Written by: RUB on 15/03/2018 19:24:47

When Donald J. Trump was elected president, a few things were certain for the music industry: the punk scene would explode with politically charged albums about inequality, anti-racism and anti-fascism, and Al Jourgensen — the sole remaining original member of American industrial metal legends Ministry — would spew out a new release featuring Trump-hating, ANTIFA-inspired and extremely politically charged tracks. Anyone with a little knowledge about the band knows that this is not something new — this has all been done before when George W. Bush was elected. For Ministry to be at their best then, it would seem like something has to be wrong with the world, or at least the political climate in the USA. Because when they’re not writing obviously political albums like the ones in question, they are known to prefer writing drug-infused pieces with underlying religious and humorous themes, such as on the timeless classic “Jesus Built My Hotrod”. One only has to gaze at the titles of “AmeriKKKant” to realize what sort of album this is, however. So, does it hold up against their previous works such as “Houses of the Molé” from 2004, or especially “Psalm 69” from 1992, which in many ways changed the game of industrial metal?

The album starts with a fairly unnecessary, three-minute intro with some sampled Trump speeches and various instruments. I mean, if Al is as angry as I can imagine he is, why not just start things off with a massive bang (like on “No ‘W’” from “Houses of the Molé”)? The random Trump samples continue when the actual music begins on track two, “Twilight Zone”, but again, things seem a bit off, as the song is very slow-paced. Even though it features an accordion throughout the majority of the song, the feeling you’re left with is still bland and not very inspiring. Not until the third track, “Victims of a Clown”, do we get that old “Ministry-vibe”, and even though it comes with some great passages and an absolutely blasting outro, the song clocks in at over eight minutes and by the time the really good and memorable compositions arrive, you might’ve already lost interest thanks to the many “let us all unite”, “we will make America great again” et cetera samples present on this track and across the album in general.

The absolute highlight of the record as a whole is “We’re Tired of It”. To me this should’ve been the starting track, since it’s not only a very clear political statement but also a blazing high paced track to show just how angry they are, as it lasts less than 3 minutes. It is a shame that some of the build-up already used on the first couple of songs wasn’t used to utilise this track, because it ends way too quickly. This is how Ministry should channel their anger: through fierce tracks with plenty of industrial machinery of the sort that they’re revered for. The same can be said about the track succeeding it; “Wargasm” is slower than the former track, but you still get a fairly catchy melody in the chorus, whilst Jourgensen is still spewing out his anti-war and anti-republican lyrical agenda. To me, this is where they should’ve utilised the more droning elements coupled with Trump samples, instead of just doing so in the more forgettable songs lasting several minutes.

The intentions and messages present on the album are clear as daylight, and even though you can hear that Jourgensen & co. are pissed at the political climate in America, the music and song structure doesn’t have anything on their earlier works. Simply put, there’s just way too much filler comprising snippets from Trump’s speeches or various drum/programming/DJ samples that, even by Ministry’s standards, are just too much. Only a few tracks have the ability to work both live and on record, and that is simply not enough when the album clocks in at almost 50 minutes. The songs also seem to lose intensity and power when they’re stretched so much as some of these pieces (three of them clock in at more than eight minutes). So, sadly, this isn’t the intense, politically charged opus one could’ve hoped for. The sheer force that manifested itself in their excellent 2004 release during the presidency of George W. Bush hasn’t been achieved this time, and although Ministry still deliver on stage, their new release is a far cry from their brilliant past work.


Download: We’re Tired of It, Wargasm, Victims of a Clown, Antifa
For the fans of: Ministry, Clawfinger, Godflesh, Strapping Young Lad, Static-X
Listen: Facebook

Release date 09.03.2018
Nuclear Blast

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