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Essential industrial metal
"Psalm 69," Ministry's fifth album, released in 1992, which was the follow-up to "The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste," is very dark and acidic but also equally as rhythmic. It's full of rigid (yet non-dominating) guitars, thumping drums, and rather raspy vocals. This album is worth buying just for the mighty catchy hit single "Jesus Built My Hot Rod." I've heard this song (fairly accurately) described as sounding like a square dance at a mental hospital. Here, guest vocalist Gibby Haynes spouts nonsense scat like "ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long." But that isn't the only good song on here. Another high point is the album opener, "N.W.O." This song, which stands for "New World Order," samples a speech made by George H. W. Bush, and has a very catchy (if repetitive) rhythm which is worthy of a toe-tapping. Track two, "Just One Fix," has punching drums and chugging guitars which wouldn't be out of place on a Rammstein record. Likewise, "Hero" is very speedy, with fast, running guitars. The last highlight on here is the foreboding and apocalyptic title track, which has several whiplash tempo changes. Even though it could stand to be a bit longer, "Psalm 69" is a C.D. which is as great as it is influential. And it's the sound of this band (and this album) in fine form, so it will forever be a milestone on industrial metal's timeline.
CONNECT THE GODDAMED DOTS!!!!!!!
While many people hold this in high regard as one of the best albums the ministry ever made. I think it's more of an update on what was left off with The mind and Land. Every track this record spews into your face is just another heavy assualt on the ears after another. Opening the right way with NWO, utilizes the use of catchy beats from the synth and proper guitar riffs and so forth, Al's distorted growls go well with the endless samples. Concerening Al's old heroin habit it looks as if Just one Fix takes a life of its own with loud Sabbath-esque riffs and pounding drums, this track puts you into Al'ss perspective with his addiction problems, good remixes with WSB on the single too. TV2 is built louder and faster then the original (which is the same only with a better vocalist), shame how connelly got screwed over, Al's screaming on this song is boarderline annoying, but nothing's better then laughing along to the lyrics. Hero is noisy crap about war, good lyrics and a nice solo through the middle of the track. Then the old hit Jesus Built my Hotrod captures the beauty of fast cars and insanity with a completely new singer taking charge, the vocals are hilarious and catchy but very incoherent at the same time, awesome guitaring too. I do prefer the mix with the samples more. Things progressively slow down with the almost grunge-metal sounding sludge of Scarecrow, I've no idea what the lyrics actually mean, but the slow jam is awesome, also there's those Led Zep similairities and whatnot. Title track is another slow desend into samples and reilgious madness (PRAISE JESUS!) good actual song outside of the sampling. But the industrial metal stops here with some of the harshest noise/dance tracks I've ever f**king heard outside of the earlier industrial acts. Corrosion is a favourite of mine only to crank real damn loud and to annoy everyone else around me, with a brutal beat and an even more brutal sound and to top it all off whatever vocals that would've sounded even slightly appropriate are just roars of terror. I love that track. Then the noise-exprimental Grace is the perfect example of Ministry using a synth to their advantage. I do warn Grace will give you a headache if you aren't tripping on any substance.
Even though this album failed to make as much as an impact NIN did during the same year, I do think that this is a waaaay more important and intelligant (wrong word to use) then anything Broken offered. Broken was getting back at those wronged Trent (isn't it that way all the time with Reznor?) Psalm 69 was a balls-out depiction of all things evil during that period of time. Why ministry failed after this is a mystery to me but everyone will still have all of the great musical memories.
Even if they make our ears bleed.
"Connect the ******* dots!"
Oh, man. Ministry. What a crazy band. And what's more amazing is that Al Jourgensen does his stuff so good that he'll unite fans of punk, industrial, metal, and techno together. This album kind of continues the more metal route of "Rape and Honey" and "Terrible". A lot of Al's album titles are really cool, by the way. I'm not sure if I like this or the aforementioned "Terrible" more, but either way it's a close call.
It starts out with a real kick in "N.W.O.", possibly my favorite song on the record. The music is crazy and repetitive, but I like it when it gets to Paul Barker's double-bass delivery. It also shows that before Al made a protest via "Houses of the Molé", he also made one back when the first Bush was president. And unlike a lot of other protest bands, for me, this stuff is actually really motivational.
Oh, and if you like that band Rammstein, you're going to love "Just One Fix". That's inevitable. The riffs are something that put that band to shame because Ministry was first. Also, some of the more clearer vocals of Al, but sometimes it's harder to hear because of the echoing of it.
Then you get to the song that I titled my review after, "TV II". The beginning will scare you if you weren't prepared. I love the fast guitar stuff on here, and it just gets crazy when it adds the distorted bass. And whenever Al yells. It's fun to yell with him when you're listening to him. My favorite line very well might be "Who am I trying to impress? Who could care less?" It is the shortest song on the album, though.
I'm sure that even if you don't think that you've heard it that you probably know "Jesus Built My Hotrod" in one way or another. The one when Gibby Haynes joins the fold. The spoken word part of the song is really funny, especially how Gibby tries to sound so serious in it. Then it gets crazy with the music. The guitar solo is kind of metal, and the main riff is just crazy, a 6/4 time signature song.
One of the most memorable moments of "Psalm 69" is probably "Scarecrow", a slower song which is no less insane. This track is over six minutes long yet is great. I wish I could play this and torture Hawthorne Heights fans, to be quite honest with you. It would scare them to death.
The title track is pretty cool, and I absolutely love the samples in it. That's really what seperates it from a typical Ministry song, not that it would've been bad to begin with. That leads into the nice "Corrosion", which has no real lyrics but has a cool beat and I love the parts where it breaks in the rhythm a little bit. After that, you get the "doomsday" track "Grace", which also succeeds at being loud and crazy, even if not quite as much as other tracks.
Unless something this crazy turns you off, I think you are going to like it. I got a friend into this band through this album. It's kind of hard not to like it. Besides, I like showing this album to people because I'm an industrial fan and could get people into it with this band. The record is tons of fun and I haven't gotten sick of it yet. But yeah, the three albums mentioned here should be the first three to buy from Ministry. The others it really depends on what you're into.
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