Ministry – “AmeriKKKant” Album Review

GDOB2-30CH-001.cdr“We are making a fuckin’ album – right now.”

These were the words spoken by Al Jourgensen when he awoke on November 9, 2016 and after realizing the results of the Presidential election.

AmeriKKKant is the culmination of Al’s latest rant fueled by rage and verbal pyromania.  Nuclear Blast has embraced this appropriately as Ministry’s new home and will be releasing AmeriKKKant on March 9.

AmeriKKKant contains nine total tracks and opens with “I Know Words;” an intro containing some samples of Donald Trump’s voice making him sound like he’s about to succumb to a chemically-induced coma.   Jourgensen says “I’ve spoken my piece on the societal conditions that would elect such a blithering idiot. It’s not an anti-Trump album, it’s like a- ‘did you pay attention in school? Does anybody have any intellectual curiosity anymore?’- album. [It’s] basically just holding up a mirror to ourselves and saying: ‘Look at this, is this what you really want to be?’” (NB Press Release)

Uncle Al is pissed off and rightfully so.  This might reach its height between the brilliant sample-heavy interlude, “TV 5-4 Chan” and “We’re Tired Of It” which follows closely behind.  Filled with brutal fury, “We’re Tired Of It” picks up the speed of old Slayer or even Sepultura but still in Ministry-like fashion.  No wonder Nuclear Blast picked them up.

In many ways, AmeriKKKant is a return to the “Psalm 69” days of Ministry.  Even traces of “The Mind” album can be heard with tracks like “Game Over” which contains nuances akin to “Thieves.”  But that’s the Al Jourgensen/Ministry trademarked sound – heavy crunching guitars, thundering bass (though many of us still miss Paul Barker). 

“Antifa” goes back to the feel of “NWO” or “Just One Fix” with the guitars combined with the driving beat.  Then tracks like “Twilight Zone” and the title track which closes that album out cover the slower, heavier dynamic Ministry is often known for.  While there isn’t a lot of outside-the-box experimentation with AmeriKKKant, Ministry still isn’t afraid to use the likes of a scratch beat, a Paganini-like string track or the reverb-soaked harmonica looming in “Twilight Zone.”

“Victims Of A Clown” is a mid-paced track that starts off with a sick bass groove, scratch sample and voice samples.  The track is allowed to breathe a bit like “So What” or the aptly titled “Breathe.”  “Wargasm” mixes up a bit of an early Manson (i.e. “Cake And Sodomy”-era) vibe with some Psalm 69 nostalgia.

AmeriKKKant doesn’t really break a whole lot of new ground.  But what it does is remind us that there are still pioneers out there that are willing to carry the torch and we should at least thank Al for that.  Fans of Ministry from the Psalm 69 and Filth Pig eras will be pleased if nothing else.  

AmeriKKKant will be out on March 9 on Nuclear Blast.  Formats include CD, black, white and splatter vinyl LP and digital.  CD/shirt/poster bundles are available as well.

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