Ministry Returns With Live Album On New Label

Pioneering industrial rock act Ministry will issue the live disc "Sphinctour" March 19 as the first release under a new deal with Sanctuary Records. A companion home video release on DVD and VHS is du

Pioneering industrial rock act Ministry will issue the live disc "Sphinctour" March 19 as the first release under a new deal with Sanctuary Records. A companion home video release on DVD and VHS is due April 9, and a new studio album, dubbed "Animositisomina," is due later this year.

Recorded at various shows during the band's 11-country 1996 tour, the "Sphinctour" collects 13 tracks, including such well-known songs as "N.W.O." and "Psalm 69." Along with Dolby Digital Stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound mixes, the DVD will also feature two additional tracks, "Stigmata" and "So What."

Unlike most high-tech home videos, footage for the DVD/VHS release was shot with one hi-8mm camera by filmmakers Jeffrey Kinart and Doug Freel, and captures what Ministry mainstays Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker feel is the essence of the band.

"Trainwreck is the perfect description," Barker said in a statement. "Some nights we were playing crazy shows in small places, and sometimes we were playing festivals in front of 40,000 people. The music has to stay constant, so how do you truly document the tour? We didn't want to glamorize the band too much on 'Sphinctour.' Sometimes you are pissed-off, sad, or hung over just before you go onstage. This is what it felt like on the entire course of that tour, and what you had to do to make it through one night."

"Seriously, there was a lot of tension and tough times on that tour," Jourgensen added. "Going through Europe at times felt like World War I and somebody was putting mustard gas on us. But we played those gigs like medleys. We just hammered out one song after another."

In addition to vocalist Jourgensen and multi-instrumentalist Barker, the Ministry lineup on the '96 tour was rounded out by guitarists Louie Svitek (Mind Funk) and Zlatko Hukic (aka Marz), sampler Duane Burford, and drummer Rey Washam (Tad, Rapeman, Scratch Acid). Marz is now signed to Korn's Elementree label as a solo artist.

Ministry plans to support the live releases with a summer headlining trek which may again be filmed. "I'm really looking forward to going back on tour," Jourgensen said "I'm starting to really enjoy these Kodak moments." Dates for the tour have not yet been confirmed.

For now, the group is in the studio working on the new studio album. "It's going to be called 'Animositisomina,'" Jourgensen said. "It's the word 'animosity' spelled forwards and backwards, minus the 'y.' It's double the hatred and double the time on my hands..." It will be the 10th Ministry studio album, and the follow-up to 1999's Warner Bros. release "The Dark Side of the Spoon." That set debuted at No. 92 on The Billboard 200.

Here is the "Sphinctour" CD track list:

"Psalm 69" (recorded at Elysee Montmarte, Paris)
"Crumbs" (recorded at Congresscenter, Stuttgart, Germany)
"Reload" (recorded at Convention Center, Albuquerque, N.M.)
"Filth Pig" (recorded at Varsity Arena, Toronto)
"Just 1 Fix" (recorded at Aragon, Chicago)
"N.W.O." (recorded at Palladium, Los Angeles)
"Hero" (recorded at Gaswerk, Hamburg)
"Thieves" (recorded at Mercer Arena, Seattle)
"Scarecrow" (recorded at Jesolo Beach Festival, Venice, Italy)
"Lava" (recorded at Dour Festival, Brussels)
"The Fall" (recorded at Brixton Academy, London)

Here are the "Sphinctour" DVD-exclusive tracks:

"So What" (recorded at the Warfield Theater, San Francisco)
"Stigmata" (recorded at Roseland, New York)