If you’ve ever allowed Al Jourgensen to assault your ears, you know he is full of piss and vinegar. And even though he has laid aside his riotous disdain of former President George W. Bush, now that the man is no longer in office, he he still isn’t very happy with the state of America or the world. Ministry remains his vehicle for expressing this rage.
From Beer to Eternity tells a pretty bleak story, and if you ask Uncle Al, the world is going to hell in short order. You get a lot of what you expect on the album’s 11 tracks; pile-driven electro-percussion, political samples, and the late Mike Scaccia’s buzz-saw guitar are all present. But, after decades wasted in a cesspool of drugs, Jourgensen espouses a clarity that has been missing from most releases since 1992’s acclaimed Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs. This is truly realized on the waves of dub instrumentation that counter the vitriolic spew on the epic “Thanx But Not Thanx,” and the follow-up track, “Change of Luck,” with its rhythmic squibbles and anthemic, uncharacteristically catchy (and upbeat) chorus.
Al Jourgensen will always be ornery, and Ministry remains an opinionated, politically charged project. But with a clear mind and renewed drive, From Beer to Eternity is not only refreshing, but it is marked by some of the best music of his – and the band’s – career.
From Beer to Eternity is out now on 13th Planet Records.
Rating: 4/5 Stars