Review Summary: The cover reflects your reaction after listening to this album...
Uncle Al decided we haven’t had enough of Ministry yet, so he resurrected the beast for a second time. To be honest, the songwriting was rusty on Relapse
and while From Beer to Eternity
had its moments, it was all supposed to lead to an end (again). Touring recommenced in 2015 (good news for fans, as live they are still top-notch), plus a new album was announced last year. Using Trump and the Republican Party as the main inspiration, AmeriKKKant
felt like we were about to receive a rebranded Bush trilogy. I was reluctant to hear it, because of obvious reasons, still I decided not to have any expectations and promised myself not to dismiss it until I got to listen to the final product.
does not cause any more damage to the catalog than Relapse
did for example, however, it doesn’t help either. I am happy Jourgensen left his frantic thrash leanings aside, focusing on groove or at least crafting thick, mid-tempo riffs. This way, we received a Ministry salad that uses elements from the entire discography. ‘Twilight Zone’ and to a lesser extent, ‘AmeriKKKa’ share Filth Pig
-esque slower hooks that take their time to unfold, thus creating an uneasy atmosphere. The former even borrows harmonica leads reminiscent of the above mentioned LP’s title track. Ultimately, the song is a cute nostalgia trip for a fan. Meanwhile, ‘AmeriKKKa’ constantly shifts from scorching chugs to faster beats, breaking from the trademark repetitive patterns. Although the ideas are solid and the guitar solos are welcomed, the drum sound could’ve been more compelling. Also, the third odyssey on the album, ‘Victims of a Clown’ boasts a steadier beat, complete with scratches (they have a DJ in the live line-up now) and various sound scapes. As the band occasionally kicks into distorted outbursts, the front man’s scattered verses are tied with prolonged, bass-led segments. Halfway, the track picks up some intensity, relying on some theremin leads. Then, a collage of spoken samples take over, before finishing with a punk outro. It’s a nice addition, nevertheless, it doesn’t say much when compared to any of the classic affairs.
Unfortunately, in between these rather thin “pillars”, AmeriKKKant
falls on its face pretty fast. If only Ministry crafted two more 8-minute jams and released it in that form. We could’ve taken it as some sort of acid trip induced oddity and leave it alone. Instead, we’re offered for starters a handful of pointless tunes, such as opener ‘I Know Words’, where nothing happens or ‘TV 5/4Chan’, a disgrace to the ‘TV’ series. Jourgensen’s baked lyrics are stating the obvious on ‘Wargasm’ and even worse, induced in error a lot of fans with ‘Antifa’’s actual message. The tongue-in-cheek approach was maybe a bit too vague this time. Other than that, the song is just more of the same style that covered most of preceding albums. Moreover, ‘Game Over’ is a slo-mo version of ‘Thieves’ with a forgettable chorus, so I can’t enjoy it due to this issue. Lastly, I was ready to see ‘We’re Tired of It’ as a solid tune, yet after a couple of listens I realized it doesn’t move me in any way. In fact, this is the main problem with this record: any slightly positive aspects are cancelled out by the negative ones, thus leaving you indifferent at best to the output (and I’m saying this as a big Ministry fan). The casual listeners or the ones who simply have less patience will definitely take this as a waste of time and I can’t blame them. I kept hoping there was some inspiration left, however, Uncle Al seems to be drained. I want him to keep touring, because that is the best thing about this legendary act at the moment. Take the few better cuts, add them to the playlist, then leave the mess behind.