Album Review: Ministry, 'Relapse'

66 Billboard Rating

MINISTRY
"Relapse"
Producer: Al Jourgensen
AFM/13th Planet
Release Date: March 27

"Relapse" is the first new Ministry album since 2007's "The Last Sucker," but more important, it's the band's first since Al Jourgensen suffered a near-death experience in 2010 as the result of a ruptured ulcer. You can hear a kind of renewed vigor throughout this furious industrial-metal workout, as though glimpsing the end had inspired Ministry's mastermind to tell us what he really thinks -- ha, ha, ha -- about politicians ("Kleptocracy"), Osama bin Laden ("Double Tap") and the Wall Street barons whose indiscretions gave rise to the Occupy movement Jourgensen supports ("99 Percenters"). What you don't get much of on "Relapse" is the cracked melodicism that drove such semi-hits as "The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste" (1989) and "Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs" (1992) to unlikely crossover success. While Jourgensen seems re-engaged with his music, he's also more disinterested than ever in the wider pop culture.

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