Ministry - The Land Of Rape And Honey review
|Album:||The Land Of Rape And Honey|
|Release date:||October 1988|
02. The Missing
04. Golden Dawn
07. The Land Of Rape And Honey
08. You Know What You Are
09. I Prefer
Sometimes I like to picture Ministry fans at the time picking "Land of Rape and Honey" up after being so fond of their previous new-wave/dance-goth outputs and having their minds crushed by the agonized scream that kicks off Stigmata. It's not logical to assume otherwise seeing as how this is Ministry's foray into their now well known "Industrial" sound. Shouting through distortion, sampled voices, looped pulsing rhythms, this is where all the traits usually linked to industrial music stemmed from. Putting all this together, and pushed by the fact that it's a special rarity to hear something made before this album appear on the band's live set. It's easy to see why this is considered Ministry's first "true" album.
Besides the great Stigmata, which is one of the best tunes ever penned by Uncle Al, there are other notable mentions. The Missing and Deity are two inseparable jarring and concise tracks (much better interpreted on the live EP released a few years after) that expel a lot of energy before the album goes into some "out there" territory. Golden Dawn is somewhat of a precursor to the dense layered atmosphere of samples found on their masterwork released the next year. The title track is a great exercise in being abrasively groovy (hint: Early Nine Inch Nails), while You Know Who You Are and Flashback are quite angry numbers with great use of voice samples. Chris Connelly guests on vocals for the first time on I Prefer with a much less nightmarish performance than his two spots on "The Mind is a Terrible Thing To Taste".
Come to think of it, I have been drawing a few comparisons to "The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste" in this review. That's the thing, I heard "Land of Rape and Honey" sometime after said masterpiece. So it seems like they made this album as a "rehearsal" to the real big show. Guitars are sparingly used and limited to Missing and Deity, the atmosphere and tone are half way built up, and production values aren't as stellar , although quite impressive all around. It also seems that Al and Paul didn't have their address books filled up with too many numbers seeing as how they have nowhere near as many guests as they did their next time in the studio (Must've been a hell of a drug-induced party).
Unfortunately, the album is the victim of early CD mastering, and has not yet seen a remastered reissue. Thankfully the band has been kind enough to give two of the best tracks the Hypo Luxa/Hermes Pan production treatment on Greatest Fits so we can all hear the intensity and edginess originally intended in the first place. Comparisons and small faults aside, "The Land of Rape and Honey" is an influential classic that I have grown to love and cherish as the groundwork of a truly amazing band.
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