Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2018
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

My Personal Favorite From Uncle Al - 92%

drummingnerd99, April 4th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2011, CD, Sire (Japan, Reissue)

The Land Of Rape And Honey is an album that firmly established Ministry as a band with an identity and purpose. No longer were they forced to produce British faux cheesy new wave music anymore. Al Jorgensen was finally free to do his own thing musically, and to me the results are some of the most interesting compositions I've heard in the industrial genre.

First of all, in 1987, industrial metal wasn't really a thing per say. This album along with the self-titled Godflesh EP helped the genre become what it is today. In fact many bands such as: Fear Factory, Nine Inch Nails, and Slipknot cite this album as an album that greatly influenced them. The Land Of Rape And Honey has a very distinct sound to it that helps differentiate it from the rest of Ministry's discography. For one, quite a few of these tracks such as "Flashback" have a lot of simple drum beats that have a very danceable feel to them. It's somewhat similar to what Nine Inch Nails attempted to do with their debut album Pretty Hate Machine, but in my opinion it's executed much better on this album. The riffs overall are fairly simple, but they're so catchy that it makes up for it. Sometimes less is more. Usually electronics in music for me is a bit of a sore spot, but they actually do help bring something to the overall music. Often times there's weird sound effects placed throughout the album, and they are used very well and can help add to the overall atmosphere of the song's. Take for example "Abortive" where the unique samples and loops used help give a creepy vibe to what would otherwise be a very basic 80's dance floor song, and helps make it the perfect soundtrack for some dark club party. However, tracks 4 and 6 are what make this album for me. They aren't really dancy like the rest of the album is. These tracks have more of a groovy atmosphere to them while placing more of an emphasis on atmosphere.

"Golden Dawn" has a very drug induced vibe to it, with the simplistic beat being the only thing that doesn't feel like it's gonna fall apart at any given minute. Creepy, jarring guitar lines help the song have a creepy slasher horror movie vibe to it, while the samples serve as the "vocals" of this song and give the listener the possibility that we are entering hell. "Hizbollah" is probably my favorite song off the album. William Rieflin's performance on this track is unique, playing tribal like drum patterns that are simple yet effective. The bass on this song helps give an urban hip hop atmosphere, while the many samples give off a desert like feel to the track. Noise to some? Yeah sure. But to me this track is a unique collage of sounds that are very unique and help make it a stand out song in Ministry's catalogue.

The metal edge that Ministry would later become known for is here, but not on full display. The only songs that really have a metal edge to em are the first 3 tracks. I don't really care for "Stigmata" all that much because to me it just sounds very boring to me. It would be somewhat hypocritical of me to call the song repetitive since that's kinda the point of Industrial since it's more focused on the atmosphere being the driving force rather then the instrumentals, but the music here just sounds dull. Considering frontman Al Jorgensen once said that this track was written last minute so the album could be complete, it shows. "The Missing" however has more of a punk energy to it, and "Deity" has a pseudo thrash edge to it. These songs are representative of the sound that would later dominate most of Ministry's career.

While some people might view this album as an incoherent experiment due to the fact that this album doesn't really place an emphasis on guitars like later Ministry albums did and instead focuses more on electronics, atmosphere, and samples, I would argue this. All the experimental elements of this album are really well placed and fit with the instrumentals, so it doesn't make it sound jarring and instead compliments the song. This is my personal favorite Ministry album because it's the most varied albums out of the "classic era" of Ministry and the song's themselves are really good. I'd say give it a listen if you wanna hear Industrial that's a lot more unorthodox then what you'd normally hear.

Ministry starts to turn up the volume - 89%

Sigillum_Dei_Ameth, December 5th, 2007

After clinging to the Synth Pop/Electronic scene for the first quarter of his music career, Al Jourgenson decided to up the ante with his band Ministry by introducing some new elements to the already exploding Industrial/Electronic genre that was about the crossover to the mainstream within a couple years. Sure you had Canada's cocain-flavored nightmare pet Skinny Puppy, and very futuristic claustrophobic Front Line Assembly, England's creepy LSD-induced Throbbing Gristle and Occult-obsessed Coil, Germany's EBM kraut meistros Front 242, and even the more gloom-ridden New York masters of pain The Swans and local Chicago acts such Big Black.....but Al was going to rise to the very top and scream til he was either blue in the face or just killing time between his well-known drug misadventures. Al and Ministry did so with a little known album called "The Land Of Rape & Honey".

