Album Review: Ministry – “AmeriKKKant”
It’s been a confusing time, for the Ministry camp and it’s fans alike. We’ve had a couple of final albums in the past ten years, a final tour, and two break-ups. After the untimely death a few years back of lead guitarist, Mike Scaccia, who had been with the band since The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste in 1989, Al Jourgensen was seemingly ready to close the book on Ministry once and for all.
I’ll be honest, I was surprised to read that Ministry had signed to Nuclear Blast and the single Antifa had come out towards the end of last year, making me think “What can Ministry bring out next?” The answer to that results in their fourteenth studio release AmerKKKant, immediately highlighted with the front cover of Lady Liberty performing a facepalm, which will give you a pretty decent insight into the direction the album is headed before you even hear the first track. But let’s try to keep an open mind and not judge a book by it’s cover.
I Know Words starts the album off, and it’s a slow starter. Jourgensen’s anger at modern day America with samples of “We can make America stupid again” being the highlight of it, before leading into Twilight Zone which will wake you up fast enough. It’s Ministry, but it’s a sludgier version of Ministry, harkening back to the Filthpig era of the band. Eight minutes of repetition is generally standard operating procedure for Ministry, but unfortunately this drags a little, and the record scratching during the tracks becomes irritating quickly.
Victims Of A Clown will bring us back to more familiar Ministry territory, especially towards the end when it segues into TV 5.4 Chan which is a standard Ministry TV song really, this time it focuses more on snippits of racist quotes, which was inevitable given the album’s title. We’re Tired Of It will bring you back to classic 1990-1992 era, which will make you want to try and start a mosh with yourself, while Wargasm is almost comparable to a modern day So What, but falling slightly short on impact delivery.
The aforementioned Antifa is up next, and being honest, it’s not bad, but it’s not great either. It’s almost as if they took Just One Fix from 1992 and rehashed it for a 25th year celebration with the ‘If it ain’t broke, wreck it a bit’ mentality. AmeriKKKant wraps the album up, and it left me cold. Not because it was a bad track, it wasn’t, in fact it’s quite the opposite. It was one of the more stronger tracks on the album. And that is what sums up the main problem with the album. If you remove a large portion of the repetitive filler on the album, you’ll hear where songs like this, Victims Of A Clown and Wargasm were starting to get going, but the other tracks knock the wind out of their sails, which is a real shame as they had potential..
I’m blown away by this release, and unfortunately it’s for all the wrong reasons. How can this album come the same brainchild behind so many classic Ministry albums? Jourgensen has never held back on his albums, and while this one is no different in that regard, the problem lies with the fact that it’s nearly fifty minutes of repeating the exact same message. If you liked Filth Pig, or Houses Of The Molé, you may enjoy this one, but if you’re looking for a return to Psalm 69, then turn back now.