About time, too. Ministry was on course to be written off as a murky metal band. With Animositisomina ("animosity" slightly manicured and mirrored, hence twice the hate), Al Jourgenson and Paul Baker have once again harnessed the rigid rage of their unrelenting mechanisms to generate grinding riffs and galloping percussion, delivering a torrent of impact wounds with brutal ProTools precision. Re-injecting punishing bite into the band's vitriolic bark, Animositisomina is Ministry's finest hour in a decade -- and the first album to achieve near the power of their live show since the group's 1992 benchmark, Psalm 69.
Much of Animositisomina echoes the structured shards of Psalm 69's scrap heap pummel, though it's not as sample-slathered. On a couple tracks, the newfound melodicism of Jourgenson's cavernous wail imagines a never-realized Lollapalooza jam with Jane's Addiction. But as much as Animositisomina echoes '92, it also recalls 1988 (in the Land of Rape & Honey-era assault-rifle splatter of its percussion) and 1978 (thanks to a faithful but frenetic cover of Magazine's "The Light Pours Out of Me" and the creeping Ian Curtis-like moans of "Shove").
With Animositisomina, the prophets of industrial metal have instilled renewed faith in all followers.
Ministry plays EarthLink Live Sun., May 11