The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste



by Curse. USER (64 Reviews)
February 3rd, 2010 | 15 replies

Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 9 tracks the pushed the envelope of what industrial metal could be.

Is there a band that deserves more praise for ushering in Industrial metal than Ministry? Al Jourgensen created Ministry in 1981 as a synth-pop outfit, releasing With Sympathy in 1983 (which Jourgensen has called “An abortion of an album”) but moved onto the aggressive industrial metal Ministry is now known for in 1988 with The Land of Rape and Honey. However, it was the year after, 1989, when Ministry would come as close to perfection as they could, with The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste. While not their best-selling album (that goes to Psalm 69), The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste still went gold and cemented Ministry as a force to be reckoned with for twenty more years.

The greatest strength of this album is in Jourgensen’s ability to meld metal aggression with samples, and knowing just how to layer each and every piece. Nothing is just thrown in, it seems as if every sample, every riff was meticulously arranged for the exact spot it is in every song. Whether it is R. Lee Ermey from Full Metal Jacket in “Theives” or the background guitar in the beginning of “So What”, nothing feels out of place. Jourgensen puts enough in every song to make it so a lot is happening, but it never becomes too much for the listener. Another strength in the songs is when Ministry will restrain themselves from just going into straight aggression, creating a mood behind and making those times when the album does punch feel all the more powerful.

Even the lyrics are something to be heard, even if the message of the songs can be lost in the background. Al Jourgensen had a lot to be mad at, whether that was nuclear war (“Breathe”), violence in society (“So What”), or his own drug addictions (“Burning Inside”), but he never devolves his lyrics into cliché or bland-ness. Vocally, the album is best when Al is basically yelling at you, because bassist Paul Barker’s vocals can be whiny and slightly grating.

Al Jourgensen can write songs that pop, punch, and draw you in. Stellar cuts like the previously mentioned “So What” (the best song on the record), “Breathe”, and “Never Believe” show that in the early days of industrial, no one could touch Al Jourgensen’s songwriting skills. Ministry cemented themselves at the top of the early industrial pile with The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste, and despite some missteps in the 90’s (Most notably Dark Side of the Spoon and Filth Pig) stayed there until Jourgensen officially retired the Ministry name in 2008, and with it, one of the most influential artists of the past 25 years.

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user ratings (404)

Comments:Add a Comment 
February 3rd 2010


Album Rating: 4.5

I didn't realize how short this is, will beef it up after work.

February 3rd 2010


Havent heard this one, but Psalm 69 rules.

February 3rd 2010


Album Rating: 4.5

This is my favorite Ministry album, but Psalm 69 and The Land of Rape and Honey are both fantastic as well.

Staff Reviewer
February 3rd 2010


good review Josh. I really need to give Ministry another chance because what I've heard I haven't really dug that much :/

February 3rd 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

Wait.. this hadn't been reviewed before today? Anyway, nice review, A++, quick delivery, would read again, ect ect..

February 3rd 2010


Such an awesome release.

Along with The Land of Rape And Honey to me these are still two of the most essential albums from that slew of late 80's/early 90's industrial metal that completely revolutionised the scene. Truth be told, I probably like this a little less overall than The Land of Rape And Honey (which from start to finish is just flawless to me) but this is very, very close.

Psalm 69 and Filth Pig were great, I haven't heard anything beyond however. The small output of Pailhead (Al Jourgensen & Ian Mackaye) was in a very similar vein to the The Land of Rape And Honey and The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste as well, i've only just recently been listening to it though.

February 3rd 2010


Album Rating: 4.5

Its crazy because I have been listening to this CD since long before I had any taste in music. I got this CD from my stepdad when I was in middle school, like 11 or something, and I am 20 now, yet no matter how my musical tastes have changed since then this CD has stuck with me. It has been teetering close to 5 for a while, but something stops me from giving this a perfect rating, I don't know what though.

February 3rd 2010


I actually havent heard anything by Ministry before. Should I check them out?

February 3rd 2010


Album Rating: 4.5

Yes. Check out this and The Land of Rape and Honey

February 3rd 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

“So What” (the best song on the record),

It's actually better live, listen to In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up.

How did this not have a review? Great review and album. Of course I'm going to say that Psalm 69 is his best and was a great refinement of this; some of his ideas stray way too far of course.

Psalm 69 and Filth Pig were great, I haven't heard anything beyond however.

Dear fucking God, his last three albums are awesome (well, maybe not so much The Last Sucker). Really thrashy kind of sound!

Digging: Gas - Pop

Slipping Away
April 19th 2010


Album Rating: 3.0

That drum beat that comes in at the beggining of theives is so badass

February 17th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0


March 27th 2014


Album Rating: 5.0

Chris Connelly's vocals on this album is really what makes this special for me. I wish he had done more with Ministry. Great vocalist.

March 27th 2014


Album Rating: 5.0

5 this or die, lololol

Ocean of Noise
May 10th 2015


Album Rating: 5.0

Love the production on this.

Digging: Voivod - Phobos

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