Today's artists are an industrial metal band founded by lead singer and only original member Al Jourgensen in 1981. Originally a new wave synthpop outfit, Ministry changed its style to become one of the pioneers of industrial metal in the mid-1980s. Ministry found mainstream success in the early 1990s with its most successful album Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs (1992) and touring as part of the Lollapalooza festival.. ....N'Joy
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Alejandro Ramírez Casas was born in Havana to Cuban parents on October 9, 1958. Soon after, he relocated to the United States to live with his mother and his Norwegian stepfather Jourgensen. Al began Ministry in Chicago, Illinois in 1981. His first band prior to Ministry was Special Affect with Groovie Mann (of My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult), drummer Harry Rushakoff (Concrete Blonde) and bassist Marty Sorenson. After that was the short-lived Silly Charmichaels, with Ben Krug, Tom Krug and Tom Wall (all of The Imports).
The original line-up of Ministry consisted mainly of Jourgensen (vocals and guitar), Stephen George (drums), Robert Roberts (keyboards), and John Davis (keyboards), although with a few personnel changes, the band's image would begin to focus more on Jourgensen and Stephen George. Ministry's original sound was essentially new wave synthpop that was more melodic and stylized than the aggressive music for which they would become known. Ministry released four 12" singles on Wax Trax! Records from 1981 to 1984 (anthologized on Twelve Inch Singles (1981–1984) that featured the club favorite "Everyday Is Halloween").
Their first LP With Sympathy, was issued on Arista Records in 1983 and hit the upper 90s in the Billboard 200. The LP was well received by college radio fans initially and became common in many new wave album collections at the time. The music in With Sympathy and the singles Arista issued in association with it were a melodic type of synthpop and part of the new wave sound growing in popularity in the early 1980s, the band was well received by the large arena audiences. Jourgensen has subsequently expressed extreme dislike for Ministry's With Sympathy-era output. He was not trying to come off as British. The Stones used a southern accent and no one crawled up their ass for it.
By the mid-1980s, Jourgensen parted ways with George and signed to Sire Records. Jourgensen performed mostly solo for Ministry's next LP, Twitch (1986), which sold well, but was still considered to be "underground". The music was danceable electronic music, but was not pop music, and the sound was harsher and more aggressive than what Ministry had recorded before. According to Jourgensen, "Twitch was stuff that I was doing before With Sympathy came out. Some of that stuff was already four or five years old, but the record company didn't want to use it, so...". Much of the new sound was created with the use of digital sampling and the input of producer Adrian Sherwood.
After Twitch, Jourgensen made the most significant change in Ministry's history when he resumed playing electric guitar. Jourgensen also brought bass guitarist Paul Barker of the Seattle band The Blackouts into the Ministry camp; Barker would remain Jourgensen's bandmate for many years when he was the only person credited as a member of the band other than Jourgensen. With the addition of The Blackouts drummer William Rieflin, Ministry recorded The Land of Rape and Honey (1988). The album continued their success in the underground music scene. The Land of Rape and Honey made use of synthesizers, keyboards, tape loops, jackhammering drum machines, dialogue excerpted from movies, unconventional electronic processing, and, in parts, heavy distorted electric guitar and bass. The album was supported by a tour in 1988 and the singles and music videos for "Stigmata" and "Flashback".
The follow-up, The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste was supported by a tour from 1989 to 1990. Due to the complex nature of the album's drumming, a second drummer, Martin Atkins, was used. In addition to Atkins, a ten piece touring line-up was formed, consisting of Chris Connelly (keyboards and vocals), Nivek Ogre (vocals and keyboards), Joe Kelly (vocals and backing vocals) and guitarists Mike Scaccia, Terry Roberts, and William Tucker, with Jourgensen, Barker and Rieflin serving as the group's core members. This tour was documented on In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up. Three singles, "Thieves", "Burning Inside" (for which a video was made) and "So What" were released from the album.
Throughout the late 1980s Jourgensen and Barker expanded their ideas beyond Ministry into a seemingly endless parade of side projects and collaborations. Many of these bore Ministry's signature sound and the duo's "Hypo Luxa/Hermes Pan" production imprint. (These side-projects were also responsible for the delayed release of Ministry's next album.) Foremost of these was Ministry's alter ego, the Revolting Cocks. "RevCo", as it is often referred to, essentially became the same band as it had originally featured Belgian musicians Richard 23 (of Front 242) and Luc Van Acker. Jourgensen and Barker also formed Lard with Dead Kennedys lead singer Jello Biafra, Acid Horse with Cabaret Voltaire, 1000 Homo DJs (which featured Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor doing vocals on a cover of Black Sabbath's "Supernaut"), PTP with Chris Connelly and Pailhead with Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Fugazi.
