Album review: MINISTRY – Bad Blood, The Mayan Albums, 2002-2005 (4 CDs)

Cherry Red [release date: 17.12.21]

There are Industrial Metal bands and there is Ministry.
After the breakthrough in 1983, Al Jourgensen’s minimalist metal-in-extremis became the benchmark for the genre pretty rapidly.

You could argue that this 4 CD snapshot, originally on the Sanctuary imprint, was in itself an abbreviated sound and vision version of the band’s 5 decade journey.

In fact, everything that made Ministry great is especially evident on the set’s first CD, the live recording, Sphinctour (2002).

It’s the recipe as before. Surging, hulking riffs turned up to 11, metronomic rhythms with emphatic beats, delivered like a series of underwater detonations.
Jourgensen’s vocals add dramatic heft to the action. In every excoriating lyric, in every political polemic, the isolating psyche of the musician yearning to perfect his art shines through.
It was released against the ever present background of label v label machinations, and captured some of the best material from the band’s mid nineties’ ‘Psalm 69′ and ‘Filth Pig’ albums, arguably where the band reached its creative Industrial / Alt Metal peak.

A year later they released the underappreciated Animositisomina (easy for me to say). It’s easily one of the band’s most confounding recordings. It’s a resurrection of sorts when we consider they had again been written off. Once more they push the boundaries of structure and tone to the outer edges of the genre.
The electrifying title track is as good a piece of writing and recording as ‘Jesus Built My Hotrod’ and ‘Stigmata’. You can feel the spark ignite in your bloodstream.

2004′s Houses Of The Mole saw the band dive down the Thrash Metal rabbit hole in pursuit of George Bush and his ultra conservative, militaristic tendencies.
It’s a tough album to love. When the songs are filled with corrosive, laser guided lyics, squarely aimed at US foreign policy in the mid 2000s, we’re unlikely to see a rush for the dancefloor.
It has a freeform sensation at times. Of chaos just about marshalled, with the music providing the dark notes and industrial clamour needed to frame Jourgensen’s typically dark and dangerous imagery. ‘WTV’ and ‘No W’ are outstanding tracks … two walls of noise occasionally penetrated by random words. The message is in the medium.

Rantology (2005) is a collection of remixes, cherry picked from some of the band’s better known songwriting and performing peaks. All the songs you would expect are here. ‘Bad Blood’ (alternate mix) and ‘Warp City’ (alternate mix) are probably the picks. In each case the insidious weight and heft of a densely constructed bedrock base is already in position. The accusatory fury and the raw, dirty edges of the mixes cut through quickly, leaving only blood, bruises and exhaustion behind. Ministry in the raw. ****

Review by Brian McGowan





Josh Taerk’s latest Sunday Session was streamed on Sunday 22 May.

Next session: Sunday 17 July.

Check out previous videos here: https://www.facebook.com/getreadytorockradio


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 19 June 2022.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 GMT as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 21 June 2022.

How to Listen Live?

Click the programming image at the top of the page (top right of page if using desktop)

Listen via Windows Media Player. Click or tap here and “open file”
Listen via other media player (eg. VLC) Click or tap here and “open file”

Get Ready to ROCK! Radio is also in iTunes under Internet Radio/Classic Rock
Listen in via the Tunein app and search for “Get Ready to ROCK!” and save as favourite.

More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages: getreadytorockradio.com


Power Plays w/c 27 June 2022 (Mon-Fri)
REVIVAL BLACK Broken Home (TMR Records)
FLOYA Epiphany (indie)
TWISTER Own Worst Enemy (indie)
MODERN MIMES Down And Dead (Curtain Call Records)
TUNGSTEN Northern Lights (Arising Empire)
THE GREAT LESLIE Feel Alive (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 27 June (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 GRACE Hope (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 CLASSLESS ACT Welcome To the Show (Better Noise Music)
14:00-16:00 TIMOTHY B. SCHMIT Day By Day (indie)



Popular (last 30 days)


This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), ALL POSTS, PURE METAL (All posts), Pure Metal/Album reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply