“From Beer to Eternity” is announced as the band’s second final album in the last six years. “The Last Sucker” back in 2007 was a fabulous album, if not the best, one of the very best Ministry albums, anyway, probably my favorite one beating some legendary albums like “The Land of Rape and Honey” (1988), “The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste” (1989), “Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs” (1992) or “Filth Pig” (1996), not quite accidentally, half of the albums featuring the recently deceased guitarist Mike Scaccia, his death being the reason why Jourgensen announced that Ministry would break up again. He said: “Mikey was my best friend in the world and there’s no Ministry without him”. Mike Scaccia was an important contributor not only to Ministry, but also to Lard, Revolting Cocks and Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters. Scaccia died onstage playing with his band Rigor Mortis, due to a sudden heart attack at age 47. R.I.P. Mike, you will be always missed!
While “The Last Sucker” was the 3rd and final part of the band’s anti-George W. Bush trilogy, preceded by 2004’s “Houses of the Molé” and 2006’s “Rio Grande Blood”, “From Beer to Eternity” seems to be a furious rage against media and especially against Fox News, defending president Barack Hussein Obama. Media is bad and bought-up, got it! If back then we all were on the same page, now I’m still not sure who is worst: George W. Bush or Barack Hussein Obama? There is no honest politician, there is no such thing as “politically correct”, no such thing as political righteousness. But enough with politics!!
Now about the music. “From Beer to Eternity” contains dark and very heavy music. We’ve got some extremely powerful and memorable riffs, but also some contorted, twisted off trips into the experimental noise (and breakcore) area.
But the thirteenth studio album by Jourgensen’s and his gang it’s not an easy piece to chew it! According to Al Jourgensen, in December 2012, he and guitarists Mike Scaccia and Sin Quirin, bassist Tony Campos, and drummer Aaron Rossi entered studio sessions and worked on the rough tracks for 18 songs at the home of Jourgensen, 13th Planet Records compound in El Paso, Texas. Jourgensen described Scaccia as the driving force behind the record. Finally only 11 songs made it to the album, Jourgensen and co-producer Sammy D’Ambruoso spent three months in studio to put the final touches on the album.
01. “Hail to His Majesty (Peasants)”
02. “Punch in the Face”
04. “Perfect Storm”
05. “Fairly Unbalanced”
06. “The Horror”
07. “Side F/X Include Mikey’s Middle Finger (TV4)”
08. “Lesson Unlearned”
09. “Thanx but No Thanx”
10. “Change of Luck”
11. “Enjoy the Quiet”
Al Jourgensen – vocals, guitar, production, mixing
Mike Scaccia – guitar
Sin Quirin – guitar
Tony Campos – bass
Aaron Rossi – drums
The artwork features 7 female models, including British alternative model Ulorin Vex, who are representing The Seven Deadly Sins. So, it’s not an expression of misogyny or something anti-feminist, but symbolism. The album title it’s a nice and humorous way to say good-bye to Mike Scaccia, but also to put the dot at the end of the career of this edge-cutting, ground breaking, extremely influential band.
This is a wild, dark, full of energy and merciless riffs album, but also abstract breaks and noisy, experimental industrial, breakcore flavored moments.
The opening track, “Hail to His Majesty (Peasants)”, it’s a slow grinding monster build upon pounding drums and noises – most of them reminding me of the sound of beer bottle or can opening. It’s more like an extended intro, rather then a real song, although the guitar riff is pretty strong.
“Punch in the Face” it’s a more traditional Ministry butchery with some killer bass-lines and bone cutter/flash grinder guitar riffs. A nice mixture of metal rooted build-up and classic industrial sound with a murderous guitar solo as crown.
“PermaWar” bring the first truly memorable (and massive) riff and it’s instantly a classic! It’s not a fast song, but an intense and heavy one with a vivid, surprisingly singable chorus. Very Ministry, absolutely winner!
“Perfect Storm” mixing faster and slower moments in a noisy, contorted ambiance, another pretty typical/classy Ministry track, as most of the songs from this album, in a raw, almost live kind of form. It’s powerful and raging – as most of the album. It’s about global warming and end of the world, about politics and ignorance. Love it when they speeding up and we’ve got another fabulous guitar solo! It’s almost taste like Slayer.
“Fairly Unbalanced” it’s about Fox News and how unilaterally they presents the news and how unfairly they keep president Obama under constant fire. The song it’s fast, furious and merciless, the message… well, I don’t think CNN have more balanced and equidistant approach, or more honest journalist, but represent different interests. So, looking forward to hear a F*ck CNN and F*ck BBC type of song soon – only to maintain the balance and fairness!
With “The Horror” the album enter into a more experimental area of music. Less riffs, more studio editing and technical solutions and tricks. The groove is pretty cool, but on long term less convincing. It would make a great link-track or scene, but for an almost 4 minute song the basic loop it’s pretty poor.
“Side F/X Include Mikey’s Middle Finger (TV4)” sounds like a hurricane marmalade of songs and ideas. Somebody lost his prescription for sure!
“Lesson Unlearned” have a kind of Revolting Cocks taste merged into Ministry type of ferociousness, it’s a mixture of electronic butchery and a guitar song. The guitar solo once again is killer!
“Thanx but No Thanx” it’s build upon an awesome dub flavored bass line and it’s an over 8 minute pseudo American history lesson. After three minutes of “speech” a real riff came in and we’ve got another grinding, typical Ministry classic. Excellent track.
“Change of Luck” it’s another trip into a more experimental, trippy area, just like “Thanx but No Thanx”, both tracks leading us back somehow to the roots of this band and the sound of flavor of “The Land of Rape and Honey” (1988), respectively “The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste” (1989). It’s an over 7 minute long journey mainly on chill and mystic wings, but break down with some twisted riffs and at the end with a killer solo and an unexpected chorus. Genius.
“Enjoy the Quiet” is filled with white noise and other background noises, overlapping human voices and… This is it! The possible final album. Hope not. Jourgensen made a killer pair with Tommy Victor, so, there can be a Ministry after Mike Scaccia. I think Mike would like to see Ministry going on. But well, it’s up to Jourgensen – and probably how well this album will sell. Far not so good as “The Last Sucker”, but still a strong album.
Ministry – Official Site
Ministry – YouTube Channel