Although it's impossible to capture on disk the bone-rattling ferocity of a live Ministry performance, Sphinctour comes close.
Although it's impossible to capture on disk the bone-rattling ferocity of a live Ministry performance, Sphinctour comes close. Recorded during the band's 1996 world tour, the not-so-subtly titled Sphinctour rips through five songs each from the band's Psalm 69 and Filth Pig albums, plus the classic "Thieves" thrown in for the old-school fans. The best moments come from Psalm 69, in particular "N.W.O.," a brutal amalgamation of menacing guitars, riotous samples, and pounding rhythms. The sampled sirens alone seem to signal a nuclear meltdown, while frontman Al Jourgensen's growl unleashes the hounds of hell. It's enough to make most of today's nu-metal acts run for cover. While generally weaker, the Filth Pig material sprinkles in surprisingly restrained touches of piano, harmonica, and guitar to offset the incessant jackhammer beats. Sphinctour reaffirms Jourgensen and Paul Barker as premier purveyors of industrial rage and should tide fans over until the band's next studio release.—JDF