Thursday, 22 March 2018

Ministry "AmeriKKKant" (2018)

Legendary Industrial Metal pioneers Ministry, led by Al Jourgensen, are back with their fourteenth album in a journey spanning over four decades! Their last album was released five years ago, around the time when I was really getting into the bands classic records like The Land Of Rape And Honey and ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ. This is my first record as an invested fan, I eagerly awaited its release but had no real expectations and have found myself in awe of how this record encapsulates all my favorite things about this band. AmeriKKKant is as if group have been thawed out, once frozen on ice during their peak in the 90s, coming back with a vengeful spirit of anger towards the post-truth age we currently inhabit.

Al Jourgensen has a track record of disputes with American presidents. His music took aim at both Bush's and now Trump, as well as the current social-political climate coming under scrutiny in his paranoid, doomsday soundscapes that shine a light on the worst interpretations of current affairs. I can't agree with all his views but I have to commend the simplistically of taking samples like Trump saying "Chop Off Heads", playing them against his dark and worrisome music. AmeriKKant opens with an intro track bolstering eerie strings against jolting Industrial noises and haunted pianos. Slowed down samplings of Trumps most infamous phrases set a rather unusual tone that intersects darkness with a touch of foolishness and calamity.

The next two tracks lavishly unfold these feelings as Ministry deploy the best of their unique composition style. Crunching, thumping guitars and crisp, snappy drums lay down the mechanical backbone at a burly, lunging pace. Dissonant sounds, vinyl scratching and manipulated samples play out, setting the optimum tone for Al's angered shouts to cry out between dystopian melodies. Victims Of A Clown turns the pace with a classic, marching, determined baseline that pumps out a groove endlessly through the dangerous atmosphere, reminds me of the esoteric Golden Dawn revolving around Aleister Crowley. Its followed by a maddening noise piece, bombarding the listener with hateful quotes and a barrage of fast, jolting aggressive gun blasts and extreme manipulated samples, a nauseating treat.

Its as if Al is checking of a list of Ministry's best numbers. We're Tired Of It delivers a fast and thrashy track more akin to the 00s era. Its pummeling aggressive guitar riffs assult with a typical barrage of disorienting samples. Wargasm feels like an intentional tribute, its chorus fondly alike to Killing Joke who were a massive influence on this band. Then we have Antifa, the records best song! I'll make no comment on the group themselves but Jourgensen essentially writes the anthem for unchained anarchy and rebellion lashing out at the system. Its hypnotic lead melody dazzles over the tight mechanical drive of palm-muted chugging distortion guitars, its a real head banger.

They have really hit the mark on this album, the sonic intensity is wonderful. The constant barrage of intricate sounds and overload of samples adds a wealth of depth to the hellish, dystopian atmosphere conjured but best of all the use of unexpected instruments like horns and strings deploys some of the records most striking and memorable melodies. I'm in awe of how this albums has covered all the corners of what they did in the 80s and 90s, admittedly it comes in shades among long and droning songs however that is pretty much what I'm in the mood for right now, I want to be indulged in the slower pace and soak in the atmosphere. Its a decent record that happens to be precisely what I didn't know I wanted to hear.

Favorite Tracks: Twilight Zone, Victims Of Clown, We're Tired Of It, Antifa
Rating: 8/10