Ministry are an odd case, seen as pioneers of Industrial music during their career. This is a compilation of bits and pieces of their music prior to this compilation’s release in 1993. Since Industrial music is general non-commercial and very dark, this should be an interesting listen, so let’s take a look at it.
We begin with Over The Shoulder – 12″ Version which begins with some awesome and powerful beats, with some synchronised melodies. This is truly awesome to hear from the start, is very catchy and danceable. An awesome tune to listen to, also rather minimal. Some synth string melodies then enter briefly, before this piece launches into a funktastic and awesome synth driven piece. This is really amazing, and quite unlike anything else out there. Some weird vocals that are rather Prince’s singing like are here. The thing is this tune is very, very dark sounding. Some clever use of sounds, samples and electronics preside throughout this song. A gloriously dark piece of musical genius, this is never boring through the nearly seven minute length of the song. Fantastic and totally underrated, this is cool. Nice tune, it ends with a repeated vocal sample, neat.
Following is Isle Of Man – Version II begins with a distorted kick drum beat and some weird melodies that sound like scrap metal being hit. Some weird vocal melodies then enter, and some lyrics follow. This sounds really dark, strange and discordant, mind you all in a good way. A pioneering sort of music here, it sounds nothing like anything else out there. It’s really cool sounding regardless, and just cuts through nicely. In the second half, along with chanted vocals, come some cool electronics. This must be heard if you love the dark side of music, and sounds pretty awesome all the same. Great job here, good listen.
Twitch – Version II is a much shorter piece verging on proto-IDM. It is a bunch of interesting static based melodies and various rhythms and textures. Pretty cool to hear, actually. Very weird, with a bunch of wacky rhythms and sounds that are totally avant-garde and unusual. Only two minutes long, but still very much an essential listen if you dig dark and weird sounds. The outro is very weird indeed.
Stigmata – Remix begins with some Glitch like sounds that are guitars, with some occasional beat breaks. It quickly gets underway with pounding beats and weird melodies. Some extra distorted guitars then enter, making this awesome. Soon enough, this track gets underway, and is a musical masterpiece of Industrial Metal. Industrial Metal is actually a genre, not a factory bunch of sounds, if you didn’t know. Some distorted vocals then enter to support this glorious piece, it is really awesome and wonderful listening. The lyrics here are pretty dark, and this whole piece is actually totally brilliant for original music that is super listenable and catchy. A brilliant mixture of dark sounds, themes, guitars and electronics. If you ever need a different sort of introduction into dark and menacing sounds, this is it. The groove here is unforgettable, and sounds warped. Brilliant music that is unforgettable upon first listen, and demands repeat listens, this is superb. Never boring or stupid sounding throughout the seven minute length of this song, a real classic of its own. Fantastic song for its kind, a must listen. It ends with a load of noisy samples, excellent stuff.
Next up is Tonight We Murder which is another lengthy piece to listen to The distorted vocals and cool kick drum beats return for your pleasure. It sounds dark, heavy and discordant and is not something you should play at all around children. A guitar riff enters that is really awesome sounding. A super cool bassline follows, making this piece catchy and rather funky, too. Sure, it is unpleasant for some out there, but there is no denying the brilliance of the music here. Loud, interesting and a great piece of music, Ministry do fantastically well here. If you love dark books of crime and horror, this is something you will likely enjoy. The repeated beats, guitars and vocals make this an interesting listen. An excellent piece of awesome music. Great from start to finish. It fades out at the end.
After that is Burning Inside – 12″ Remix which is another six minute long piece. It begins with some sounds that sound as though they were sampled out of the Terminator movies. Some extra sounds join on in, sounding really warped and surreal. This is very dark and quite creepy sounding for a musical pastiche of its own kind. Before long, some crazy beats enter that are very fast. Loud metal guitars then enter that are fantastic to hear, along with more distorted vocals. Dark and demonic sounding, this no doubt influenced the like of artists such as Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson. It also goes to show that being dark need not be depressing, it is just dark here. Excellent listening experience, very original and catchy. Clever instrumentation, guitars, lyrics and singing make this piece come alive. Definitely one for adults, this is an incredibly cool and amazing listen all the same. Wonderful to hear, this is an impressive piece of artistry. Brilliance in audio is here.
Thieves – 12″ Remix begins with some awesome tape edited guitars that sound like nothing else in the history of music. The screamed vocals here have some nice sound effects on them, as well. A wonderful mix of dark electronics and guitar based music structures, it harks back to Black Sabbath. It quickly goes into a thrash metal style piece that would have been popular in the 1980s, sounding somewhat like Slayer with the guitar sounds here. Many interesting and awesome sounds are here, and this piece sounds really amazing, provided you like the sound of it. This is light years ahead of what other musicians had done before, and to some extent, since. A lively and brilliant piece of music, with some interesting vocal samples, this is incredibly great. Sounding like an unique mash up of sounds, textures and song based melodies, a very enjoyable listen for a five minute piece. The outro is really interesting sounding, with some call-and-response styled parts. Nice.
