Sound — 9
New era Ministry is Heavy. Tommy Victor and Sin Quirin work together with Al to create some heavy heavy beats, and this CD is the perfect showcase for them. I have a dodgy CD player and I haven't managed to get the CD onto my computer yet so I can't really judge the sound really, apart from to say it kills! There's the masterful guitar playing and deadly formula of Tommy and Sin, completely flawless bass by Static-X's Tony Campos, sublime drumming by Prong's Aaron Rossi and John Bechdel on keyboards. John Bechdel actually adds quite a lot more keyboarding to the songs, and it makes it feel like old-school Ministry (Twitch era!)! Which is never a bad thing! Of course, there's Al Jourgensen on growly vocals, and as always, he kills. Age has definately caught up with him - some of the singing isn't quite as high as on the album recordings. Never the less, he sounds pissed. Just how we like him. I read somewhere that the album had been over-dubbed in a studio, but I seriously can't tell for about 99% of the album. And anyway, who cares? As long as it sounds awesome, and... It Does! Aaron Rossi must be praised for his drumming, it has to be said. He adds just a little more to the original songs with his insane pumping. Maybe Tony's bass could have been brought out a little but you can't win everything with a live album.
Lyrics — 9
Taking songs from the Bush Trilogy, there isn't going to be much variation lyrics-wise. Actually, not everything is about Bush. But even the songs that are exclusively about the moron (Last Sucker, No W) kick ass just the same. He's spot on as far as lyrics are concerned. There's also an element of pessimism in Al's voice, which makes some of the songs quite touching. You don't often get to hear a metal legend sing passionately about something that isn't themselves of Satan, so now's your chance. There's not a terribly large variety of singing techniques to be heard but who cares? He isn't whining like James Hetfield, which we should be thankful for. Overall though, his vocals are kick ass and are what you should expect from Al Jourgensen. Brandon C Bell turns up for some of the songs (doesn't say which ones, you can't tell really) which is quite cool! The more the merrier as they say!
Overall Impression — 10
Their heaviest and in my eyes their best live album also serves as a fairly good 'greatest hits' album for people new to Ministry. Obviously there's some great tracks missing, (No Glory, Fear is Big Business) but a newcomer to Ministry should be turned on enough to go out and buy the rest of the Bush trilogy and beyond! The most impressive songs without a doubt are: All 'Last Sucker' songs - Played to perfection, Aaron Rossi's drumming battling against Tommy, Tony and Sin's guitars, with Al running about in the middle, killing anyone regardless. Waiting - Surprised me really, was never what I considered a 'hit' but live it just sounds untouchable. Senor Peligro - Tight guitars. Faultless. Heavy. Brutal. The best Anti-Bush song by far. Khyber Pass - Again, never really jumped out at me, and I didn't think much of it live, but on here it seems a perfect way to end the album. Every songs f--king owns to be really honest. There's not a bad song on the album. Worthless may hurt your head after a bit, it is a little harsh, but that still kicks musical ass. The best thing about this album is that it was recorded at the venue I saw them at! How kickass is that! Of course, I still haven't totally digested this album, but I'm sure I'd buy it again. Thanks Al and Ministry! Adios Amigos!