By Dr. Abner Mality

At one time Ministry was a powerful, game-changing band.  Those days seem long in the past after listening to “AmeriKKKant”, the latest album from Al Jourgenson and whoever he deems a part of Ministry. 

Guitarist Mike Scaccia, whose corrosive guitar work was such a major part of Ministry’s glory years, passed away in 2012. Supposedly that was to be the end of the band, but Al has kept a steady drip of reissues, live albums, remixes, etc. to keep the Ministry cash cow going. One listen to this and there’s little doubt that the band should have ended with Scaccia’s death.

The election of buffoonish fascist Donald Trump was said to have inspired the return of Ministry. Surely no political figure deserves more of a roasting than The Donald, but it is done in a clumsy and childish way on “AmeriKKKant”. The most distressing part of the new album is the embrace of the masked thought police, the Antifa, who even get a tribute song dedicated to them. That’s where my support of Jourgenson’s  agenda stops cold. The hypocrisy of people claiming to support progressive values while running around in masks and threatening people should be lost on no one with a bigger IQ than a grapefruit. I don’t and never will support such nonsense and you lose my respect by doing so.

Beyond that,the anti-Trump sentiments here are childishly expressed, with no intellectual content,and on the level  of graffiti sprayed on a bathroom wall. Lots of silly,distorted samples. Way too many,as a matter  of fact, and it sounds really lazy.

This might be overlooked if there was some ferocity to the music. But many of the songs here proceed at a syrupy, slow plod, such as “Twilight Zone”, “Victims of a Clown” and “Game Over”. It’s like stuff from “Filth Pig”, only without the intensity of Mike Scaccia’s playing and unimaginative sampling. Whoever the lead guitarist is now, he doesn’t capture any of Scaccia’s withering contempt. There is a lot of scratching on “AmeriKKKant”, which I guess is OK if you like that sort of thing. I miss the more subtle kind of sampling Ministry did when Paul Barker was in the band, but he and his contributions to Ministry have almost been erased from memory.

The Slayer-like thrash of “We’re Tired Of It” injects some  needed vitality to the album. Too bad there weren’t more like it. The addition of brass to the title track helps to liven things up as well,but by this time,the album is just about over.

Ministry is one band that should have been allowed to rest in peace.This record is nowhere close to the best the band has done.