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Ministry - The Land Of Rape And Honey review


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Band: Ministry
Album: The Land Of Rape And Honey
Release date: October 1988

01. Stigmata
02. The Missing
03. Deity
04. Golden Dawn
05. Destruction
06. Hizbollah
07. The Land Of Rape And Honey
08. You Know What You Are
09. I Prefer
10. Flashback
11. Abortive

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.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Production: 9

Written by Joey Jo Jo | 08.09.2007


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 4   Visited by: 43 users
27.06.2009 - 16:26
Liver Failure
Found it a little annoying, probably not my kind of sound. But ''Stigmata'', and some parts of ''Golden Dawn'', ''The Land Of Rape And Honey'' and ''I Prefer'' are also very good.

It's easy to see why this is considered Ministry's first "true" album.

Yeah, the two first works were surprising when I heard. Didn't expect the catchy ''loving'' synth-pop

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
27.06.2009 - 17:46
They probably released better albums, but there are some good tracks here. Hezebollah is a classic song
12.01.2010 - 17:20
Fat & Sassy!
Most of these songs are tedious and boring... the few good tracks couldn't really save it (as good as they are). :/ The Mind Is a Terrible Taste is much, MUCH better.
You do you, brozzio.
21.12.2010 - 01:50
Axe Argonian
Actually, of the three really good Ministry albums (this one, The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste, and Psalm 69), this is my favorite. The catchy industrial hooks and memorable songs like "Stigmata", "The Land of Rape and Honey", and "Deity" make this album a classic in my books.
"Man does at all times only what he wills, and yet he does this necessarily. But this is because he already is what he wills." - Arthur Schopenhauer

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