Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ministry - From Beer to Eternity

"From Worthy to Unworthy"

So... this is the end of Ministry. I was thrilled back when Ministry announced their comeback. I've been a fan for years and I finally got to see them at Wacken '12. But the albums that followed from the "relapse" of Ministry are dreadful. Just read the damn title of this album: From Beer to Eternity. I don't even know what to say. I... *facepalm*
So now I welcome you to my opinion and vision of the final Ministry album.

Like with Relapse and its first single "99 Percenters" I was looking forward to the album when I heard "PermaWar". I hoped the album would continue down that road and close up Ministry with a smashing album. But when I first put on the album I was just waiting for "PermaWar" to come on, as the two first tracks offers nothing good, and after "PermaWar" came on I just waited for the album to end. I didn't just wait for it to end, I wanted it to end. On my first listen I didn't even get half way through the album and the times I did, was not a listening pleasure in any way.
But how does the album sound? It continues down the road from were Relapse left off, so it basicly sounds like Ministry. However it is not as fast and metal, actually. Besides that you'll hear almost anything you expect from a Ministry recipe. Industrial elements, signature drums, Al's vocals sounds as always and of course samples. However an important ingredient was left out: Consistency.

"Lesson Unlearned" more or less puts Al aside and primarily features a woman on vocals. I don't know if it is Al's wife, Angie, but what I do know is that it does not mix well with Ministry. It sounds too "popish".
In some other songs you will even hear Arabian influences, reggae and electronic influences as well, and trust me, nothing of it fits Ministry. Now if you think back to Psalm 69, you might remember the track "TV II"? If yes, you might have been looking forward to the track "Side FX Include Mikey's Middle Finger (TV 4)". But it is just another let down. Half of the track is actually in the likes of "TV II". But it ends up as unbearable mayhem and the last half is a bunch of samples of various voices and then 2-3 seconds of more mayhem that suddenly just breaks into the song and then stops. In that song Al says "I feel like shit". Yeah? So do I, anybody care to guess the reason? The last thing I briefly want to bring up is the end of the album "Enjoy the Quiet" is almost 3 minutes of radio static. Just imagine that for a second, because then I won't have to explain how bad it is.

At least there's been some progression regarding the cover. Relapse's cover was horrible... and though From Beer to Eternity isn't the greatest cover, it looks better and features the original Ministry logo! Highlights of the album... "PermaWar", and that's it, but it's a damn good highlight. "Perfect Storm" could be added to the list as well as it continues where "PermaWar" left off. Oh, and if you're wondering if the album is better than Relapse? It's not. I'll put it like this: If you like me were disappointed with Relapse, then you will find it ironic that From Beer to Eternity makes Relapse sound like a great album.

Before I give you my conclusion you should know that I am a HUGE Ministry fan. I've been listening for years and I find bright sides of every single album they've made. From Beer to Eternity is just a massive disappointment. I was hoping for much, much more than this since it is their last album, so...
If I could change Ministry's history this album and Relapse would never have been made and the reunion would just have been a touring thing. When it comes to consistency, these two albums just doesn't cut it. And even though there is a few tracks I like, I could easily live without them. It is a matter of taste, but I think that The Last Sucker was a perfect farewell album. It was intended and created as a farewell album and when I first heard "The End of Days Part II" it struck me right in the heart, as much as I love this band, it was the perfect album to bow out with.
"From Beer to Eternity" is a half hearted album. The songs are repetitive and boring, the album got no consistency or replay value. I never thought I should say those words about something that Ministry made.
This record is not worthy of being Ministry's last album. It's hardly worthy of being a Ministry album.

Now, let us enjoy the quiet...

R.I.P. Mike Scaccia, 1965-2012.