Ministry CD review [Sanctuary]



Music Reviews
Ministry CD review [Sanctuary]
By
Feb 18, 2003, 04:31

MINISTRY Animositisomina CD

An arguable innovator in '88. A messy heroin wreck ten years later. So now that we're limping into the 21st Century—which Ministry's 200 MPH biker-tech metal once made seem so brutally quick and vicious—where is Al Jourgensen on the highway of Life? If Animositisomina is our best indication, he's cruising on fumes, no longer nitro-blasting past the competition, but still somewhere in the race. The album's first half shows the most wear, riding on retreads: hella-processed drums and heavyweight guitar uppercuts may have sounded futuristic in the 80s, but it's been overdone to the point of absurd cliché in the years since. And Jourgensen's supposed musical partner, bassist Paul Barker, is nowhere to be heard. Likewise the synthesizer spinouts that made albums like Land of Rape and Honey so influential in the first place. Thankfully, the record's second leg makes up some ground. Barker's bass finally shows up to buoy track 6, a disarmingly straight cover of Magazine's “The Light Pours Out of Me,” which also features the most melodic vox from Jourgensen since 1986's Twitch. The subsequent cut, “Shove,” continues the pattern, with Jourgensen actually emulating Ian Curtis to a degree heretofore unexplored or expected, while the guitars slip into a slithery background role that lets the song breathe free and uncongested—something Ministry hasn't done in a decade. The best song, however, may be the penultimate one, “Stolen,” which rips up crispy electronic riffs to a helter-skelter rhythm. If Ministry detours down that fork in the road for their entire next trip, maybe we'd finally get somewhere. All of which is to say that Animositisomina, while probably the band's best since Psalm 69, is an inconsistent, oft times unreliable ride. Yet at least it proves Ministry's still on the move—just at a much less impressive pace than they once took. [Sanctuary]

-J Graham


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