Ministry - Rio Grande Blood
13th Planet
Industrial Thrash
10 songs (51:16)
Release year: 2006
Ministry, 13th Planet
Reviewed by Al
Major event

I’ve been a Ministry fan for about six years now, having fallen in love with the band as soon as I heard the five minutes of pure industrial mayhem that is N.W.O.. Needless to say I thought the whole of Psalm 69 was a sheer stroke of genius and pretty much a classic in the industrial genre. Since then however, Ministry have followed a winding and at times slightly baffling road. After infusing their music with an injection of raw brutality with the follow up to Psalm 69, Filth Pig, they released albums of half brilliance, half self indulgent pointlessness. This all reached a low point with Animositisomina, an incredibly average gasp of a band losing its way. This however came to an end spectacularly with 2004’s fantastic Houses of the Mole. The reason for this return to form was easily discernable, Al Jourgensen’s favourite muse had returned: Republicans in power.

Its common knowledge that Mr Jourgensen is nor exactly a fan of the Republican party and it is this vitriolic hatred towards the Bush administration, both junior and senior, that has inspired his most potent, brutal and relevant work. It is under the manifesto of releasing yet another scathing barrage on Dubya and his underlings that Jourgensen has unleashed his latest compilation of pummelling industrial aural assaults. Ministry’s 13th album, Rio Grande Blood has arrived.

After one listen I was left in a state of shock. As a follow up to Houses of the Mole, I expected something good. I didn’t however expect to hear the best thing the band has released since Psalm 69. After several more listens I have come to the conclusion that this is undoubtedly as good as anything they have done in the past and might possibly be better. I don’t think I’ve encountered the level of coherence, consistency and quality found on this album on any previous Ministry releases. The tracks seem to gel together perfectly, there’s a decent enough level of variety to keep the listener interested and some riffs that may cause headbanging induced spinal damage if the listener is not correctly strapped in.

The sample laden title track kicks off proceedings, taking edited sound clips of Mr Bush combined with Jourgensen’s signature distorted vocals and shredding thrash riffs. It’s a furious, unrelenting rant of an incredibly pissed off man set to music and scores a direct hit on it’s intended target. The bar of quality doesn’t drop, track after track the album continuously failed to disappoint me. There are many, many highlights, whether it be the unrelenting thrash assaults of Lieslieslies, The Great Satan and Palestina, the electronica infused Slayer at a rave mentalism of Yellow Cake or the (extremely dark) humour infused Ass Clown. The album hits like a sugar coated kick to the teeth, it’s unrelenting barrage of awesome thrash riffage and Jourgensen ranting™ only dissolves for the final track, Khyber Pass, an atmospheric slow burner, something that you don’t hear very often on a Ministry album.

I find it very difficult to draw criticisms against this one, the lyrical content is very similar throughout which may get the band labelled as a bit of a one trick pony but there is enough musical variation to let this pass and besides, it’s a damn good trick. Gang Green is possibly the only weaker song on the album as it plods on a bit too long for what is essentially a ‘joke’ track but even that still has its moments.

It’s going to take an unbelievably awesome year for this not to make my top 15 come December and I’d highly recommend this to anyone who likes Ministry, industrial music, thrash or just plain hates the Bush administration. A fantastic outing from the band and one that has rekindled my dissipating interest in one of the true gems of the genre.

Killing Songs :
Standouts are Yellow Cake, The Great Satan and Khyber Pass
Al quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Ministry that we have reviewed:
Ministry - From Beer to Eternity reviewed by Goat and quoted 60 / 100
Ministry - Relapse reviewed by Goat and quoted 70 / 100
Ministry - Psalm 69 reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
Ministry - Filth Pig reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Ministry - Cover Up reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
To see all 9 reviews click here
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