Ministry
From Beer to Eternity


3.0
good

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
September 6th, 2013 | 45 replies


Release Date: 09/06/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "I realized I hate all you motherfuckers again! Have a shitty day!"

At this point, nobody is expecting a successful comeback from Ministry anymore. Last year's Relapse was a frenetic yet stale affair that portrayed a band getting lost in all the available studio equipment, churning riffs to kill some time. That record not only rehashed everything the Bush trilogy had already exhausted, but it also took the tunes to an absurd pace, losing whatever groove and feel that mess might have had in the first place. Then, towards the end of the year, after a month of recording demos for a new full length, long time collaborator, Mike Scaccia, unexpectedly passed away. Citing him as the only reason for reforming Ministry in the first place, front man Al Jourgensen decided it was once more time to call it quits, forever this time.

The result of those final tracking sessions became From Beer To Eternity, a record that actually feels like a proper farewell. Even though it's not essential Ministry, it acts more like a puzzle built from several pieces of the band's discography. The majority of the songs can be inserted onto past efforts without noticing any differences. Examples include the frantic 'Fairly Unbalanced', that could have been a B-side from the Houses Of The Molé era, 'Perfect Storm' from The Last Sucker one or 'The Horror', an experiment that would've belonged on The Land Of Rape And Honey. At a first listen, this jukebox aspect can be a positive thing, since the band had quite a good run and switched several styles throughout the decades. However, upon closer inspection, this thing reveals itself as the main flaw, FBTE failing to carve a personality of its own. Even if the tunes sound as if recorded by a band again, not machines, this is only a covered ground revisit, not a step forward.

Fortunately, much like Ministry's best releases, the album shares a good dose of dementia. This is mostly evident on the insane riffing on 'Side F/X Include Mikey's Middle Finger (TV 4)', the fourth installment in the long running 'TV' series. Over the television ad samples and stop-start patterns, Jourgensen screams his lungs out proclaiming 'I feel like ***!'. It doesn't have the same impact as 'TV II', but at least it's fun. Besides this, after a first half of familiar ground, they finally branch out and experiment more: 'Thanx But No Thanx' and 'Change Of Luck' are two moody epics that bring something fresh to the table: the former mixes some cool, laid-back dub with mid-tempo riffing, while the latter, dedicated to Scaccia, offers a prolonged, mandolin-assisted jam with melodic choruses. Uncle Al also diversifies his delivery adding some spoken word and clean vocals, along with his usual vitriolic growl. Another noteworthy track is 'Lesson Unlearned', a short number similar to the Animositisomina material, on which the sampled female vocals and repetitive guitar patterns add an industrial vibe that was long overdue in the band's recent output.

In the end, is nice to hear Ministry sounding more organic again, even with a slight identity crisis. Still, it's clear that Jourgensen isn't going to push things any further. He, along with a myriad of contributors, crossed genres for decades, however, he's been visibly running out of steam for at least a couple of years now. The man obviously doesn't have enough inspiration and strength anymore to move on from the current sound and venture once more into the unknown. In a way it's nice to at least see him and the guys trying, as evidenced on the interesting second half, but rather than compiling subpar material for the sake of it, it's better to finally call it a day.



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user ratings (62)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2013


3395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

A nice farewell, better than Relapse. Constructive criticism appreciated.

Since Al didn't bother to stream the record, the only track I found was PermaWar.

PermaWar - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwvoHP7bUAw

Digging: Amplifier - Mystoria

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
September 6th 2013


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice review, checking this out with an optimistic hope now. I have my fears though.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2013


3395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks. It's a solid record but nothing special to be honest. The last 3 songs are the best (minus Enjoy The Quiet, which is only noise), however, they are not Top 10 Ministry.

TheFrankBooth
September 6th 2013


10 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review. I feel the same way, at least the band ended on a better note than they I thought they would. I recommend Punch In The Face, the Horror, and Side F X.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2013


3395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, Punch In The Face is a cool track. Permawar isn't bad either.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
September 6th 2013


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I want special again : {

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2013


3395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I hoped they'd get back on their feet but they're quitting once more. Check out Front Line Assembly for some aggro industrial. They've been a lot more consistent than Ministry lately.

Wizard
September 6th 2013


19398 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review and nicely summarized context of Al's past few years. Looking forward to my dl being done in 5 mins.

Where did he say this would be his final record?

Digging: Katatonia - Night Is the New Day

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2013


3395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks. There are many interviews with him regarding the new record and most of them mention the fact that is the last. Here is one of them :

http://noisey.vice.com/blog/ministrys-last-stand-brings-al-jourgensen-from-beer-to-eternity

This is their third final album, so I wouldn't be surprised if he'd decide in the next couple of years to record another one.

CK
September 6th 2013


4913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If they're just going to stick to this boring thrash formula they've kept up for their last three albums I'm okay if he puts an end to Ministry

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
September 6th 2013


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Not feeling it,

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
September 6th 2013


7996 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is okay on the spectrum of their thrash formula

DominionMM1
September 6th 2013


9926 Comments


not in any big rush to check this out

Digging: Townes Van Zandt - In The Beginning

CK
September 6th 2013


4913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The last thing of theirs that I really dug was Houses of the Mole

DominionMM1
September 6th 2013


9926 Comments


really haven't listened to much of their stuff since filth pig

TheFrankBooth
September 6th 2013


10 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I was surprised with the Horror. Mentioning Fox News in the Sound clips in the beginning of the song, I was thinking here goes a song with uncreative, unfunny, and poorly written lyrics. I was surprised that the song was mainly sound clips, something I think Al was missing in albums from House of the Mole onward. It works much better than being lyrically preachy, which can be good if subtly is involved.

I didn't like PermaWar however, it suffers too much from what I mentioned above.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 7th 2013


3395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, considering his recent stuff is really predictable, some of the tracks here came off unexpected.

Wizard
September 7th 2013


19398 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks. There are many interviews with him regarding the new record and most of them mention the fact that is the last. Here is one of them :

But he's said this a million times in the past hahahaha. I was meaning my last comment as I don't believe him when he says this.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 7th 2013


3395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Lol. He'll probably return in a few years when he's got nothing else to do.

Thanks to mods for the feature!

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 7th 2013


10192 Comments


Hahahaha that summary

I < 3 it

Digging: The Contortionist - Language



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