Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: 9th March 2018
Genre: Industrial Rock/Metal
Latest release from Industrial giants Ministry requires absolutely no clues to signify how frontman Al Jourgensen is feeling these days. If you thought the Bush reign instigated some fire from Uncle Al, then have a gander at the track titles and artwork of AmeriKKKant. From first glance it’s clear this is just as much a statement then it is a piece of music, it’s a protest as it is an appeal, and its purpose seems to be focused on reflecting how many Americans must be feeling in 2018.
Often suckers for samples, album opener I Know Words is quite literally three minutes of not so flattering Donald Trump quotes coupled with some background filling samples and a basic tempo. The provocation is there, and it sets the scene for the rest of the record, but for me it does very little to connect musically.
Following tracks Twilight Zone and Victims of a Clown are signature mid-paced Ministry numbers, riddled with samples, a head nodding riff to lead the charge, and sporadic input from vocalist Jourgensen will likely be lapped up by many. The additional layers of theatrics, DJ scratching and sample effects provide a real attack on the senses, but with both coming in at 8 minutes long, after repeated listens I began to significantly lose focus and felt they really overstayed their welcome.
At three songs in, what initially seemed to be quite exciting about the record then started to tarnish it, intricate layers folded into one another suddenly became repetitive and overused. Whether you criticize a band for sticking to their laurels or for thinking outside the box is your call, but disappointingly, I found myself 20 minutes into a record with barely anything worth going back to. Victims of a Clown offers a 20 second blast of real pace and heaviness right at the death of the song, a cruel tease on what the band could provide on an album as volatile as this.
Thankfully, next track We’re Tired Of It is a much needed shift in pace, it’s quicker, bolder and so much more aggressive. This is exactly what I need from Ministry in 2018, the chainsaw sound matches how they seem to be feeling on AmeriKKKant and my expectations really began to bubble. Antifa is absolutely solid and Wargasm offers a booming chorus, perfect for the live environment. AmeriKKKant starts to rumble, but sadly falls back to the plodding wilderness that started the record as it heads to a finish on its final two tracks.
To summarize, AmeriKKKant is most certainly a record intended for provocation and reflection, and while it delivers on that front, it sadly sacrifices itself in other departments. Despite a sudden explosion in the middle, the rest of the record lacks bite, feels a bit ploddy and becomes tiresome after repeated listens.
Ministry are certainly still kings in the game, and it’s warming to see them back following their rumored break up after the passing of prominent guitarist Mike Saccia. AmeriKKKant is likely to please a lot of diehard fans, but disappointingly felt skippable far too often.
AmeriKKKant will be released worldwide via Nuclear Blast on 9th March 2018.
Recommended Track: We’re Tired Of It