Review MINISTRY ‘Moral Hygiene’

Social tension, a pandemic, lockdown and an election being the most important one in US history, all topics that scream for being processed in lyrics of a new Ministry album. A time when the world slowly gets out of balance is the right moment for Ministry mastermind Al Jourgensen to release an album that is fueled by all these topics.

‘Psalm 69’ is for me still the Ministry reference album and it will stay untouched. ‘Moral Hygiene’ can’t really bypass the legendary longplayer but gets very close. Current times seems more than a motivator for Jourgensen to work on songs that are intense, aggressive and hypnotic.

With ‘Alert Level’ the start into the 15th Ministry album couldn’t be much better. Driven by strong beat, the song spreads its chilly vibe right away and you get the feeling of this album becoming a great one through the discomfort it provides. One get alert while listening to opener and via ‘Good trouble’ you get to the first real highlight of the album.

‘Sabotage is Sex’ is a powerful industrial anthem that spreads the vibe of pure anarchy. Not only that the songs is wild ride through the landscape of industrial metal. No less than Jello Biafra, who worked with Jourgensen in Lard, adds vocals to this smashing masterpiece. The song has an earworm character and has the potential becoming the ambassador for the album.

Mentioning guests, ‘Search & Destroy’ includes a guest appearance too. And in case you think that the guitar play sound familiar you might be reminded of Billy Morrison who also work with Billy Idol. In a way, some cross-references are weaved into ‘Search & Destroy’. It’s no surprise that this track has been chosen as a single release prior to album release.  In a Ministry context the song sounds almost commercial and has a catchiness that creates attention beyond the Ministry fanbase.

In general, I have to say that ‘Moral Hygiene’ has a wider range of influences that all come together under the trademarks of Ministry. The dark ‘Believe Me’ has the typical samples included, has a steady beat and at the same time reflects some almost gothic-laden moments. ‘We Shall Resist’ is another song on the album, worth to be mentioned. The beginning couldn’t be darker and more oppressive than what Jourgensen offers here. The song spreads its addictive gloom and stays calm but intense. It feels like an enormous level of tension builds up and waits for the musical burst. It’s like two tectonic plates that mesh before an earthquake unleashes the tension. Difference here is, that the outburst doesn’t really happen which is a way of Jourgensen to resist the expected.

Undoubtably ‘Death Toll’ addresses COVID 19 and the consequences, also in a calmer and repetitive way before one of the most brutal tracks on the album, ‘TV Song #6 (Right Around the Corner Mix)’, rounds off a record that belongs to the best ones Al Jourgensen has unleashed with Ministry. If this crazy time has something positive as an outcome than it’s the fact of Al Jourgensen being at his best by canalizing anger and rage into songs that are mind-blowing.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Alert Level
  2. Good Trouble
  3. Sabotage Is Sex
  4. Disinformation
  5. Search And Destroy
  6. Believe Me
  7. Broken System
  8. We Shall Resist
  9. Death Toll
  10. TV Song #6 (Right Around The Corner Mix)

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Industrial

Release Date EU: October 1st, 2021

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