ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ marks the peak of Industrial Metal legends Ministry's commercial success as well as the musical peak for this classic era their sound with future records steering from the mood and tone of this social-politically charged sound of disillusion and despair with the status quo. Marked by the opening track "New World Order", Ministry create the soundtrack for riot and civil unrest through their mechanically repetitive song constructs of robotic guitar riffs and dystopian guitar leads. It had been many years since I gave this record a listen and hearing a feedback of influence in Killing Joke's "Pandemonium" I had to give it a spin again.
The record starts with two of Ministry's finest songs and sets a contagious attitude of outrage and anger that fuels the experience. Tightly performed distortion riffs churn over and over in a sublime execution of minimalism and repetition that never seems to loose its drive, despite mainly consisting of the same thing over and over, it gets me every time. Paul Barker's machine like drumming goes heavy on the snare with simplistic, pounding grooves that gel with the guitars and amplify there aggression. "Just One Fix" ends with a lead guitar playing a Slayer-esq dark lead that is a favorite moment on the record. Unfortunately from this point forward the album fails to maintain the mood established and only "Scare Crow" comes close with a slow and daunting atmosphere of dread with distortion chords ringing out under haunting leads and Al Jourgensen's eerie screams.
Around these songs a wild inconsistency of ideas obvious in execution make up the rest of the track listing, the fast relentless blasting of "TV II", Thrash Metal riffage of "Hero" or depraved noise horror of "Grace", each songs idea drifts to far from the original tone. Although the recurring use of sampling and mood has some consistency, the guitars input greatly different ideas to that of the opening tracks and are not particularly remarkable in their own right. As a collection of songs they are impressive but out of place with one another and so as an album it really falls short of amounting to anything as the shifts in mood, tone and sometimes aesthetic dispel the magic and potential this one shows in the beginning.
Favorite Songs: N.W.O, Just One Fix, Scare Crow