Friday, November 21, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 357 - Ministry - Psalm 69 (The Way to Suceed and the Way to Suck Eggs)

Album - Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs
Artist - Ministry
Key Players – Paul Barker – bass, programming, vocals. Al Jourgensen – vocals, guitar, keyboards. William Rieflin – drums. Mike Scaccia - guitar
Produced By – Hypo Luxa, Hermes Pan

Release Date – July 14, 1992

Overview - This is the fifth studio album from industrial metal band Ministry. Formed in Chicago in 1981 as a synth pop outfit leader Al Jourgensen decided to change directions after a few years, morphing in to the heavier band most know today. This album would break the band in to the mainstream in 1991 with “Jesus Built My HotRod”

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The 9 song 45 minute record is an absolute assault on the listener. Opening with "N.W.O"  the crunching guitars and drums hit you. You can see the strobe lights. You can smell the smoke and feel the heat of the lights. This is just one loud fucking record. There are layers of samples and when Jourgensen begins the vocals they are nearly unintelligible as he growls the lines under the wall of sound. Scaccia has a short guitar solo in the mid part of the song, but the looping assault of keyboards and drums makes it almost hard to pay attention to. An absolute assault as noted, and we've only just begun. Lifting samples from the film “Sid and Nancy” we are warned to “never trust a junkie” and
"Just One Fix" gets underway. Slicing like a buzz saw the guitars just pummel the listener. You feel dirty after this one. One thing Minstry does is they find that one riff and they latch on to it. The guitars make no change for minutes and everyone else comes in. The drums don't change, the keyboards fill it out and until the chorus its largely locked in the pummeling riffs. The sampled scream that brings the track all back is as resounding today as it was the first time I heard the tune. “TV II” is a very challenging tune to new listeners. The speed of the guitars and drums off set with breaks of heavily distorted (and shouted at you) lyrics. The shortest song on the record, a spot over three minutes the band must have been exhausted even in the studio after playing this. My arms hurt just listening to what Rieflin laid down. “Hero” is one of the cleaner tracks on the song. You get all the mix of the heaviness, and speed, but it just feels “cleaner” and a better example of what the band is all about it. The vocals are still growled at you,but it seems less busy that the prior tracks and is a song you could easily play for someone new to the band to give them a taste of what the band is about.
"Jesus Built My Hot Rod"  was the bands biggest commercial song. Gibby Haynes wrote and sings on the track. If there were a commercial song on the record this would be the one. Even with Haynes nearly indecipherable lyrics. We change gears to the 8+ minute “Scarecrow”. Still a heavy and dark song its just not as rushed as everything else on the record. “Psalm 69” has a big “church” feel to it. With the request to open our prayer books it has the big choir and heavy marching drum. After some “praise Jesus” chants the band comes in and its another brutal assault. “Corrosion” slowly builds up before it opens up. The techno loops feel extra heavy here. This could be used in any horror film ever with flashing lights and cut shots. It ends so heavy the band used the sound of speakers cutting out, almost as if you've blown them. “Grace” concludes the record. Another “horror movie” feeling track but it never seems to grow in to a song like the others. It fits the mood fine, but its a subtle let down from the whole record.

Where are they now? - The band has had numerous changes over the years as well as some set backs.
The band released, what they claim to be their final album “From Beer To Eternity” in September of 2013. There is talk, and a few confirmed live tour dates, scheduled in 2015. Scaccia passed away in December of 2012 of a heart attack

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - There was a time I could not get enough of this record and from time to time it really does the trick.  For this reviewer they were at their peak around this time and its probably the first record I'd suggest from them.
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