Ministry + Chelsea Wolfe @ The Forum, London

21st July 2018
Review by Demitri Levantis

 

One band who have breached the gap between the diverse borderlines of Synthpop, Electronica, Industrial music – and are credited as the forefathers of the Industrial Metal genre are the American bulwark: Ministry.

37 years on the road and now 14 studio albums of electronic fused anguish to their name, the group definitely did not seem to have mellowed as was showcased tonight at The Forum, one of London’s premier venues.

From up in the gods – the first of such a gig I can recall – the crowd piled in ready to hear what vicious political anxieties and frustrations Ministry had to offer now that the Republican Party is back in power. Said crowd swelled fast and furious as the first act appeared on stage to begin the night.

That act was Chelsea Wolfe; a woman of breathtaking talent which is nothing short of versatile – for in her decade long career she has explored everything from Goth Rock to Doom Metal and contemporary folk.

That really is something, and I certainly felt this was the highlight of the night as Chelsea and her live band took to the stage and bathed us in a flow of melancholia that made me feel relaxed, soothed, in good faith and blissfully empty as Chelsea’s droning but sweet melodies echoed around the room.

Some songs were slow and deep with a hefty weight that tingled my spine whilst others took on a faster and steady beat making the crowd want more.

Chelsea Wolfe was an interesting opening act for she made us feel light as a feather and blissful in a way only heavy genres like doom and the gothic can offer. A little bit strange for the headline act, but in a way it made me ready for the anger and subversive partying that was to follow.

Setlist:

1. Carrion Flowers
2. Spun
3. Vex
4. Demons
5. After the Fall
6. Dragged Out
7. 16 Psyche
8. Feral Love
9. Scrape

Ministry – a band who have always claimed to write their best material when there is a Republican in power, and that certainly felt the case as the group came onstage shadowed by some inflatable chicken caricatures of Mr Trump, complete with anti-fascist imagery.

Immediately from the moment the opening track finished, there was uproar as electric tune after electric tune belted from the speakers expressing the violent turmoil that has angered Al Jourgensen and his bandmates over the last 18 months.

Jourgensen was certainly having a good time showing Britain how pissed off he is with Trump for every now and again he tried to punch the inflated caricatures into the audience and the background videotape exhibited clips and shots of fascism in action, and how a new face is slowly emerging in this controversial period of American history.

The setlist consisted mostly of new tunes from their latest album Amerikkant (which speaks volumes of the band’s opinions) and some classics from their diverse history, dating all the way back to 1981.

Many of the songs expressed outright hate, criticisms of American society and hope for the new generations of American whom, I hope, will hear these tunes and use them for good social and political use.

In all this night was a celebration of happiness through the outright disgust at our leaders. I was reminded a lot of the film Cabaret, except this version had more guitars and drums.

Well done Ministry, you brought political partying to a whole new level with your Industrial masterpieces, and well done again to Chelsea Wolfe for riling us up for this memorable evening.

Setlist:

1. Twilight Zone
2. Victims of a Clown
3. Punch in the Face
4. Senor Peligro
5. Rio Grande Blood
6. LiesLiesLies
7. We’re Tired of It
8. Wargasm
9. Antifa
10. Just One Fix
11. NWO
12. Thieves
13. So What
14. Psalm 69
15. Bad Blood

 

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