Album review: Ministry – HOPIUMFORTHEMASSES

Legendary industrial stompers Ministry fail to properly stoke the waning fires on album number 16.

Album review: Ministry – HOPIUMFORTHEMASSES
Dan Slessor

Somehow, four decades after their inception, mainman Al Jourgensen has managed to keep industrial pioneers Ministry (and, even more surprising, himself) alive, reaching their 16th full-length. Having dropped several duds along the way, expectations for HOPIUMFORTHEMASSES are not sky-high, which is just as well because despite the best efforts of all involved it is a decidedly flat and uninspiring collection.

To their credit, they don’t just do the same thing nine times, and there’s real variety across the record – TV Song is a straight-up thrasher, It’s Not Pretty kicks off all brooding and acoustic while New Religion is kind of like half-speed Slayer – but despite only clocking in at 42 minutes it feels like it drags on for ages. And the copious use of samples to remind you it’s an industrial record gets tiring.

Things are enlivened a little by guest appearances, as Al brings his similarly politically-charged friends to the table. His Lard bandmate Jello Biafra rants away on Aryan Embarrassment, still sounding annoyed after all these years, invigorating the track. Gogol Bordello’s Eugene Hutz takes lead vocal on Cult Of Suffering, which is a swaggering beast and is probably the best track, with plenty of organ belched out over its grooves.

By the time the pulsating electronics of Ricky’s Hand are closing things out in full on ’80s style it feels like a good opportunity to put the record to bed, and leave it there. It is a shame, really, for Ministry were once one of the most exciting alternative bands around, which is very much not the case anymore.

Verdict: 2/5

For fans of: Rob Zombie, Fear Factory, System Of A Down

HOPIUMFORTHEMASSES is released on March 1 via Nuclear Blast

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