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Psalm 69: The Way To Succeed And The Way To Suck Eggs

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  • “Psalm 69,” Ministry’s fifth album, released in 1992, which was the follow-up to “The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste,” is very dark and acidic but also equally as rhythmic. It’s full of rigid (yet non-dominating) guitars, thumping drums, and rather raspy vocals. This album is worth buying just for the mighty catchy hit single “Jesus Built My Hot Rod.” I’ve heard this song (fairly accurately) described as sounding like a square dance at a mental hospital. Here, guest vocalist Gibby Haynes spouts nonsense scat like “ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long.” But that isn’t the only good song on here. Another high point is the album opener, “N.W.O.” This song, which stands for “New World Order,” samples a speech made by George H. W. Bush, and has a very catchy (if repetitive) rhythm which is worthy of a toe-tapping. Track two, “Just One Fix,” has punching drums and chugging guitars which wouldn’t be out of place on a Rammstein record. Likewise, “Hero” is very speedy, with fast, running guitars. The last highlight on here is the foreboding and apocalyptic title track, which has several whiplash tempo changes. Even though it could stand to be a bit longer, “Psalm 69″ is a C.D. which is as great as it is influential. And it’s the sound of this band (and this album) in fine form, so it will forever be a milestone on industrial metal’s timeline.

    Posted on December 18, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This record definitely to me lost some of the industrial magic that made “Mind is a Terrible Thing” so creative. On the other hand though, the production on this record is a lot better and this really does sound more like Metal to me. The guitars thrash heavy and distorted, the bass will give you a whipping, and as usual Al Jourgeson’s passion in his singing will help you to appreciate the anger behind all this music more. Overall, there’s a lot more guitar playing on this one. Yes, this record is definitly meatier then it’s predecessor, but like the previous, it will not suite everyone. It’s again a lot like the previous record, each song consists of about 2 guitar riffs, 3 at most and they just repeat over and over, although this record does have more variety in terms of its lyrics. This is just what Ministry’s music is all about though, and even though most people will discard it by just saying “these guys have no talent, it’s just the same thing over and over,” the music is begging for you to look deeper, b/c even though it may not seem like there’s much variety to each song, each song is VERY unique and it seems an equal amount of work went into each one. So that in turn tells me, No song could be released as a single, or EVERY song can be released as a single. To those who have never heard anything my Ministry before, I’d highly recommend listening to “Mind is a Terrible Thing” FIRST at least 2 times, then that’ll show you what this band is all about, what they’re trying to express. If you end up liking it, then you can pick up “Psalm 69″ and it’ll be the same band, but experimenting with their own sound and musical idea further, and most likely you will like this one too. Ministry is definitely very very original, and Al Jourgeson is definitly what I call an artist.

    Posted on December 17, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • While many people hold this in high regard as one of the best albums the ministry ever made. I think it’s more of an update on what was left off with The mind and Land. Every track this record spews into your face is just another heavy assualt on the ears after another. Opening the right way with NWO, utilizes the use of catchy beats from the synth and proper guitar riffs and so forth, Al’s distorted growls go well with the endless samples. Concerening Al’s old heroin habit it looks as if Just one Fix takes a life of its own with loud Sabbath-esque riffs and pounding drums, this track puts you into Al’ss perspective with his addiction problems, good remixes with WSB on the single too. TV2 is built louder and faster then the original (which is the same only with a better vocalist), shame how connelly got screwed over, Al’s screaming on this song is boarderline annoying, but nothing’s better then laughing along to the lyrics. Hero is noisy crap about war, good lyrics and a nice solo through the middle of the track. Then the old hit Jesus Built my Hotrod captures the beauty of fast cars and insanity with a completely new singer taking charge, the vocals are hilarious and catchy but very incoherent at the same time, awesome guitaring too. I do prefer the mix with the samples more. Things progressively slow down with the almost grunge-metal sounding sludge of Scarecrow, I’ve no idea what the lyrics actually mean, but the slow jam is awesome, also there’s those Led Zep similairities and whatnot. Title track is another slow desend into samples and reilgious madness (PRAISE JESUS!) good actual song outside of the sampling. But the industrial metal stops here with some of the harshest noise/dance tracks I’ve ever f**king heard outside of the earlier industrial acts. Corrosion is a favourite of mine only to crank real damn loud and to annoy everyone else around me, with a brutal beat and an even more brutal sound and to top it all off whatever vocals that would’ve sounded even slightly appropriate are just roars of terror. I love that track. Then the noise-exprimental Grace is the perfect example of Ministry using a synth to their advantage. I do warn Grace will give you a headache if you aren’t tripping on any substance.