Smothered Hope comes next, with a dark electronic intro and a more straightforward guitar led piece. It is rather Joy Division sounding, but still sounds original and interesting in its musical context. A really cool and awesome listening experience, and more song like piece, this is really excellent music, even if you are not a fan of dark and demonic sounding music. The guitar solo here with the electronic beats is really insane, and it just sounds incredibly good. A clever and nicely delivered piece of musical artistry, a great song and nicely pieced together musical structure for a five minute Pop/Industrial song. Another solid effort on this compilation. It has a ghostly outro, nice stuff.
A much longer piece is next by the name of Jesus Built My Hotrod – Red Line / White Line Version which begins with some spoken word parts which are weird, before going straight into some crashing Electronic beats and some really odd vocal samples. This is obviously somewhat anti-religious in intent, given the title of the song and the musical nature of it. The piece eventually gets underway with some awesome guitar loops and sounds that sound awesome and incredible. The distorted vocals are pretty cool here as well, and are highly nonsensical. Clever, interesting and intelligent, it breaks into a really fantastic guitar solo to listen to. An impressive, awesome and out there piece of song craftsmanship and excellence, Ministry are fantastic on tracks like these. Enough to get headbanging to, it is a catchy and memorable piece of music. It does demand repeat listens, and just sounds really surreal and awesome. Some random vocal sounds rather than lyrical singing are here for the most part, which is also different. Brilliant and excellent song, it goes into a weird breakdown towards the end, before the track changes completely. It emerges towards the end as a piece of instrumental brilliance with loads of cut up vocal samples here from some television shows. It continues like this all the way through the fade out, great song to hear. A must listen.
Following this is N.W.O. – Extended Dance Mix which begins with feedback guitars. It sounds dark and surreal here. Before long, drumbeats enter along with loud, crashing guitars. Some extra Electronic based textures enter and we are underway here. It sounds rather weird, but is supposed to be. A wonderful and interesting listen with a great sense of melodicism and textures, this is rather dark and freaky, not in a depressing way though. This is a really awesome listen which mixtures Industrial sounds, Metal guitars and intelligent Electronic textures. Nothing quite like this exists in the history of music, showcasing a brilliant sound and structure than blows away everything else in some ways out of the water. It may be eight minutes long, but is super cool listening. There are some demonic vocals here too, singing away as well. In the second half it gets dramatic and fantastically awesome. This is a fantastic kind of music that really cannot be pigeonholed into a type of music itself. Some awesome vocal samples are here, laying down the new world order than Ministry have created here. An excellent listen that has been made by some very clever musical talent, this is amazing, great and powerful.
Fucked is a shorter piece with melodic static to begin with, before some other weird textures kick in. It is highly unusual music here. It sounds like someone had a very warped imagination creating this sort of music, but is different and good nonetheless. A lively and fresh mixture of music that is more about being individual and creative without following normal Pop music rules, it is an oddity on this album. It is mainly a bunch of musical static with some other occasional textures that are awesome and brilliant. This is still very listenable, although the musical intention here is relatively unknown. Great stuff, this just sounds really different from anything else ever recorded. Avant Garde in many ways, not a bad listen. Fantastic stuff.
Just One Fix – W.S.B. / 12″ Edit begins with a bloodcurdling scream, before launching straight into a rather strange piece of music that is very different and sounding as though it is something out of a horror film. It launches into pounding piece with some really excellently used vocal samples from many different recordings. Cool, clever and catchy, this is totally awesome listening. Not bad for an extended eight minute piece, the looped sounds here are reminiscent of electric guitars, although they are not. It launches into a Metal styled piece that sounds original, awesome and totally cool. Some dark melodies are here as well to make things very interesting. This is a really incredible listening experience, and it is likely about drug use. Some excellent screamed vocals are on this track as well, a superb and awesome musical listen. Great and interesting dark and demonic music, this is designed to scare most people away. Great and excellent music with a touch of Metal, there are many dark and doom style melodies here. Brilliant track and the guitar playing here is awesome. Excellent piece of music which fades out nicely.
Last here is Quick Fix – Just One Fix Remix which begins with some unusual tom-tom drum sounds. Some sampled speech is here from an American man. Some cool and interesting textures are here, showcasing a different sort of musical piece that is different. It is a strange piece of music to finish off this album, and sounds different, with the sampled speech talking about politics and the use of power. Not a bad way to finish off a very good compilation. Everything here is out of this world, both on this song and compilation. Various samples here interject the speech, before this piece ends abruptly.
This is definitely an amazing listen for those who want something different that is dark and disturbing, minus any sort of depressing or suicidal messages in it. Therefore, this is more appealing than usual to many and is an essential listen. Ministry are still making music today, having a career than spans many decades. This is awesome, do yourself a favour and give this a listen when you can.
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