This has to be some of the most furious music ever made. In college (where I was when this came out), one my friends said the military should play this before battle. When the album cover and liner consist of terrible pictures of concentration camp victims, you know you are not in for a pleasant easy listening experience. It also features sampled shouts of “Sieg, Heil!” (Nazi cheer, “hail victory”), Arabic prayers, mission control chatter of a disastrous space mission, etc. Abrasive and nihilistic and frankly unpleasant, but undeniably powerful. Stigmata and Land of Rape and Honey stand out. This music played enough could be used as a torture instrument or maybe to knock down buildings, it is simply punishing to listen to.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
30 seconds of a curious ticking noise, followed by a shriek so extremely distorted and chaotic as to destroy speakers at high volume. Such is the beginning of Ministry’s “Land of Rape and Honey”. It’s funny imagining what fans of the synth pop and subdued electro records “With Sympathy” and “Twitch” faces looked like when they pushed play for the first time. Whatever the reason, this album marks the abrupt transition into the Ministry we know and love today.
“The Land of Rape and Honey” is violent, about as violent as any album can be. One gets the impression that the walls of endlessly looping distorted drum machines and screams contained herein were really more meant to beat the listener senseless than hypnotize into some sort of trance like the heroin induced ramblings of later albums.
This album makes it on attitude alone. There is little to no melody or musicality in any of these tracks. Some of the rhythms can even be classified as inane, such as the simple alternate snare and bass throughout the whole of “The Missing”. Guitar work is redundant and simple.
Al’s vocals follow little structure, one scream after another, occasionally avoiding even rhythm (“Stigmata”), but they get the point across- anger. A hell of a lot of it.
“Stigmata” (10/10) An industrial classic if there ever was one. Grinding synth sounds combined with a 2 chord main riff, then alternated with totally insane verses (“Choke on glass”). The chant “You have empty eyes” is both the finale and the highlight.
“The Missing” (9/10) A metal oriented tune with great riffs and some fantastic harmonizing leads in the chorus. Very epic and very fast. Short and sweet. The drum parts are lacking in groove and complexity.
“Deity” (10/10) Thrashy and melodic, an absolute anthem and one of the best tracks Ministry has ever produced. Metallic, but not in the same way as “The Mind” or “Psalm”. Unique in the catelogue.
“Golden Dawn” (10/10) Groovey bass driven instrumental with some background guitar harmonics and lots of good sample splicing. This album marks Al’s best use of spliced samples for rhythmic effect. “You have been found guilty of covenants with the devil”, “Confess, confess!”.
“Destruction” (7/10) Another instrumental with a simple, loping rhythm that loops throughout. Overlaid are far away sounding distorted chants of “DESTRUCTION!”, scrapes and feedback. Harsh and powerful, but there isn’t much at all going on.
“Hizbollah” (10/10) The middle eastern title fits well with this track. A more developed primal, tribal sort of rhythm with some heavy, menacing synth work and samples of something being said in Arabic. A heavy, melodic instrumental.
“The Land of Rape and Honey” (9/10) Militant and march like, 16th note harsh synths over heavy drum tracks. Al’s screaming vocals re-enter the album here, “Face to face, blood to blood”. The sampling going on here is subtle genious, increasing the mood of the song substantially. Hiss noises provide still more atmosphere. Doesn’t really progress during the duration, it’s verse after verse. “In the land of rape and honey, you PRAY.”
“You Know What You Are” (10/10) Similar to the title track in rhythm and overall sound, the harsh, angry vocals and samples (of maniacal laughing) push this one to a higher level. The voice is so drenched in distortions that you can barely make out the words.
“I Prefer” (6/10) Frantic and fast paced synth and some cleaner monotone vocals chanting. Very little going on musically, and very short. Not at all a memorable song.
“Flashback” (10/10) Quite possibly the most absolutely furious song I’ve ever heard, distorted blasting percussion and spliced sampling loops relentlessly for 4 minutes over which Al spews line after line of tortures and humiliations he’s going to inflict on a certain individual, punctuated by a ‘chorus’ of “I HATE HER” (and sometimes ‘him’). “I’m gonna make you suffer, and WATCH YOU DIE!” Insanity that it’s hard to overstate.
