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A Breakthrough Album - 80%

corviderrant, March 8th, 2006

Every few years or so, I start to diversify so as to keep my perspective fresh with other styles of music, and while this was not my first Ministry album it is one of my favorites. It has an incredible atmosphere with its evil distorted insect vocals, Al Jourgenson's trademark booming drum sound from hell, and keyboards so heavy that they can often be confused with guitars. The bass has a good presence on this album too, providing solid support and distinct riffs and rhythms.

To wit, some of the better tunes on display here: the familiar keyboard riff of "Sitgmata" opens the proceedings with its fuzzy whine and a hair-raising howl from Al using the distortion filter to maximum effect. Its repetitive riff and driving beat really carry the song well. Then we have the double header of metal-sounding songs that will have you hard-pressed to tell if the riffs are keyboards or guitars; "Diety" and "The Missing".

"Diety" roars by like a Metallica tune in full-on thrash frenzy with thundering drums and a chunky riff, and "The Missing" is more mid paced with a deliberateness about its forcefully rearranging your head to another part of your body.

"You Know What You Are" is a simple and repetitive number with drums and keyboards that set a trance-like feel with occasional screams of the title to reinforce the (creepy, eerie) mood, similar to "Faith Collapsing" on the album after this one ("The Mind is a Terrible Thing To Taste"), and "Flashback" is more of a pure industrial tune with its uptempo beats and more obvious keyboards. The title track oozes by in a menacing crawl that sets yet another highly creepy mood--the vibe of this album is outstanding.

Be open-minded and give this seminal album a try, you may like the mood and feel of it quite a lot. Metal is just as much about mood, feel, and vibe, and Ministry had it in spades on this album. And again, you'd be hard-pressed to tell that those are not guitars providing those catchy, powerful riffs. Give this a chance and then proceed to the more metallic "The Mind..." to see the progression that happened between these two albums.