Home Read Albums Of The Week: Ministry | Hopiumforthemasses

Albums Of The Week: Ministry | Hopiumforthemasses

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Regimes rise and fall. Stars shine and fade. Trends come and go. Ministry live on. The six-time Grammy-nominated multiplatinum juggernaut founded and fronted by Al Jourgensen have seeped through the darkest corners of popular culture and infected the mainstream for over four decades, gleefully spewing sonic bile between the cracks of the system’s facade.

Born in the ’80s, they survived the ’90s, weathered the turn of the century, and even held on through a damn pandemic. And Ministry show no signs of stopping or slowing down — even for a breath. Instead, the band — Uncle Al, John Bechdel (keyboards), Monte Pittman (guitar), Cesar Soto (guitar), Roy Mayorga (drums) and Paul D’Amour (bass) — crank out another blast of anthemic industrial metal on their 16th LP Hopiumforthemasses. The guitars rip, the drums rumble, and Al’s as righteously cantankerous as ever about a fucked-up world ripe for a boot up its ass.

Photo by Derick Smith.

Ministry’s history has encompassed game-changing classics, including gold-certified standouts The Land Of Rape And Honey (1988) and The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste (1989) as well as the platinum Psalm 69 (1992). Their music has scarred the underbelly of films and TV, screeching through RoboCop, The Matrix, Steven Spielberg’s A.I. (in which the musicians appeared on-screen at the request of the late Stanley Kubrick), and all the way up to Atomic Blonde (as covered by Tyler Bates and Marilyn Manson). They even cooked up an official theme song for The Chicago Blackhawks.

Not to mention, they have collaborated with everyone from author William S. Burroughs to Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedys and Gibby Haynes of Butthole Surfers. Their traveling circus (the real greatest show on earth) has welcomed players such as Joey Jordison of Slipknot, Nivek Ogre of Skinny Puppy, Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory, and dozens more among its demented troupe. They’ve persisted as the rare force of nature who can share a bill with Nine Inch Nails, Death Grips, Slayer or Gary Numan. 2021’s Moral Hygiene kickstarted another era. The critically acclaimed LP wound up on year-end lists and they sold out venues coast-to-coast on tour.

They kept going though, running right into Hopiumforthemasses with the force of a runaway freight train. Conducted by Al, that train was powered by the strength of the collective — a first for Ministry in over two decades and a callback to seminal albums. In the end, Ministry have a lot of gas left in the tank, and Al’s going to ride out the shitstorm with us a little bit longer.”