There’s no telling just how many artists owe an aspect of their identity to Ministry and the revolutionary heavy industrial sound they helped cultivate through the '80’s and '90’s. Founded in Chicago in the early eighties by singer/songwriter Al Jourgensen, Ministry have seen quite a few phases of evolution throughout their career. Within the same 10 year span, they found themselves opening for the Police as a synth pop/new wave sensation, and just a few short years later, labeled as one of the more subversive metal bands your parents didn’t want you to hear.
Ministry only really appeared on the heavy metal radar in 1992 with their album Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs, which featured the song and video “N.W.O” which stands as one of the most scathing criticisms of the George H.W Bush administration and Gulf War that pop culture had to offer. Before that time, Ministry had much more in common with new wave bands like Depeche Mode or Tears For Fears than anything remotely like the industrial sound with which they’d later become synonymous.
While Al Jourgensen’s best work in Ministry is likely behind him, the band continues to soar above many comparable acts in terms of both relevance and originality. Even with their latest album, From Beer to Eternity, consisting mostly of somewhat recycled themes from previous albums, the band’s offensively confident, indulgent style shines through enough to make it a fitting addition to their catalog. See Ministry live at the Theatre of the Living Arts May 13, along with fellow industrial rockers Laibach.