Ministry

Rantology

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Released in 2004, Houses of the Molé was a monster built from "N.O.W."'s genetic material. The album didn't couch its cynical nihilism in sarcastic thrash acid, as Ministry did with Psalm 69. Instead it was a bruising antiestablishment spokesthing that hammered away at George W. Bush's America lyric by lyric, song by song. Al Jourgensen stays on message with 2005's Rantology. Using a mishmash of remixed classics, live material, and one new song, "Great Satan" (one guess who he thinks that is), Jourgensen has created a shrill blast of aural protest art with one enemy in mind. There are so many W soundbites on Rantology, the president should probably get a credit as a collaborator. All of them are contextualized to embarrass, to vilify, to indict Bush in the court of Uncle Al. The famous "I'm George W. Bush, and I approved this message" campaign tag opens the set, matched to a remix of Molé's "No W"; later he's heard to recite Psalm 23 over a swirling Wagnerian chorus and steadily building tension. The original "N.O.W." is remixed here, too, updated to include both President Bushes over the jagged percussion and Jourgensen's proto-metal yawp. "Stigmata" and "Jesus Built My Hotrod" are revisited on Rantology, too, but Jourgensen doesn't alter them that much. That's probably a good thing: they were dirty and vicious enough already. In contrast, selections from weaker Ministry efforts, like Dark Side of the Spoon's "Bad Blood," add little to the set. Since he retooled Ministry as a culture war battering ram, it's been Jourgensen's angriest words and beats that resonate most; Rant could've used more of that industrialized anger alongside its manipulated Bushisms. The collection might have also found different, unreleased live material to include. Still, the three selections from 2002's Sphinctour are sufficiently loud and more than a little creepy. "I feel like my heart is being touched by Christ," a little girl whispers over "Psalm 69"'s slamming guitar and mechanized blast beats, and she sounds like a zombie. "Thieves" is also strong, where Jourgensen seems possessed by anger. In fact, he seems possessed by anger throughout Rantology. World changers, bad livers, and progressive punks rejoice: Ministry's pissed-off stamina hasn't abated.

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