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Album Review – Ministry “Relapse” 2012

Posted in Album Reviews, Zero to Three with tags , , , , , on April 5, 2012 by Lightning Slim

  It wasn’t so long ago that I was saying in this space that Ministry has left the Aughts riding high, and that if they had nothing left to say this would be a great place to take the exit ramp. Obviously, Jourgensen and Co. don’t read obscure Canadian weblogs, because since that time they have squeezed out not one but two slightly shabby, unnecessary covers albums and now this studio record, Relapse.

If nothing else, Relapse can be said to be Ministry’s most meta-textual album. Most of the songs relate the trials and tribulations of a washed-up old junkie named Al Jourgensen, and his battles against addiction, the music industry and the one-percent. Unfortunately, although the record gasps, wheezes, tantrums  and blusters its way through dozens of bad-boy cliches, it remains thoroughly unsuccessful at convincing us they are battles he intends to win. Indeed, the title track contains a sheepish and (briefly) endearing admission of quite the opposite.

Sonically, Relapse fares little better. No record made by a man who began his career in electronic music and spent years as a producer and remixer deserves to sound this rushed, this forced or this poorly recorded. Jourgensen has a huge library of b-side, ugly-stepsister songs usually buried in side-projects, but here they have been pushed, blinking and mediocre, into the spotlight. Opening track “Ghouldiggers” starts out with promise but goes on far too long, and it’s pretty much downhill from there. Full marks for Stormtroopers of Death cover song “United Forces”, but that’s just a bit of sizzle when there’s not much steak in the kitchen.

We were worried about a world without a Ministry, but this is a depressing alternative. Relapse shows us a Ministry no longer an innovative industrial powerhouse, nor a speed metal monster. It’s more valuable as an example of franchise zombification than an entertaining piece of music. 3 out of 10

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Deals and Steals: Gabber Dabber Doom!

Posted in Deals & Steals with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2011 by Lightning Slim

  Hey, folks. This shipment of goodness from the fine purveyors at www.secondspin.com contains more than its fair share of industrial blastbeats, some doomy dooms of doom and a blast from the past. All prices $US (A good thing for Canucks nowadays) with free shipping:

The Berzerker – The Berzerker $6.39, Dissimulate $4.38 and World of Lies $4.39. Earache Records’ simultaneous Australian answer to Slipknot, Nailbomb and Atari Teenage Riot makes big noise in a small space. The s/t is a reissue with a full disc of commentary; band founder Luke Kenny loves to discuss the madness in his methods.

All Shall Perish –  Awaken the Dreamers $5.59. I cheerfully admit I have no idea who these guys are – but they are playing Heavy MTL, so I should probably find out.

Revolting Cocks – Beers, Steers & Queers (The Remixes) $2.39. Shaggy Glassbane and I played the hell out this 12″ single in our college radio days. Never gets old.

  The Sword – Warp Riders $6.39. The crew of intergalactic ship Sword set themselves on a mission of trippiness. Most anticipated band of MTL for me –  I can’t get enough of the retro vibe.  I’m hoping Montreal locals and soul-mates Priestess  make an appearance in support.

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