MINISTRY
"Moral Hygiene"

(Nuclear Blast)

01. Alert Level
02. Good Trouble
03. Sabotage is Sex
04. Disinformation
05. Search and Destroy
06. Believe Me
07. Broken System
08. We Shall Resist
09. Death Toll
10. TV Song #6 (Right Around The Corner Mix)

RATING: 8/10

There is nothing like a tsunami of stupid to get Al Jourgensen motivated. MINISTRY have been an intermittent force for subversive good for a startling 40 years now, and no one sensible would dispute that the great man's utterly unique vision has led to some of the most absurdly entertaining records in heavy music history. In truth, however, not everything the band have released in recent times has hit the demented heights of "Psalm 69", with later, post-hiatus works like "Relapse" and "From Beer To Eternity" seeming rather too formulaic to destroy desired targets as intended. Fortunately, 2018's "AmeriKKKant" was a huge step in the right direction, partly because the world was in a sufficiently appalling state that MINISTRY's legendary blend of skull-shattering industrial metal and sardonic sloganeering made perfect sense all over again. Three years on and global anxiety levels are off the scale, and so a few giant belly laughs and a shitload of killer riffs are just what the lysergic physician ordered. "Moral Hygiene" delivers the expected goods with more conviction and clarity than on any MINISTRY record this century.

With the Former Guy continuing to provide endless, beyond-parody spoken word material for Jourgensen to sample and repurpose, "Moral Hygiene" ends up making much the same point as its fiery predecessor. But these are uniformly stronger songs than those on "AmeriKKKant", and the anger behind them feels a little more pointed and focused. Fittingly, Jello Biafra pops up to drop some snarling truth bullets during "Sabotage is Sex" and the old LARD team are suddenly back together (new LARD material is reportedly imminent, incidentally) and rolling back the bitter years as only two life-long thorns in the mainstream's side can be. Similarly, a thunderous and snotty cover of IGGY AND THE STOOGES' "Search and Destroy" (featuring BILLY IDOL alumnus Billy Morrison on guitar) is one of those rare occasions when the phrase "they made it their own!" seems genuinely appropriate. Elsewhere, epic opener "Alert Level" is one of the heaviest and weirdest things Jourgensen has ever committed to tape; "Good Trouble" is a classic MINISTRY tooth rattler and a pocket manifesto for the band's entire ethos; "Believe Me" is clattering, robot-punk arena rock with a bad attitude and a hard on for "Eliminator"-era ZZ TOP. And just to make sure that nobody is getting comfortable, a closing brace of "Death Toll" (all squelchy dub, brittle hip-hop beats and COVID panic) and "TV Song #6" (absolute, all-bets-are-off, electro-metal bedlam) will leave most heads violently spinning. Hallelujah.

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).