Ministry
Moral Hygiene


3.4
great

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
October 3rd, 2021 | 34 replies


Release Date: 10/01/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ministry shows signs of life again...

Throughout the past decade, Ministry struggled to deliver decent material. Although it remained a popular live act, the albums released were average at best. Front man Al Jourgensen gradually steered away from thrash metal, bringing back ‘90s mid-tempo riffs and slow burning epics. It was the better choice due to lackluster material issues. Touring the classic era highlights and celebrating 30th anniversaries for The Land of the Rape and Honey and The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste clearly had an impact on the current musical direction. As a result, Moral Hygiene takes a further step back in time than its predecessors, infusing late ‘80s-type guitars and drumming in the mix. Frankly, this is their strongest LP since The Last Sucker. For the first time in 15 years, listening to Ministry does not become a drag and it even gets fun occasionally.

The line-up was shifted yet again, Moral Hygiene being primarily composed by Al and guitarist Cesar Soto. Consequently, there is a stronger emphasis on the industrial metal side. Although the fact that ex-Tool bassist Paul D’Amour joined the group in 2019 attracted some publicity, he is present only on ‘Good Trouble’. The song is a blend of frantic punk and alternative metal grooves, complete with harmonica leads and sing-along choruses. The results are decent, but nothing overwhelming. Meanwhile, things get better with the nuthouse dance party soundtrack, ‘Sabotage Is Sex’ with Jello Biafra on main vocals. As the tune unfolds, alongside the heavy boogie chugs enter tribal-like chants, shouts and paranoid keyboards. The bass plays an important role here, as well as on ‘Believe Me’, where the driving, melodic lines and a steady drum beat lead the songs. Even Jourgensen takes a step back during the verses, letting the instrumental breathe, before ranting about mistrusting politicians. These two cuts are a fine example of the band having fun in the studio and transmitting that to the listeners too. The lyrics are focused on social and political themes, but are less obnoxiously formulated than on previous records.

During the latter half, the album receives a touch of psychedelia, starting with the Indian style percussion and acoustic guitar intro on ‘Broken System’. The sharp riffs and solid bass lines kick in during choruses, offering a nice counterpart to the twangy main theme. Also, ‘Death Toll’ & ‘TV Song #6’ further enhance the wacked out atmosphere. The former is a smooth dub ditty with samples all over it, whereas the latter continues the schizophrenic collage series. This time there are actual song parts there, no matter how spastic they sound. From the remaining tracks, worth noting are ‘Alert Level’, which shares a nice, head banging instrumental, but the lyrical content lacks depth. Same goes for ‘We Shall Resist’, mixing brooding sequencers, bass and spoken vocals with bursts of low riffs in between. Al could have found something more than just repeating the title during choruses. Nevertheless, about two-thirds of Moral Hygiene is good and there are no tragic moments at all. In essence, the LP brings together most of what Ministry explored during the last three decades. The results are not stellar, but Jourgensen found a balance again between getting his point across and focusing on diversifying the music. The past few projects felt akin to heavy clouds hanging above your head, while the latest affair is considerably more entertaining.




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user ratings (42)
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
ValenDreth (4.5)
An absolute smackdown on the culture of the times, including Trump....



Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2021


5532 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Solid record for the first time in a long while and good title.



Stream here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foeCysHyz5E&list=OLAK5uy_kaTqMSVAqIliLNojEtFvMZ_scAAilqKEM

Digging: The Dear Hunter - The Indigo Child

rockarollacola
October 4th 2021


1083 Comments


I did not enjoy the singles whatsoever. Is the rest of the album better, or are they the highlights?

Lasssie
October 4th 2021


1217 Comments


I struggle to believe this could be good but i am hopeful. Used to love Ministry

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2021


5532 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

I enjoyed the rest of the album more than the singles released.

sonictheplumber
October 4th 2021


13731 Comments


might check this out, im gonna be seeing these guys next year with a friend

Digging: Soundtrack (Film) - Dirty Dancing

Cryptkeeper
October 4th 2021


2018 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Damn this is actually pretty good

sonictheplumber
October 4th 2021


13731 Comments


more excited for the melvins opening tbh

Flugmorph
October 4th 2021


24755 Comments


did sput just go for 4/4 booba on front page?
october 4th truly b wildin.

Digging: Every Time I Die - Radical

Flugmorph
October 4th 2021


24755 Comments


opening track giving me good neurosis vibes with that bass sound combined with the repetitive samples

someone
October 5th 2021


3645 Comments


so what is this, their first okay album since the early 90s?

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 5th 2021


5532 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

It's closer to the '90s stuff than the thrash metal stuff. Rio Grande Blood and Houses of the Mole are great albums tho.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 5th 2021


9274 Comments


Great review, heard "Alert Level" so far, loved the groove and the sample patterns.

Digging: RuYYn - RYYn

DoofDoof
October 5th 2021


10550 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Will check this out

Pearlhead
October 6th 2021


21 Comments


Record is average and sort of boring, but Sabotage Is Sex is based

DoofDoof
October 6th 2021


10550 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's a good Ministry album, if you liked the '90s albums you'll like this, simple as that



3.5 outta 5

Flugmorph
October 6th 2021


24755 Comments


yeah looking like a solid 3.5 from me

Pearlhead
October 6th 2021


21 Comments


2.5 for me

DoofDoof
October 7th 2021


10550 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Closer is classic



‘Man with the toupee!’



The legacy covid (and Trump) deserve

Davil667
October 7th 2021


3931 Comments


A new Ministry album? Damn, have to check...

artiswar
October 7th 2021


10001 Comments


I still can't bring myself to listen to this. Their last couple went over like lead balloons, I don't think I can take another one



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