Ministry – AmeriKKKant
Label: Nuclear Blast
It’s almost like clockwork, USA gets a new administration, and Ministry has an album up their sleeve to pour shit and sonic criticism on it. This is the largest gap between albums (five years), because the band suffered another premature tragic death of Mike Scaccia in 2012 which drove Al to split up Ministry once again after recording their, at the time, final album “From Beer to Eternity”.
“From Beer to Eternity”, to be very honest, would have been a weak epitaph for a band that is considered one of the pioneers of industrial rock/metal genre. Luckily, Al Jourgensen changed his mind a year later and Ministry became active again and started writing new music and tour.
I was at their gig when they visited Zagreb, Croatia last year and firmly kicked my ass including everyone else’s at the concert. The performance was tight, loud and fucking awesome and you can check it out here.
Now after some delays, we got the new album fittingly called “AmeriKKKant” to showcase the political mess in America. Notably through Nuclear Blast records which also released Als solo project “Surgical Meth Machine” in 2016.
Suffice to say that “AmeriKKKant” is better that the last two albums. But that unfortunately is not saying much. That being said, in contrast to “From Beer to Eternity” and “Relapse”, it feels more inspired unlike the previous two efforts which felt grounded in non-stop beat assault to cover their lack of ideas.
This one is relying more on the atmosphere and nostalgic vibes of the albums like “Filth Pig” and the aggression of “Houses of the Molé”. No kidding, “Twilight Zone” pretty much has the structure of the title track of the “Filth Pig” album (harmonica and all) although an inferior one.
Like the “Bush” albums, this is a clear statement of the Trump presidency, from mocking the president’s illiteracy in “I know Words”, followed by America’s love of guns and non-constant wars in “Wargasm”. Like George Carlin once said, USA is only good at “bombing the shit out of other countries”. They should definitely quote him on the songs as a sample.
Speaking of samples, they are always a common thing with Ministry and give a special flavor to the old albums and even their hit songs, but here they feel very crowded, so much that Al˙s vocals are sometimes a secondary thing. Especially the god-awful DJ spinning that occurs in almost every song, which is pretty much the main mood killer in the album.
Despite my apparent negativity there is good material in here. Notable mentions are “We are tired of it” featuring Burton C. Bell from Fear Factory, obviously “Wargasm” and “Antifa” and especially the title track. The album in general has solid material but in all gets that feel of “I heard this before from this band and it sounded better”.
“AmeriKKKant” is by all means a better effort that the previous two and a definite proof that Al and the gang have some inspiration left. Sadly, it still is a far cry from the “Rio Grande Blood” and “The Last Sucker”.