Psalm 69 or its bruising follow-up Filth Pig (1996), it’s a weak chapter in an otherwise gripping story.

Sphinctour is a live album from the legendarily debauched Filth Pig world tour. As a result, it was never going to successfully mirror the spiralling insanity of that period in Ministry history, but it does pack a raw and meaty punch and boasts suitably coruscating versions of N.W.O., Just One Fix and Thieves.

The real gem here is 2004’s Houses Of The Molé (8/10): the first of Jourgensen’s George W. Bush-bashing album trilogy. It’s a blistering industrial thrash assault from start to finish, and a gleeful white-knuckle encapsulation of Jourgensen’s subversive approach to punkrock politics. The mad sod.

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