“Abortive” (7.5/10) A quiet and very out of place instrumental with some interesting bass and rhythm tracks. A sort of atmospheric chillout song.
While it isn’t totally consistent, “Land of Rape and Honey” is one of the angriest albums ever recorded and very influential besides. Recommended.
This was my second Ministry album, my first being Psalm 69 way back in ‘92. I can’t believe this album is out of print, seeing how so many people consider it to be Ministry’s masterpiece. Even if it’s not my favorite Ministry album, I can’t deny its status as such. This is a brilliant album. While there are only about three songs that feature heavy guitar riffs, the entire album manages to sound aggressive. Even the slower songs like “Golden Dawn” and “Hizbollah” have an undercurrent of doom running through them. Then, of course, there’s “You Know What You Are” and “Flashback,” which are two of the most violent sounding songs ever recorded, with nary a guitar to be heard (except for a brief solo in “Flashback.”) And then there’s “I Prefer,” which manages to be almost speed metal without the metal.Every Ministry album has been different from all those that preceeded it, (until “Animositisomina” which is, I feel, the first Ministry album not to break much new ground. Though it’s still a good album) and this is one of the most important albums in Ministry’s evolution. This is the direct link from “Twitch” to the industrial metal they became known for. It’s as strong an album as they’ve ever released, and there really hasn’t been anything like it before or since. Essential listening.
I remember a friend of mine getting this CD when it came out. I was just starting to get into the industrial music scene, having just purchased some Front 242. When she started it up and Stigmata came on, I knew I had to get it for myself. From the opening scream of Stigmata, this starts hard and fast and never lets up. If you have A Mind… and Psalm 69, you can tell that Al and friends increased the guitar usage on each album. Well there are fewer guitars on this album, but that doesn’t make it any less sinister or dark. I won’t go into each track-the previous reviews have done an excellent job already. I would say that anyone who likes industrial music MUST have this essential recording of the genre.
Question: What album made metalheads, punk rockers and dance-fiends recoil in horror upon its debut? Answer: Ministry’s “The Land Of Rape And Honey.” I hate to sound redundant… but the previous reviewers summed it best: “The Land Of Rape And Honey” is as essential as it gets–not just for Ministry and industrial fans, but for fans of music in general. I (finally) got my grubby mitts on the Australian version of the CD since I couldn’t find the out-of-print-for-ages domestic release, so if there’s a difference between the two, I apologize beforehand (Adam Naworal, one of the previous reveiwers, said “Hizbollah” and “I Prefer” aren’t on the domestic release, for example). The first time I saw “Stigmata” on video I was shocked: the song, like the video, wasn’t quite like anything I’ve heard before… or since. Its obnoxious, wailing guitars and ultra-obnoxious “vocals” (read: skull-shattering screams) topped over an absolutely relentless machine-like rhythm that could easily have been named “Audio Napalm” left my jaw on the floor. To this day, it remains my favorite Ministry song. Thankfully, Al and the boys had more than a few other great songs to serve up on this groundbreaking classic. Both “The Missing” and “Deity” rage with thrash-metal fury to them and make bands like Spineshank and Filter look even more pale in comparison. “Hizbollah” has a slight Arabic-tinge to it and might be my second favorite song here just for that reason, while “You Know What You Are” is one of the craziest songs I’ve ever heard: an angry dance song with the HARSHEST vocals I ever heard, putting that guy from Cradle Of Filth (I think his name’s Dani) to absolute shame… genius. The second half of the disk is, in my opinion, better. It’s not as violent with the guitars, but they still pack some angry energy into their more dance-like songs; kind of like the dark and violent synth-pop of “Twitch,” but with an edge (the title track would be the best example of this). I’ll admit, the production is pretty dated (it did come out thirteen years ago, ya know), but the creativity and beauty-in-ugliness work here doesn’t show any signs of age. Ministry single-handedly changed the industrial landscape and was only thanked by seeing a bunch of third-rate computer nerds pathetically trying to emulate the electro-rage of this one groundbreaking masterpiece of an album. Machines hiss, guitars crunch, vocals rage with a snarling wrath, machine-like drums fiercely pound the listener’s skull, and samples are brilliantly placed all over–”The Land Of Rape And Honey” is just brilliant. Definitely one of the best albums ever made.