Review by Tammy Lomax for MPM
The world wide pandemic has tested us all to one level or another, the fog of negativity still lingers and has left a bad taste in our mouths.
Grief, anxiety, isolation, these factors have had a huge detriment on our mental health but in some situations it has inspired others to take all that pain and misery and open the doors to touch upon their creativity.
That is exactly what Al Jourgensen has achieved, he has constructed a new Ministry record to not only represent how disappointing the world has become but to get others to listen to his lyrics, here is where his message lays, hoping it motivates us to act now before it’s too late.
Ministry have been on the scene since the 1980s and their releases have varied and evolved, they are well known to be openly critical of political events, their 14th album, ‘Amerikkkant’ was released in 2018 and is a great example.
The lyrics range from the bloodshed that is caused by the Nazis, Ku Klux Klan and the corrupt politicians in power in America.
Moral Hygiene’ is the follow up album and it is the next level of expression of disappointment, how we have let our children down, leaving them in a world that is more obsessed with consumption and greed than the health of others and the planet, less rage and more reflection. ‘
Moral Hygiene’ features new bass player Paul D’Amour (Tool) and this is his first appearance on any Ministry release. Alongside vocalist Al Jourgensen, John Bechdel is on keyboards, Cesar Soto on guitars and drummer Roy Mayorga.
Album opener ‘Alert Level’ features Arabian Prince, this track should give you a bit of a reality check “How concerned are you?” repeatedly echoes whilst the layering of the industrial sounds and mixes begin to bulge and take position. The chunky twangs glide in from the bass and they meet together with the guitars which pull a memorable riff out of the bag.
Other special guests include Jello Biafra in ‘Sabotage Is Sex’ and Billy Morrison for their take on ‘Search And Destroy’ which is considerably on parr with the original by The Stooges.
‘Moral Hygiene’ feels a little unique compared with other music releases this year. Ministry are the pioneers of industrial metal and this album reflects that big time, the variety of ideas have literally popped.
Good Trouble’ has an 80s feel especially as the audience chants, it’s definitely a strong contender for my favourite but its tight battle because ‘Sabotage Is Sex’ takes the album in a completley different direction, its quicker paced but cermonious and heart chugger ‘Believe Me’, I found this track nostalgic and a little more melodic than the rest.
‘Disinformation’ is also a favourable track as it feels more charged, like we all are about to endure a hunt or go into battle.
The construction of the guitars have some decent substance to them and although there isn’t much development within the track layering wise, it remains hefty and full of death metal. Disinformation in general has a lot to answer for especially with the pandemic.
‘TV Song #6 Right Around the Corner Mix’ is traditionally Ministry and ends the album with a wallop, its complete chaos and puts the drums in the limelight which totally annihilate everything, the mixes are incredibly integrated and run coherently with the drums.
When longtime guitarist Mike Scaccia passed away, it was assumed Ministry would no longer carry on. I am glad they haven’t put things on halt, in fact they have successfully inspired me too.
Moral Hygiene’ is a moving creation, a realization that we all have to wake up, stop living in denial and take action now, it is the most political and real album they have made to date.
This release is full of vibrant variety, it is crowded with extreme layers and mixes of electronics that combine with distorted vocals and gut shaking riffs, the music is poinenent and unique, confrontational relating to politics and a statement, enough is enough.
Get MORAL HYGIENE http://www.nuclearblast.com/ministry-…
FOLLOW MINISTRY: Official Website: https://ministryband.com