Ministry – Moral Hygiene Review

I had an acquaintance once that said industrial metal is “sex music.” That’s one of the reasons I don’t talk to this person anymore. That and it’s difficult to communicate when you’re bricked up in a wall. But, seriously, I must be doing something wrong if I don’t get an erection to Rammstein’s “Bück Dich.” Babe, it’s not you. It’s me. The same goes for Ministry. There’s nothing about imagining Al Jourgensen crucify and gut the entire Bush family that pricks my pecker.1 Don’t worry, the following review does have some redeeming qualities.2 For one, Ministry’s newest record, Moral Hygiene, is equal to dropping a turd on Trump’s chest and giving COVID-19 the coronavirus. Flaccid, right? Jourgy was liberal before liberal was cool. And his anger, frustration, and crushing riffs will never wain.

I’m gonna level with you, the early years of Ministry are an absolute bore. Though many of you undoubtedly fall over yourself for The Land of Rape and Honey, I can’t stand that album. It wasn’t until ’96’s Filth Pig that I starting finding Ministry in my CD case. Then the notorious Bush trilogy—Houses of the Molé, Rio Grande Blood, and The Last Sucker—came around. I’ve regularly listened to those three albums on repeat over the years. And what a swansong The Last Sucker would have been if they stayed split up. Unfortunately, Ministry hasn’t done much worth talking about since that 2007 release. I’m sure you expect me to say that this third-reunion-era Ministry will nut-punch The Last Sucker off its pedestal. Well, it doesn’t. But, at least, it’s not AmeriKKKant.

What Moral Hygiene does have in common with The Last Sucker is effectively using big atmospheres. Jourgy smatters Moral Hygiene with the kinds of bombastic character you find from The Last Sucker’s back-to-back closers. But, Moral Hygiene is far more melodic and fun. The album’s first two tracks qualify as the album’s jump-around-the-dance-floor pieces. “Alert Level,” in particular, has a character akin to the more recent output of Rob Zombie. It’s mid-paced with a chorus that encourages participation from the crowd.

On the melodic side of things, you’ll find the uplifting “Disinformation,” “Believe Me,” and “Broken Systems.” The first has the band’s classic dose of heavy-hitting industrialization. The low vocals drive the song through its builds and drops and the bass is always kickstarting the heart each time. That mid-song riff is also fucking crushing. “Believe Me” has the same chorus energy as the opener, but with the unhappiness of “Disinformation.” It has a clever combination of clean and distorted guitars in the chorus and a venomous back-half transition that’s the auditory equivalent to de-wigging our ex-President. “Broken System” goes even further, incorporating a Middle-Eastern guitar and drum introduction. Then, unfolding a nifty twang and groove. It’s melodic, atmospheric, and its addictive chorus gets better with each rendition.

Clever additions to the record are the mid-album cover of The Stooges’ “Search and Destroy” and the Jello Biafra-led “Sabotage is Sex.” This first is a respectable cover that blends right in with the rest of the disc. The latter is just pure fun. It’s always cool to hear Biafra contribute to Ministry. Unfortunately, the last three tracks of the album drag this bitch into the ground. In particular, the last two COVID-inspired, sample-infested pieces are so unlistenable that I turn off the album well before them. If I weren’t reviewing the album, I’d delete the last three songs and make my own seven-song mini-album. Because I can’t, I have to listen to Jourgy shit all over the fine album he had going for him. His message always comes across better in his musical pieces. Not these pathetic sampling nightmares.

Because of the last couple of tracks on the record, I can’t praise this release. That’s a lot of real-estate to fill up with pointless shit—even by Ministry standards. Ignoring these complaints, I rather enjoyed the album. The other seven tracks aren’t without filler, but there’s a handful of addictive choruses and some pleasing songwriting. If you’re a fan, this will help you forget AmeriKKKant.

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 1,411 kb/s wav
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: October 1st, 2021

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Peckers my prick…?
  2. Like Barbara Bush in the nude.
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