Ministry broke into the mainstream in 1991 with "Jesus Built My Hotrod" (co-authored by Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers and Michael Balch of Front Line Assembly affiliation). The music video was a hit and the band scored second billing on the Lollapalooza tour. As the single had indicated, the sound of the following LP, Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs (1992), was the most metal-oriented Ministry had put to record at that point, the focal point of the sound shifting almost entirely from synths to Jourgensen's and new members Mike Scaccia's and Louis Svitek's electric guitars.
ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ, which is printed on the record, is a concatenation of "κεφαλή" (Greek for "head" or "leader") and "ΞΘ" (the number 69 in Greek numerals). The title was borrowed from Aleister Crowley's work: The Book of Lies (Chapter 69, "The Way to Succeed—and the Way to Suck Eggs!"). Psalm 69 became Ministry's biggest hit, including in addition to "Jesus Built My Hotrod", the singles "N.W.O." (a protest of the Persian Gulf War and attack directed at then-President George H.W. Bush) and "Just One Fix" (a collaboration with poet/novelist William S. Burroughs). The single "N.W.O." was used in the 1992 live-action/animated movie Cool World. Later, "N.W.O." was used in Need for Speed: The Run video game.
Ministry was one of the headlining acts for Australia and New Zealand's Big Day Out touring festival. In spite of their growing success, Ministry was nearly derailed by a series of arrests and drug problems. The band did not issue their next album, Filth Pig, until 1996. For Filth Pig, Ministry stripped all synthesizers and most samples from their style and made the music almost entirely with ultra-noisy guitars, heavy bass and real drums. The songs were played mostly at slower tempos than the very fast ones that were used for the compositions on their previous three LPs, giving it an almost doom metal feel.
Ministry recorded their final studio album for Warner Bros. Records, Dark Side of the Spoon (1999), which they dedicated to William Tucker, who committed suicide earlier that year. For Dark Side of the Spoon, Ministry tried to diversify their sound by adding some melodic and synthetic touches to their usual electro-metal sound, along with some jazz influences, but the album was not well received. However, the single "Bad Blood" appeared on the soundtrack album of The Matrix and was nominated for a 2000 Grammy award.
During the years 2000-2002, disputes with Warner Bros. Records resulted in the planned albums Live Psalm 69, Sphinctour and ClittourUS on Ipecac Recordings being canceled. Sphinctour was released on Sanctuary Records. Around 2001, Jourgensen almost lost his arm when he was bitten by a venomous spider. He did have a toe amputated after accidentally stepping on a discarded hypodermic needle. Around this time, by his own admission, Jourgensen was suicidal and decided to call an acquaintance he had met years earlier; the acquaintance, Angelina Luckacin, helped Jourgensen give up his massive substance habit (which included heroin and cocaine "speedballs", crack, LSD, various pharmaceuticals and as many as two full bottles of Bushmills whiskey per day).
Barker left Ministry in 2003. He stated that the trigger was his father dying while the band was wrapping up a summer tour in Europe, and also stated in early 2004 that his family life was his main focus at that particular time. Jourgensen continued Ministry with Mike Scaccia and various other musicians.
For Ministry's next album, Jourgensen released the song "No W", a song critical of then-U.S. President George W. Bush; an alternate version of the track was placed on the multi-performer compilation Rock Against Bush, Vol. 1. The follow-up LP, Houses of the Molé (2004), contained the most explicitly political lyrics Jourgensen had yet written, with songs in Ministry's classic industrial electro-metallic sound played messier, more crudely and more freely than ever before, giving the album the most metal-oriented sound of their career. In 2006 the band released Rio Grande Blood, an LP on Jourgensen's own 13th Planet Records. With Prong's Tommy Victor and Killing Joke's Paul Raven, the album featured an even heavier thrash metal sound drawing comparison to Slayer. The single "Lieslieslies" was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance at the 49th annual Grammy Awards. It, along with another song on the album, "The Great Satan", is also available as a downloadable content song for the 2008 video game Rock Band 2. In July 2007, the band released Rio Grande Dub, an album featuring remixes from the band's 2006 Rio Grande Blood album.
