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Ministry Brings Madness And Mayhem To Bristol With Chelsea Wolfe

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Band Photo: Ministry (?)

With over thirty years of music, drugs and resistance under their belts, industrial pioneers Ministry, led by charismatic and enigmatic frontman Al Jourgensen, have accumilated a catalogue of a quality the likes of which most bands would kill for. They have never been one to rest on their laurels however and their live shows are very much in the moment, both in terms of their music and the general climate the world finds itself in. With their first album in six years, "AmeriKKKant" out now, the band once again has a lot to say. Donald Trump fans, stop reading now!

Opening the initial shows on their trek across the United Kingdom is singer songwriter, Chelsea Wolfe. I had heard much about her but not her music, which was introduced to me with the visceral opening number, "Carrion Flowers." Wolfe's music is powerful, haunting, reminiscent of several but all of its own.

Cloaked in darkness, Chelsea and her band continued to promote latest album, "Hiss Spun" by performing such new songs as "Spun," "Vex" and "16 Psyche," they received a very warm reception from a crowd who expect to see the unexpected and unconventional, given the headliners. Some older compositions such as "Dragged Out," "Demons" and "Feral Love" were also brought out, before closing with another song from the latest release, this time, "Scrape." Chelsea Wolfe is a law unto herself, stirring up images of Siouxsie Sioux, Kate Bush and Bjork, trapped together in an iron maiden. A true artist who must be heard to be believed.

At the stroke of half past nine, