Ministry - The Last Sucker review
|Album:||The Last Sucker|
|Release date:||September 2007|
01. Let's Go
02. Watch Yourself
03. Life Is Good
04. The Dick Song
05. The Last Sucker
06. No Glory
07. Death And Destruction
08. Roadhouse Blues [The Doors cover]
09. Die In A Crash
10. End Of Days Part I
11. End Of Days Part II
12. Watch Yourself [remix]
13. The Last Sucker [remix]
Well, there we have it - The Last Sucker is officially the last LP Ministry will ever release. Whether the fans like it or not, Al Jourgensen has decided to call it quits as far as his main band is concerned and focus on side projects and producing other artists on the 13th Planet label. Ministry was a significant source of innovation and great music in the metal world (hell, the music world on the whole, even) in the last decades so it would be nice if their swansong was an album to remember, a tour de force, something that blows the socks off anyone hearing it. Is it? Well... not really. While The Last Sucker is not a bad album in and of itself, it falls short as a suitable epitaph for a band as revered as Ministry.
The reason for this isn't that the music on this album is flawed or uninspired but because The Last Sucker is too much of a niche album to fully represent what Ministry is known and loved for. In essence, what we have here is a collection of songs that more or less follow the same formula as Rio Grande Blood (with a few notable exceptions) but fail to capture much of those elements that made classic Ministry albums relevant and as influential as they are. No wait - maybe Jourgensen was aware of this after all? So yes - the album features fully programmed drums, generally many more electronic elements, structures that recall the more industrial side of Ministry's music and even one track that will have most listeners dumbfounded and reaching for the liner notes to make sure that it is in fact Ministry that they are hearing ("Die In A Crash", a punk tune with an unrecognizable Burton C Bell on vocals). Unfortunately, this is too little. By far the majority of the album follows the "harder, faster" motto of Rio Grande Blood with overtly political lyrics and the result is "just" a thrash metal album with a pronounced industrial edge. If you liked what Ministry did on Rio Grande Blood you will obviously also dig this; however, for a fan hoping to hear a little bit of The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste's post punk leanings, the sludge of Filth Pig or the dark experimentation of Dark Side Of The Spoon, this latest album will simply be too straight forward and hermetic to enjoy fully.
With this out of the way, let me focus on what is worth hearing on this album. "Die In A Crash", as mentioned above, is a fantastic and surprising tune. Bell appears again on the album's two-part closer, which starts off as groove thrash and evolves into Isis-like looped post-rock. "No Glory" is the album's most successful jab at thrash metal, whereas the title track actually sounds a little like traditional metal, albeit with a purely Ministry-esque refrain. "Watch Yourself" utilizes samples to great effect, recalling Psalm 69 in a good way. By far the best songs on the album are "Life Is Good" (which reminds me of the seminal "Burning Inside") and "Death And Destruction" (which, although full of speed metal riffs is the closest the band got to recreating their Land Of Rape And Honey sound). As can be seen, The Last Sucker can be enjoyed even though it has flaws, but I'm not sure all of Ministry's fans will agree with me.
Ministry was always willing to commit fully to any particular sound that they saw fit at the time, and in this respect, The Last Sucker would be a suitable checkpoint on the band's musical journey, as they ventured into thrash metal territory. Unfortunately, I don't think it is a suitable album to mark the end of this journey.
||Written on 08.09.2007 by With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. He lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he does his best to avoid prosecution for being so cool.|
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