From Beer to Eternity

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And, we're back, again. Al Jourgensen supposedly put his Ministry project to rest with the 2012 album Relapse (which came five years after the other "final" studio album, The Last Sucker, and three years after the "goodbye" live album Adios...Puta Madres) so when the announcement came that there would be one more album from the group -- and that it really would be the last effort ever -- even some of the hardcore fans got rankled. Fans of the Who could relate, but the reason to believe, this time, is that Jourgensen's reasons for reviving the group after Relapse are as sincere as life and death. The life part comes from a near death, on-stage experience the group leader suffered on-stage in Paris. The sad death part comes from the untimely loss of longtime Jourgensen-project guitarist and constant inspiration Mike Scaccia, who suffered heart failure on-stage while performing with his other band, Rigor Mortis. The eclectic and ultra-angry From Beer to Eternity was pulled together from the last bits of tape Jourgensen and Scaccia recorded, and while it could have easily been a Revolting Cocks release or tagged with some other side project's name, putting Ministry on the cover is a sentimental and respectable move, and not far off, either. The heavily processed, sample-happy record recalls Ministry moments as early 1986's Adrian Sherwood-produced album Twitch, while the hate-filled songs directed at Republicans recall the "Bush Trilogy" of 2004 - 2007 (Houses of the Molé, Rio Grande Blood, and The Last Sucker). The Fox News Channel-bashing industrial-guitar monster "Fairly Unbalanced" flows into the sound bite-sampling, industrial-metal grinder "The Horror" for a suite that spews hate while demonstrating how "Ministry" the album actually is, and then there's the chugging guitar, head banger "Punch in the Face," which recalls the group's great 1989 effort A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste, and the "metal years" that surrounded it. The strange, zombie funk opener "Hail to His Majesty (Peasants)" and the slow, slick manifesto called "Permawar" point to a new, sludgy group that was evolving, while the final cut is a true curveball, and maybe a suggestion not to take the Ministry name as holy. If this is truly the end, it's a suitable one, linking most of Ministry's eras together for one-last kiss-off, while paying tribute to Scaccia and all the man brought to the table.

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