The first thing one notices is the guitars. now Big Black were one of the first bands to combine drum machines and guitars, but Ministry are the ones that introduced the speed. Not to mention a very Punk-like vibe that WILL blow your speakers out. Al Jourgenson's performance as a guitarist is simplistic but very sufficient enough to make the songs come to life and not to mention his voice has also changed from the somewhat whiny New Romantic style of "With Sympathy" and "Twitch" to a more deranged snarl. No, he hasn't started shooting up yet, but man he sounds pissed and ready to take on the world. Also in place of the somewhat soothing ambient textures of "With Sympathy" and "Twitch" are the more grittier, dirtier drum beats and the first presence of film samples. Way more dense and machine-like. A complete makeover you might say. Bassist Paul Barker is carefully mixed in some songs, but in others it's a not as more noticible. Nonetheless it doesn't detract from the quality of songs.

Lots of headbanging and foot-tapping moments here. "Stigmata" starts off with Al Jourgenson screaming from his damaged mind and is an instant hit. This is one of the very few songs that gets played in the Goth clubs where the even more amusing Goths themselves will stop dancing to melodramatic Robert Smith songs and crappy Electronic-Dance music and actually blow some steam out of their systems seeing how they are so miserable(plus it's hilarious to see them actually TRY to mosh) and mopy their lives are. "The Missing" speeds the tempo up a bit just to get you ready for "Diety". This is what I am talking about. Imagine Motorhead with a rapid-fire drum machine and that's what you're going to get. Very simplistic but it's very speedy. The fastest song on "TLOR&H" and the first for Ministry. Excellent job Al. "Golden Dawn" is NOT at all like "Diety" but more of a laid-back trippy instrumental with horror movie samples screaming "the Antichrist!" and chants of what seems to be Aleister Crowley to be conducting a ritual. This is the kind of song you want to sit back, toke-up with some good pot, and stare through the smoky haze at the world with bloodshot eyes and dialated pupils filled with disgust. For an instrumental, this is excellent stuff. Al's guitars has a somewhat Loop-sound to them. Check that band out if you have the chance. The title track is just pure vintage bona'fide 80's industrial. "You Know What You Are" starts off with a somewhat demented laughter and goes right into the pulsating synths, throbbing beats and Al Jourgenson's schizophrenic-like screaming. Obviously he's got a vocoder adding the effects on this cut. Other tracks such as "Hizbollah" and "Flashback" are just as good but doesn't stand-out like the tracks previously mention.

All and all, "The Land of Rape & Honey" is a hit for the Ministry camp. Fortunately their streak would last for another two albums before putting out some shoddy albums, but for now this is the core Ministry sound and it's great stuff. Highly reccomended if you're wanting to explore Industrial music or find one of the very first albums that linked Metal and Industrial together. Drugs, Occult references, loud guitars....how can one go wrong?

'Cutting my face and walking on splinters' - 80%

Torwilligous, March 18th, 2006

'The Land of Rape and Honey' occupies a grey area - is it metal or is it not? There are riffs, guitar solos, and general heaviness in evidence; and yet this is unconventional, original stuff. Guitar is swathed and embalmed in layer upon layer of digital processing, reducing it to a mewling and broken thing that resembles nothing on this earth; these anitmusical strains are augmented my sythnesisers, drum machines, samples and thunderous bass.

What makes this album so fatally compelling is that Ministry's electropop roots are still in evidence; yet these very roots have been peverted by something foul and sickening that rots them from the inside. Vocals sneer in their extreme nihilism; distorted, multitracked, processed in every possible way. Lyrics are savage, brutal and uncompromising. The music creates an atmosphere of savage menace; the percussive, heavily industrial metal pulse of tracks such as "Stigmata", "The Missing'", "Deity" and "I Prefer" contrast with the bleak and anti-musical drone of "Flashback", "Destruction", the title track and my personal favourite, the throbbing and horrific "You Know What You Are". Guitar solos appear frequently, but they are often atonal, shrieking, squalling - they are not so much sequences of notes as the screams of mankind being torn savagely apart.

This album will not be for all; the sounds here are so relentlessly cold and bleak they will likely alienate many metalheads used to more conventional material. Ministry, especially on this album, are at a direct point between industrial noise music and metal; it is the sound of the apocalypse. Back in my younger days (I should point out I was a fan of death and thrash metal at this point) this album shat me up so badly I couldn't listen to it for a long while - this is one of the true sounds of evil. Highly recommended to those looking for something off the beaten track.

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.