Album Title: 
From Beer To Eternity
Release Date: 
Friday, September 6, 2013
Review Type: 

Although this band has been a favourite Industrial Metal act of mine since their 1992 hit album Psalm 69: The Way To Succeed And the Way To Suck Eggs, and in spite of the fact that I only once was given the honour of reviewing an album by the band, I still acquired most of he band's (regular) studio albums (including the first two completely Dance-geared recordings).

Now the review I did do, was of 2003's Animositisomina, and of course that is no longer available (due to a computer crash in early 2005, which resulted in the total loss of all info prior to that time). Ensuing albums (2005's Houses Of The Molé, 2006's Rio Grande Blood, 2007's so-called “final album” The Last Sucker, and 2012's “comeback” album well as sóme of the in-between releases, including the 2009 live Adios...Puta Madres and, I thought, that same year's The Last Dubber) were all done by colleagues of mine, or at least, they were supposed to have been done (somehow I could not find a review for last year's studio album). What with a career going back to 1981, when Al Jourgensen started the band (as an Alternative Dance music act, remember!?), it would take me too long to operate in my usual in-dept way to go into the band's career in detail, and I will therefore re-direct all of you information seekers to the band's Wikipedia page.

In a way, From Beer To Eternity is again a turning point in the band's career. Firstly, because long-term guitarist Mikey Scaccia [whom originally joined the band as a live touring member in 1989, to stay on for a first period until 1995...he returned to the fold from 2003 to 2008 (when Ministry so-called broke up), and was again part of the line-up when the band returned in late 2011] died of a heart attack during a show with his other band Rigor Mortis (they were celebrating their singer's 50th birthday) on December 23, 2012...a mere 3 days after having spent time in the studio to record what can be called some of Ministry's most extreme (say super-fast, man!) guitar work! Scaccia's death meant an immediate stop to some projects he was about to get into, such as the recording of a second Black Satan & The 666 Shooters record, a Chicago Blues geared album, and more Thrash-based music. Even more so, by March 2013 the loss of their guitarist had made the other members of Ministry decide to again break up the band. For Jourgensen, whom had been confronted with having to mix the material already recorded, and whom as such was confronted with the man's legacy on an almost daily basis, the will to continue the band without Scaccia simply didn't exist. Meanwhile however...we still have the new Ministry album to enjoy.

Those who expect a continuation of Jourgensen's critique on George W. Bush (which the last 3 albums were focused at) had better think different quick! Nevertheless, you can expect him to give his un-salted and occasionally sarcastic opinions on some of the hypocritical conditions which persist in today's society, including idolisation of Rock Stars (viz the album opener “Hail To His Majesty (Peasants)”), prescription medication (“Side FX Include Mikey's Middle Finger”), news casting (“Fairly Unbalanced”), America's perpetuation of war worldwide (“Perma War”), the American Way of Life (“Thanks But No Thanks”, which not only sees a return of guest vocalist “Sgt. Major”, but also starts off in Dub mode before changing into a Mosh mode halfway through) and (oh surprise) about Republican politicians (“The Horror”, which actually flows from the preceding “Fairly Unbalanced” without change of pace, thanks to the bridging Fox News Channel samples used). There's also some musical variety on the album, as it sees the band go through its musical history to make a musical overview of everything the band ever stood for. There's even influences from Revolting Cocks (check “Lesson Learned”, with guest female singer Patty Fox), Lard (listen to the Thrash Punk geared “Punch In The Face”), and Jourgensen's Dance past (closing passage of “Hail To His Majesty”, song-length during “The Horror”). The guitar play on the album is also very diverse, thanks to Scaccia's somewhat eclectic view on music, and there's even a very Oriental sounding track on the album with the generally calmer (darn...for a Ministry song, it's almost Ambient...except in those passages where a heavier rhythm guitar is used) “Change Of Luck”...and the chorus to that song sure has a poppy quality (what with the added “strings” and harmonic singing, you knowà. The lyrics to that song, by the way, were written directly about the guitarist's death. 

In essence, this may be the last Ministry album, but it also has become the most career-defining the band ever released. There can be no wonder of why I find this album deserves a nomination for the “Best Albums Of 2013” lists, can there?