I didn’t really know about this live album of Ministry’s until very recently. (Great title.) But the cover picture looks really familiar, probably because I saw the VHS tape in record stores…it was a perfect setup for them to have this in stores when their next album became a big hit and they were the penultimate band in the lineup of Lollapalooza.
I don’t expect much from live albums, but this is incredible. I can’t believe it’s not more popular…can’t believe I’m only recently finding out about it. At only six songs it’s a bit edited down from the concert where it was recorded, but it’s still a pretty full album as some of the tracks are quite long. It takes three songs from The Land Of Rape And Honey and three from The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste, the two albums that directly preceded this one. Five of those six were full hearts in their original form and, amazingly, they’re all full hearts here as well.
Beyond just picking good songs, what makes this live album work where so many fail? For one, there’s virtually no banter or crowd noise, no wanky guitar or drum solos, and where the songs do extend beyond their studio album length, it’s with energy and it’s tightly-knit. Ministry is very much a studio band but they were able to take all their samples and loops and precise rhythms into a live venue and only have it changed in a way that was rawer and more energetic. That comes through on this recording, and reminds me of Ministry shows from their Psalm 69 days.
You don’t get a ton more here than you would get from the two studio albums that provide the source material (though “Stigmata” gets a significant and worthy facelift), it’s just that it’s different (in a good way) and that the song selection mainlines some of their best, most energetic stuff right into your veins. Exactly what a live album should be. (Again, can’t believe they were doing this in 1990. So precocious.)
- The Missing –
- Deity –
- So What –
- Burning Inside –
- Thieves – Slams so hard.
- Stigmata –