Reviews Ministry Rio Grande Blood

Ministry

Rio Grande Blood

Al Jourgensen doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve; he rips it out of his chest and smothers the bloody, still-beating remains in the face of anyone and everyone he can get his hands on. Since forming the industrial power-house that is Ministry, Jourgensen has been the driving force behind album after album worth of seething, stomping anger. In a time when it feels as if more and more artists are jumping on the increasingly stale anti-Bush bandwagon, it would be easy to dismiss Rio Grande Blood as yet another attempt to stir up controversy and publicity. Ministry, however, are no newcomers to "sticking it to the man." Religion and politics has always been a target of the bands audio assault, now spanning a career of twenty-five years. The band's 2006 release is no different.

Picking up where 2004's House of the Molé left off, Rio Grande Blood is an all-out eleven-pronged attack on George W. Bush, here dubbed Señor Pilgro (or Mr. Danger), his administration and the Marine Corps. Ministry sinks their teeth in like a pitbull foaming at the mouth, tearing apart their target with simple yet undeniably brutal ferocity. With a machine-gun drumbeat and jack-hammer riffs, the album is relentless from start to finish. Beneath the wall of noise, Jourgensen's barbarous snarl is like call to arms, the rasping marching orders of some crazed post-apocalyptic general. "Gangreen" finds sadistic drill-instructor Sgt. Major telling us that he is "the ministry of death", while Jourgensen sounds-off that he's "ready to kill and [he's] ready to die".

While Rio Grande Blood is by no means the bands finest offering, with a few moments of somewhat ham-fisted delivery - most noticeably on "Ass Clown", in spite of help from former The Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra - it is, none the less, a finely forged piece of metal. Highlights include "Yellow Cake" (which would sit comfortably on the classic The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste) and "Khyber Pass" (featuring the wailing Liz Constantine on vocals). The chorus of Grammy-nominated "The Great Satan" provides perhaps the most succinct and well-suited description of the album as a whole: "Burning down old glory while we jump around and shout". If you're in the market for a soundtrack to the end of civilization as we know it, look no further. Interviews suggest that this may be Ministry's penultimate album, and if this is the case then they're certainly ensuring that they go out with an almighty bang.

7.0 / 10Jenny
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7.0 / 10

7.0 / 10

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