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Ministry - From Beer To Eternity Award winner

From Beer To Eternity
by Andrija "TheIslander" Petrovic at 02 September 2013, 3:47 PM

The story of MINISTRY starts back in the beginning of the 80s. Their original sound was New Wave Synthpop, but somewhere along the way they turned to the aggressive music for which they became well known. Their fifth album “Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way To Suck Eggs” from 1992 marks a milestone in the history of MINISTRY. At that point the sound of MINISTRY changes center point from synths to guitars of new members Mike Scaccia and Louis Stivek. From the very beginning MINISTRY had its ups and downs, causing the band to fall apart after “The Last Sucker” album. The brake up didn`t last long. In 2011 the announcement was made that MINISTRY was reforming to play at Wacken Open Air festival. The reunion made some sparks, and soon after the “Relapse” was born, with announcement that it was the last MINISTRY album.

And that brings us to present day. “From Beer to Eternity”, MINISTRY`s thirteenth album, will be their last one (this time for real), according to Jourgensen. The main reason for that is the death of guitarist Mike Scaccia, couple of days after the final recording sessions of “From Beer to Eternity”. In addition to producing and mixing, Jourgensen wrote all the lyrics, and took his traditional role behind the mic and the console. They wrote and recorded riffs for 18 songs, of which 11 made the final cut.  According to Jourgensen, “From Beer to Eternity” is “the best and last MINISTRY record anyone will ever hear”.

The album opener “Hail To The Majesty (Peasants)” sets the tone for the album. The track is filled with scything guitar and eccentric keyboard/vocal passages. Next in line is “Punch In The Face”. Simple track with twisted and splintered vocal loops, and grinding guitar over furious drum play and unstoppable bass line. “Perma War”, that came out as first single off the album, is bit less Industrial, but quite more powerful, with amazingly produced guitar, layered into Dark Metal labyrinth. Guitars intertwine with lead lines growing into a crushing sound wall.

 The scene is set, for the “Perfect Storm” enters the scene taking a step into classic Death / Thrash genre, featuring amazing guitar solo, exiting as the all mighty power track. “Fairly Unbalanced” continues in the same direction. Fast and heavy music keeps crushing everything in the way, with sequenced vocal loops and powerful angry vocals. “The Horror” is the sequel of the previous track, continuing not very subtle stab at Fox News. The “Side Fx include Mickey`s Middle Finger (TV4)” is quite progressive track spliced with looped vocal sections. Fast and furious guitar riffs with drumming to follow make it challenging and quite dysfunctional track.

“Lesson Unlearned” is quite interesting track. The Soul-like backing vocals accompanying Al`s growl over fractured riffs. Great solo included. Another experimental track “Thanks But No Thanks” featuring Reggae background and a sample from William S. Burroughs`s spoken word poem “A Thanksgiving Prayer”. Then, somewhere mid track heavy guitar riffs are introduced, up with an spoken word observations of the ills of the world. The complete scenery changes again, this time introducing sounds of the Orient into “Change of Luck”. This could easily be described as the calmest and most melodic track off the album. “Enjoy the Quiet” closes the album with a sound of white noise and shattered vocal loops.

“From Beer to Eternity” being the final MINISTRY`s album, might not be their best one, but sure is the amazing one. It presents a walk through many genres combined into a single album, carrying the message and statement from one time. Let`s face the truth, it was never the best ones who made the history, and I`m quite sure that this MINISTRY`s album is one of those history making ones.

4 Star Rating

1. Hail To His Majesty (Peasants)
2. Pinch In The Face
3. Permawar
4. Perfect Storm
5. Fairly Unbalanced
6. The Horror
7. Sice FX Include Mikey`s Middle Finger (TV4)
8. Lesson Unlearned
9. Thanx But No Thanx
10. Change Of Luck
11. Enjoy The Quiet
John Bechdel – Keyboards, Programming
Allen David “Al” Jourgensen – Guitars, Vocals, Programming
Mike Scaccia - Guitars
Sin Quirin – Guitars
Arron Rossi – Drums
Tony Campos - Bass
Record Label: AFM Records


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