Ministry – AmeriKKKant

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label URL: http://www.nuclearblast.de/en/
Released: 2018
Buy Album [URL]: https://www.amazon.co.uk/AmeriKKKant-Ministry/dp/B077Z61KZM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520510305&sr=8-1&keywords=amerikkkant
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/WeAreMinistry/

Band line-up:

Al Jourgensen – Guitars, vox
John Bechdel – Keyboards;
Sin Quirin –  Guitars 
Tony Campos – Bass
Cesar Soto – Guitars
Derek Abrams – Drums
DJ Swamp – Turntables

Tracklisting:

1. I Know Words
2. Twilight Zone
3. Victims Of A Clown
4. TV 5-4 Chan
5. We’re Tired of It
6. Wargasm
7. Antifa
8. Game Over
9. AmeriKKKa

Review:

Ministry’s Al Jourgensen, the pioneer of industrial music is highly opinionated and well read on subjects such as politics and American history. In this past summer, Jourgensen came across American congressman Adam Schiff. When the former introduced himself to him, he told him his views on tax reform and the redistribution of wealth and other political matters. The musician is very angry about what’s going on his country. He hates the sexual abuse of women and the diminishing respect for the U.S. constitution. His anger is clearly shown in his upcoming album ‘AmeriKKKant’.

Not only are the drums, etc. very crushing and malevolent in his latest effort, the frequent layering of rhythmically edited samples of speeches, etc., have powerful themes about Donald Trump ruining his country and such. In most musical forms, the almost extreme guitar minimalism and the safe and traditional riffs, often in the style of Pantera would be a huge problem. However, those audio clips take what has been done before in a new direction. Not only that, the strange but fresh harmonica, string and brass elements that are sometimes heard, blend surprisingly well with the heavy metal backing. Those older instruments aren’t just filler, either, they often play complex lines as if from some kind of avant-garde jazz band. If that wasn’t enough, turntable scratches get thrown in too, making the overall sound very detailed, yet far from over the top.

What helps the music remain enjoyable to listen to, is the way the orchestration is always varied. Sometimes you get just bass and drums, not all of the stuff just described. You get many ‘breathers’, so to speak. Some songs are relatively slow and fuming and in particular, ‘We’re Tired Of It’ (can you guess the tone by the title?) is blitzing and genuinely exciting. There aren’t too many vocal parts on the album relatively speaking, which isn’t a problem, but when they appear they could sometimes be just a little more powerful to really get the listener going. They’re not bad, but it isn’t too surprising Jourgensen is 59 years old. To be fair though, you don’t always have to pump up adrenaline, sometimes it’s good to have a twisted, surreal sound forced upon you and there is a fair amount of that stuff.

In conclusion, this music is and isn’t adventurous. Ministry have attempted to create a hypnotic vibe with simple hooks, and it’s almost impossible to write anything basic that hasn’t been done before, nowadays. So in a way, they’re stuck. In contrast, the rest of the sounds are far more interesting and not only that, they give a clear message. Because of that, this LP has many layers which should keep it in one’s CD player for quite some time. There aren’t too many frills here, so if that’s the kind of industrial stuff you’re into, check out Strapping Young Lad. Instead, the stuff in AmeriKKKant is more in the style of the relatively chilled out White Zombie. Give it a listen!

Review by Simon Wiedemann
Share