Ministry - Animositisomina review
|Release date:||February 2003|
06. The Light Pours Out Of Me [Magazine cover]
The Chicago based duo [Al Jourgensen - vocals, guitars, programming and Paul Barker - bass, programming] known as Ministry have finally returned with their new studio album since 1999's Dark Side Of The Spoon. 2001's compilation Greatest Fits marked their departure from Warners, but they were soon signed to the Sanctuary Records. Their first release was last years live testimony Sphinctour, which was shot at various concerts during the 1996/1997 "Filth Pig" tour.
While Ministry's career spans some twenty years, there's no denying that their influence has been felt with every new release. 1992's Psalm 69: The Way To Succeed And The Way To Suck Eggs saw Ministry hit the big time with a host of classic singles such as "N.W.O.", "Just One Fix" and "Jesus Built My Hotrod", and in the process inspired a whole new generation of industrial acts [like Static X, Fear Factory and Nine Inch Nails].
1996's Filth Pig was a difficult affair, and while many saw it as a poor follow up, I still regard it as one of the bands high points. Typically, the band decided to attempt something much darker and at times seething with impenetrable hate, and therefore served its purpose. The more "up" sounding Dark Side Of The Spoon was the real disappointment, and patchy at best. Highlights on the album were few, and the band look set to become a former shadow of their once great selves.
However, Al has since cleaned himself up [either that, or he has his heroin fascination under some control], and with Paul in a like-minded working frame of mind, has created a worthy of putting beside their 1992 classic.
Animositisomina [animosity spelt both forwards and backwards, minus the 'Y'] opens with 'Animosity', and the commitment from the band is blatantly evident. Al's determined effort to sing with clarity is noticeable, and the track itself seems to be based on a singular riff, rather than percussion based. The booklet also contains the lyrics too, which is a first in many years, proving that Ministry really have something to say lyrically this time around.
"Unsung" and "Impossible" are both cold and calculated, with a decidedly catchy chorus, while "Piss" and "Shove" are out and out the most venomous songs from Ministry in some time. Al seems to be going the extra step vocally, and it certainly sounds particularly effective on the latter with an uncanny similarity to Jaz Coleman from Killing Joke at his best. "Lockbox" and "Broken" are both melodic slices of industrial anarchy, but as mentioned before, are dominated by a singular riff that is not only potent, but very well thought out. Magazine's "The Light Pours Out Of Me" is given the Ministry work out, and like Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay" (From "Filth Pig"), this works surprisingly well. If there were a weak moment, then "Stolen" would fit the bill. While it's by no means Ministry at their worst, it simply fails to ignite like other moments on the album. The epic closing instrumental "Leper" incorporates some Eastern influences, while riff after monumental riff is laid down one on top of the other.
Animositisomina is a huge return to form from Ministry, and will surely see placed back on the pedestal from where they fell from some time ago. There's life left in these Filth Pigs yet!
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