Ministry's "final" album, The Last Sucker, was released on September 18, 2007. Ministry's farewell tour, the "C-U-LaTour", started its North American leg on March 26, 2008 with Meshuggah performing as special guests and Hemlock as an opening act. They played their final North American show in Chicago on 12 May 2008. Adios... Puta Madres, a live album featuring material culled from Ministry's final tour, was released in 2009 on CD and DVD.
On August 7, 2011, it was announced that Ministry was reforming and would play at Germany's Wacken Open Air festival, set to take place August 2–4, 2012. The reunion lineup featured Al Jourgensen on vocals, Mike Scaccia and Tommy Victor both on guitar, Aaron Rossi on drums, John Bechdel on keyboards and Tony Campos on bass. On December 23, 2011, Ministry released "99 Percenters", the first single from Relapse, and began streaming it on their Facebook page two days later. On February 22, 2012, Ministry released a second single, "Double Tap", which was included in the April 2012 issue of the Metal Hammer magazine. On March 23, 2012, Relapse was released.
On December 23, 2012, guitarist Mike Scaccia died following an on-stage heart attack, while playing with his other band, Rigor Mortis. In an interview with Noisey in March 2013, Jourgensen announced that Ministry would break up again, explaining that he does not want to carry on without Scaccia. "Mikey was my best friend in the world and there's no Ministry without him", he said. "But I know the music we recorded together during the last weeks of his life had to be released to honor him. So after his funeral, I locked myself in my studio and turned the songs we had recorded into the best and last Ministry record anyone will ever hear. I can't do it without Mikey and I don't want to. So yes, this will be Ministry's last album. The album, titled From Beer to Eternity, was released on September 6, 2013. Jourgensen stated that Ministry would tour in support of From Beer to Eternity, but would not record any more albums
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The Land of Rape and Honey represented Ministry's stylistic breakthrough, combining assaultive percussion, samples, synths, and (sometimes) crunching guitars with distorted, barking vocals. For all the emphasis on the group's metal/industrial fusion, it's really only the first three (and best) tracks on Rape and Honey -- "Stigmata," "The Missing," and "Deity" -- that employ guitars extensively. The remainder of the album merely suggests heavy metal aggression through its electronic and sampled elements; it is far more industrial in feel, even though it's just as dark. Ministry was the industrial band that, more than any other, appealed to metal fans, and it was The Land of Rape and Honey that began to lay claim to that status.
Ministry - The Land Of Rape And Honey (flac 304mb)
01 Stigmata 5:45
02 The Missing 2:54
03 Deity 3:23
04 Golden Dawn 5:42
05 Destruction 3:30
06 Hizbollah 3:59
07 The Land Of Rape And Honey 5:12
08 You Know What You Are 4:45
09 I Prefer 2:16
10 Flashback 4:48
11 Abortive 4:23
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In what many consider to be Ministry's peak, the band creates another wonderful album to follow The Land of Rape and Honey. Fusing thrash guitars with excellent synth and percussion work, Ministry lay the foundation for even more followers of the band's music. But what makes the album even more commendable is the unique flair and the avoidance of cliché elements that have brought down the guitar-heavy industrial-rock genre. Purists might argue that Ministry have given up these roots; but it's plain to see that the roots remain, and are only revamped by the necessary progression of a band that has been around for so many years. The sound is Ministry's, most definitely.
Ministry - The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste (flac 343mb)
01 Thieves 5:02
02 Burning Inside 5:20
03 Never Believe 4:59
04 Cannibal Song 6:10
05 Breathe 5:40
06 So What 8:13
07 Test 6:04
08 Faith Collapsing 4:01
09 Dream Song 4:48
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By the time of A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste, Ministry had amassed enough of an arsenal of gear and a hardcore coterie of fans to make the band's shows literally explosive affairs in some cases. Also released as an accompanying video, which shows more than a few audience members seemingly uncaring about potential dismemberment, In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up is only six songs long, but delivers big time for each of them. The weird atmosphere of glowering goth and avant thrash metal that combined with the more direct dancefloor antics of Alain Jourgensen, Paul Barker, and company makes for a particularly potent combination live. Jourgensen's hoarsely roared, wracked vocals, given just enough electronic distortion to really cause some blood to flow, suit the various reinterpretations of The Land of Rape and Honey and A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste material, three songs from each. For the most part the live takes closely resemble the studio cuts aside from length; while the galloping "Deity" sticks to the original's three-minute headcrush, "So What" turns into an extended vamp, arguably going on a little too long but generally having fun with its own horror-movie slasher theatrics, as well as kicking off with a slow burn, just creepy enough start. The whooshing swoops and siren noises that kick off "Burning Inside" show how well Ministry can rework material for maximum impact as needed. The end of the disc provides the real highlights, with absolutely brutal versions of "Thieves" and a nervous, intense "Stigmata" polishing things off; Jourgensen's profane rant against anything and everything at the end in particular reaches some sort of weird apotheosis of unalloyed hatred. Occasional comments to the crowd along the lines of, "Looks like we got a little frisky bunch here!" show that for all the musical and lyrical violence, Ministry knew how to keep a sense of humor intact -- something more than a few followers forgot.
