The godfathers of industrial have been going strong for a number of years and even though their later albums haven’t been that memorable it hasn’t slowed them down. While their latest isn’t their greatest work, it’s better than their 2012 release. Whether it had something to do with wanting to make late member Mike Scaccia proud or the band was just on point during this time, it has elements of classic Ministry along with some new tricks that reminds fans why people still love them.
While their last album wasn’t bad, there was something about it that made it weaker than their other releases. But here while it’s not perfect, the band does something right that makes it one of their stronger efforts of their later career. There are some stand out tracks here along with some that aren’t memorable. The opener “Hail to His Majesty” is one of the best songs found here. It begins with a lot of noise and static before it gives way to the heavy, intense beat. It has the industrial sound they are known for, but it also tosses in some light synth to create this weird wavering beat. With its music and humorous lines like “Don’t fucking care at all/’Cause I’m Al Fuckin’ Jourgensen” it’s reminiscent of their older material.
The next track “Punch in the Face” is simple and straight to the point: it’s about punching someone in the face. It’s not their most poignant song, but it satisfies that craving you have for mindless, loud songs about violence. And who hasn’t wanted to punch someone in the face? Again, the intense music and the aggressive lyrics are a throwback to the attitude found on their notable releases. The whole track contains unbridled chaos and anger that we all get sometimes. It’s not their strongest song ever, but it’s one of the stand out ones here. Just as with their last few albums there are some songs that are politically charged, such as “PermaWar” and “Perfect Storm,” but they aren’t as memorable as some of the others here. They’re decent, but they begin to sound the same due to the style and music.
One of the more interesting political songs is “Fairly Unbalanced.” It has a frantic pace that gets you pumped up, but what makes it notable is the various samples it uses from the Fox News Network. The track is about the infamous channel and some of the ludicrous stories they deliver to the public. The next track “The Horror” continues this theme with more samples from the network that show some of the outrageous accusations they make. It contains more of the heavy, industrial style music that was introduced to in the previous track. At times you’ll hear someone saying what sounds like “got you all in a trance,” while the samples are playing. It’s like they’re trying to say the network brainwashes viewers into fearing and fighting for the wrong issues.
While the last album didn’t vary when it came to the music, the guys have several songs here where they change things up, one being “Lesson Unlearned.” It’s actually really catchy with a female singer going “Another lesson unlearned.” It will have you singing along before you know it. Another thing that makes it catchy is the guitar riff. While it has the hard rock sound, it has more of a groove to it. It also has less of an industrial sound here. Another track that has a different sound is “Thanx But No Thanx.” This song is odd in general. It has a reggae and ska inspired beat while Sgt. Major reads a William S. Burrough’s poem over the music. It goes on like this for a while until the music picks up, returns to hard rock, and has Jourgensen screaming “Thanx but no thanx.” It’s a pretty good song, but at seven minutes it runs on too long.
Overall, the album gets 7.5/10. Since the death of Scaccia, Jourgensen has stated that this will be the last Ministry album. While it is better than their 2012 release, it’s not as strong as it could’ve been. There are still quite a number of good songs here, with only a few growing dull after a few minutes, but this record is not memorable like some of their past efforts. Still, it’s a decent send off for a legendary band. The only thing that really annoys me is the title. In the past, the band have had clever titles for their records. Maybe it’s a reference to the late Scaccia, otherwise it just makes you roll your eyes.