Ministry – “Amerikkkant” (Nuclear Blast)
‘…there’s no better word for stupid, fire up the Playstation…’. No stranger to controversy and outrage, Ministry’s leader Al Jourgensen positively thrives on it! And if anything, the current political climate has given him all the fuel to once again resurrect the industrial metal beast known as Ministry. Like some bizarre avenging angel, Jourgensen seeks to give voice to the righteous in vanquishing the evil doers of the system and their arch demon sitting in the White House. Assembling a knightly round table cast including Burton C Bell (Fear Factory), Tony Campos (Static X), DJ Swamp (Beck), Arabian Prince (NWA), Joey Jordinson (Slipknot), Lord of the Cello and long time guitarist Sin Quirin, “Amerikkkant” is 9 tracks of politically driven hate that actually drags the swamp when others merely talk about it. Musically, however, it is probably the most structured album that Jourgensen has ever put together. While the DIY approach to many past releases reflected his underground ground breaking style, “Amerikkkant” has taken all that past experience and given the material here an elite sheen, polished to perfection in terms of every riff and beat, and all to a split second synchronicity thanks to the star cast here. Then there’s the samples that arrive in sound wave assaults, many needless to say provided by the Commander in Chief himself, all hoovered up avidly by Jourgensen and then using the hip hop turntable expertise of Swamp and Prince (not forgetting John Bechdel’s keyboards), integrated with lethal effect into the material either prominently or as background, along with an ammunition box of sound bytes. Almost theatrical in its overall concept, “Amerikkkant” could be the musical equivalent of an anti establishment convention. From the eerie ‘Twilight Zone’ with its slick beats mixed with cellos, raps, Trump quotes about waterboarding, snazzy turntable whizzes backed by the industrial beats and Quirin’s grim guitar – not to mention a crazy cowboy harmonica – you know that despite being near 60 years old, Al Jourgensen has lost none of his fire, and ain’t about to let you off either! After the machine gun blurring execution of ‘TV 5-4 Chan’, chants of ‘sieg heil’ greet ‘We’re Tired Of It’, an aggressive old school monster driven by Jordinson’s double bass beats and steel on steel industrial sounds as the turntables go into overdrive amid stormtrooper chants while ‘Wargasm’ is a sex n violence piece riddled with media and political sound bytes as the electronic vocals repeat ‘…violence…we love it..’. With more old school industrial aggro hammering in on ‘Antifa’ with a hilarious play on the marching call of ‘what do we want – violence!, when do we want it – now!’, Quirin’s starts to steam simultaneously while Bechdel’s fluid keys try to sooth – amazing in itself while on ‘Game Over’ with its slow power riffs, cool warbling melodies and a massive charged atmosphere is faded out by a repeated quote saying ‘….a long national nightmare is over…’. Perhaps, but nobody told Al Jourgensen.