Ministry - In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up (flac 285mb)
01 The Missing 3:35
02 Deity 3:38
03 So What 11:30
04 Burning Inside 6:23
05 Thieves 5:09
06 Stigmata 9:30
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Pailhead was a short-lived side project of the industrial metal band Ministry that featured Dischord Records founder and former Minor Threat frontman Ian MacKaye on vocals. The band's sound was a dark combination of menacing industrial beats and hardcore punk, predating what Ministry would later do with Jello Biafra in another side project, Lard. While Alain Jourgensen was living in London, he met Ian MacKaye. MacKaye had been in Washington D.C. punk bands The Teen Idles, Minor Threat, Skewbald/Grand Union, Egg Hunt and Embrace and was on the verge of forming Fugazi, while Jorgensen was taking his band Ministry into new territory—away from the more pop sound of With Sympathy and toward the harder sound of The Land of Rape and Honey. The two found common ground both musically and politically and decided to collaborate on a project that would fuse elements of industrial music with hardcore punk.
Pailhead released the single "I Will Refuse" / "No Bunny" (released in both 7" and 12" formats) in 1987 and the 4-song EP Trait in 1988, both on the Wax Trax! record label. The CD edition of Trait also incorporates both sides of the "I Will Refuse" / "No Bunny" single.
1000 Homo DJs was a side project of industrial music band Ministry. The project was best known for a cover of Black Sabbath's "Supernaut", released by industrial label Wax Trax! Records. 1000 Homo DJs began as a side project to release outtakes from Ministry's The Land of Rape and Honey. The credits read "Another Luxa/Pan Production", which was the production pseudonym for Ministry members Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker
The industrial band PTP was a short-lived side project of Ministry's Alain Jourgensen. The band's total recorded legacy consists of three songs. The first PTP track, "Show Me Your Spine," was recorded in 1987. The song has several claims to fame. Written by Jourgensen, Barker and Ogre, it marked the first collaboration between Luxa/Pan and vocalist Nivek Ogre of Skinny Puppy. The track appeared briefly during the club scene in the first RoboCop movie (1987) but did not appear on the soundtrack. In fact, the song was not commercially released until 2004 when it appeared on Ministry's Side Trax compilation. Musically, it is representative of the early Wax Trax sound, which is not a surprise considering Jourgensen's history. It features arpeggio melodies, loud drums, sampled orchestral hits and of course Ogre's heavily distorted vocals.
Acid Horse was a one-off collaborative side project between two industrial music pioneers, Ministry and Cabaret Voltaire. Only one single, "No Name, No Slogan", was released in 1989 on Wax Trax! records. The band name is a combination of the slang terms for LSD (acid) and heroin (horse), as well as a play on the title of the then-popular acid house movement. Musically, Acid Horse resembles fellow Ministry side project PTP, in that it blends an upbeat dance-like electronic rhythm with catchy guitar-work. The lyrics come off in a serious, yet slightly comical tone - a trademark of many Ministry side projects.
Ministry - Pailhead, 1000 Homo DJs, PTP and Acid Horse (flac 569mb)
01 Pailhead - I Will Refuse 4:16
02 Pailhead - No Bunny 4:59
03 Pailhead - Don't Stand In Line 3:47
04 Pailhead - Ballad 3:50
05 Pailhead - Man Should Surrender 3:42
06 Pailhead - Anthem 4:45
07 1000 Homo DJs - Apathy 4:35
08 1000 Homo DJs - Better Ways 5:23
09 1000 Homo DJs - Supernaut 6:38
10 1000 Homo DJs - Hey Asshole 8:07
11 PTP - Rubber Glove Seduction 5:22
12 PTP - My Favorite Things 4:28
13 PTP - Show Me Your Spine 4:56
14 Acid Horse - No Name No Slogan (Luxa Pan Mix) 5:55
15 Acid Horse - No Name No Slogan (Cabaret Voltaire Mix) 9:03
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