    Even though this album failed to make as much as an impact NIN did during the same year, I do think that this is a waaaay more important and intelligant (wrong word to use) then anything Broken offered. Broken was getting back at those wronged Trent (isn’t it that way all the time with Reznor?) Psalm 69 was a balls-out depiction of all things evil during that period of time. Why ministry failed after this is a mystery to me but everyone will still have all of the great musical memories.

    Even if they make our ears bleed.

    Posted on December 17, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • …and the Way to Suck Eggs. That’s the rest of the title, and it’s accurate in its “love it or lump it” attitude: there’s no in-between ground with music this intense, you’re either in or out. If you think Rob Zombie could stand to be heavier, Nine Inch Nails should be a little less sensitive, or Rammstein should try to be less German, than this is exactly what you’re looking for. Ministry have several damn good albums, including their last two releases, but this is their definitive statement, to be locked in a time capsule for future generations to learn how to just get angry. Hardcore enough for punks, metal enough for headbangers, and your parents WILL hate it more than your Korn CDs.

    Posted on December 17, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • How would you describe this, exactly? Metal with industrial strength? Or industrial with metal guitars? That’s the beauty of “Psalm 69,” it fuses the two genres so seemlessly, that fans of both genres (like me), have a match made in heaven. I love both “The Land Of Rape & Honey” and “The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste,” but for some reason, I think this is my favorite of Al’s work. It’s darker, heavier and louder, and for those reasons it has just a slight edge as my favorite Ministry album. Guitars are like musical chainsaws, drums hit harder than a crowbar to the head, vocals are harsh enough to satisfy Skinny Puppy fans, and the mood is just as bleak as Metallica’s “…And Justice For All.” There’s never a dull moment hear. Even the opening track, “N.W.O.,” starts off with guitars that seem hell-bent on destruction with its irrate buzzsaw cuts aimed at your throat. With a ripping guitar chord, samples of then-president George Bush, screams that will make your ears bleed, and an incredibly angry danceable beat, one wonders why Ministry weren’t bigger than their semi-underground status in the first place. There’s no time for pondering though, as the next track, “Just One Fix,” pummels the listener into a bloody pulp with an incredibly dark tone and one mean and ugly, powerful riff from hell (ala Slayer) that will leave you sprawled out on your floor twitching and begging for your mommy. With Gibby Haynes (of Butthole Surfers fame) on vocals, “Jesus Built My Hotrod” might be the coolest car song ever. While not as dark as the other songs, which might explain its college radio-hit fame, it’s a blistering sonic assualt on all your senses that rages forth in a manic tempo rolling over everything in sight and never letting up. Another highlight is the title track. It’s, again, dark and bleak, but just like all the other songs, it still has a fun element to it. Voice samples of “Praise Jesus” and a choir lead the way to a chorus that thrashes and bashes like you wouldn’t believe; it’s too bad Sunday church congregation wasn’t this much fun in real life, or I might actually go. The instrumental “Corrosion” is like a tank–ready for war, sirens going off all around, destroying everything in sight, and leaving a path of destruction and mayhem with its sonic wrath–absolutely wonderful. Thrash-dance at its absolute finest, I say. Of course, “Psalm 69″ as a whole is amazing. Every second is powerful and filled with visceral wrath waiting to explode at anyone or anything at the touch of the play button. Samples are brilliantly placed all over the chaotic industrial vocals and production, drums make you wanna dance and put your foot in the wall all at the same time, and guitars rip and shred like Filter and Spineshank can only dream of. “Psalm 69″ is, like good techno, perfect–never a dull moment; never an out of place instrument, sample, or vocal; and you can never get enough of this stuff. This is exactly what the Terminator called for–a cold, heartless killing machine that only stops to reload before blowing you and everything within four miles up (which is exactly what you’d feel like if you turn this up loud enough). Forget Static-X, Spineshank, Marilyn Manson and Apartment 26–this is the real deal when it comes to industrial-metal, and it will never be topped. If you’re into industrial or metal, or anything remotly close to it, for that matter, you need “Psalm 69.” Gauranteed headache with every song. And in this case, that’s a good thing.

    Posted on December 17, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now