January 13, 2001
How would you describe this, exactly? Metal with industrial strength? Or industrial with metal guitars? That's the beauty of "Psalm 69," it fuses the two genres so seemlessly, that fans of both genres (like me), have a match made in heaven. I love both "The Land Of Rape & Honey" and "The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste," but for some reason, I think this is my favorite of Al's work. It's darker, heavier and louder, and for those reasons it has just a slight edge as my favorite Ministry album. Guitars are like musical chainsaws, drums hit harder than a crowbar to the head, vocals are harsh enough to satisfy Skinny Puppy fans, and the mood is just as bleak as Metallica's "...And Justice For All." There's never a dull moment hear. Even the opening track, "N.W.O.," starts off with guitars that seem hell-bent on destruction with its irrate buzzsaw cuts aimed at your throat. With a ripping guitar chord, samples of then-president George Bush, screams that will make your ears bleed, and an incredibly angry danceable beat, one wonders why Ministry weren't bigger than their semi-underground status in the first place. There's no time for pondering though, as the next track, "Just One Fix," pummels the listener into a bloody pulp with an incredibly dark tone and one mean and ugly, powerful riff from hell (ala Slayer) that will leave you sprawled out on your floor twitching and begging for your mommy. With Gibby Haynes (of Butthole Surfers fame) on vocals, "Jesus Built My Hotrod" might be the coolest car song ever. While not as dark as the other songs, which might explain its college radio-hit fame, it's a blistering sonic assualt on all your senses that rages forth in a manic tempo rolling over everything in sight and never letting up. Another highlight is the title track. It's, again, dark and bleak, but just like all the other songs, it still has a fun element to it. Voice samples of "Praise Jesus" and a choir lead the way to a chorus that thrashes and bashes like you wouldn't believe; it's too bad Sunday church congregation wasn't this much fun in real life, or I might actually go. The instrumental "Corrosion" is like a tank--ready for war, sirens going off all around, destroying everything in sight, and leaving a path of destruction and mayhem with its sonic wrath--absolutely wonderful. Thrash-dance at its absolute finest, I say. Of course, "Psalm 69" as a whole is amazing. Every second is powerful and filled with visceral wrath waiting to explode at anyone or anything at the touch of the play button. Samples are brilliantly placed all over the chaotic industrial vocals and production, drums make you wanna dance and put your foot in the wall all at the same time, and guitars rip and shred like Filter and Spineshank can only dream of. "Psalm 69" is, like good techno, perfect--never a dull moment; never an out of place instrument, sample, or vocal; and you can never get enough of this stuff. This is exactly what the Terminator called for--a cold, heartless killing machine that only stops to reload before blowing you and everything within four miles up (which is exactly what you'd feel like if you turn this up loud enough). Forget Static-X, Spineshank, Marilyn Manson and Apartment 26--this is the real deal when it comes to industrial-metal, and it will never be topped. If you're into industrial or metal, or anything remotly close to it, for that matter, you need "Psalm 69." Gauranteed headache with every song. And in this case, that's a good thing.