The Jourgensen juggernaut made its way to the Aztec Theatre on Sunday night. Ministry's eccentric vocalist and industrial metal pioneer "Uncle" Al Jourgensen and his bandmates ended their U.S. tour approximately four months prior to the release of an album that's already finished but waiting for the right time to drop.
The record almost never made it to the studio in the first place.
The band performed what seemed like a lightning-quick, at least in concert terms, 12 songs in less than an hour, Ministry's nearly three decades of metal that spawned the likes of Nine Inch Nails filled the Aztec's multiple levels. Two of those tracks were unveiled by Jourgensen as being set to appear on the March 2018 release of AmeriKKKant, a disc the singer vowed in 2013 would never be made following the 2012 death of guitarist Mike Scaccia.
But as Jourgensen discussed with AXS last year when his latest solo project Surgical Meth Machine was unleashed, the circumstances for a new record simply weren't right or ripe at that time (listen here). And as his bandmates revealed prior to taking the stage (watch here), the new effort will be Ministry's first since signing with Nuclear Blast Records. Then they went out and unveiled a pair of forthcoming tracks: the anti-White supremacist "Antifa," which featured a pair of women covered in Muslim-type attire carrying black and white flags, and "Wargasm" (AXS footage segueing into the older tune "Bad Blood" here).
As if guitarists Sin Quirin and El Paso native Cesar Soto, along with Soulfly and Static-X bassist Tony Campos, keyboardist John Bechdel, new drummer Derek Abrams and a turntable player accompanying Jourgensen on stage wasn't enough, a pair of white blow-up "likenesses" of President Donald Trump adorned with the anti-Nazi symbol made their presence felt. Video images of Trump wearing makeup, and other political stances, mixed with tunes such as opener "Punch in the Face," "Rio Grande Blood," "So What," and classic mainstay "New World Order (N.W.O.)." Watch AXS' footage of back-to-back oldies "Just One Fix" and "Thieves" below (setlist in the slideshow).
For the lone encore of Ministry's first Alamo City visit since 2008, Jourgensen whipped out a Devo cover that wasn't "Whip It" but rather the more underrated "Gates of Steel" -- another tune that had the pits circling as much as they could within the theater's somewhat confined general-admission area.
With albums such as Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs and The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste, Jourgensen created an industrial metal machine in the late '80s that resonates with that movement to this day even though bands of that scene may not be as frequent as other genres. The leader of other outfits such as Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters, Revolting Cocks and Lard demonstrated he has just as much inner fire now as back in the day. It helps that his mates each have their own renowned pedigrees.
If AmeriKKKant is any indication, Jourgensen is likely to continue showing he can can can. Even if it ends up being another nine years before he returns.