Saturday, April 7, 2012


There is more to life than Killing Joke, of course. There are bands who are influenced by Killing Joke.
So, yes, I got the new Ministry CD- Relapse. Here's the quick Backstory- Al is impossible to work with. I know it from first-hand experience. He's a psycho, and a drug fiend. He may or may not be clean, right now, but there you go- with or without drugs in his system, he's a psycho junkie. He's also a fairly intelligent musical visionary, with no edit button. That's incredibly valuable, and frustrating as well. Because you'll get rare moments of transcendence and power, majesty, and yes, beauty. You'll also get meaningless rants, and pointless torture for nothing. You also never know when he's lying, or honest, joking or serious. The really frustrating part is that none of this is a dichotomy all of it is part and parcel of the same thing. Well, it even takes a toll on the man himself. He nearly died from a bleeding/ruptured (take your pick) ulcer. I happen to know what that's like, and I know what causes it- abusing yourself in an extreme manner. Basically, you've got to ignore painful symptoms for years, and continue down what's clearly an unhealthy path. Pretty good metaphor for Al's life, and career, yeah?
But, what about the music? It's the thrashy electro metal we've come to expect. Al rants on top of it, in a heavily processed voice. If that sounds typical, that's because of how many people rip off Al's sound. Since Ministry now is Al, Mike Scaccia, Tommy Victor, Tony Campos, and guests, it's got a lot more guitar solos. But, fortunately, Victor brings his Prong-ish Killing Joke worship, and Campos is a more rooted (pun intentional) bass player, so it's less straight Thrash as the Bush trilogy was- there's some space between the blast beats, a lot less claustrophobia in the mix, and the result is a much more listenable release than Al has done in awhile. The fact that he's not afraid of some self-parody also opens it up a lot. You get less of a 'late night cable access psychotic rant" feel off it, a more (un)fair, and (un)balanced ride.
I actually like Al's spoken bits, because he's much more clearly playing a character, and it suits.
I know the purists, and the metal heads will not like it. It's not as "intense", but more fun. A couple of bits are almost dance-y. To use a Metal metaphor, it's more like Megadeth than Deicide, and that's a good thing.
Really, your best bet is to listen to each track, and download what works for you, unless you're crazy like me, then, you'll want the CD.

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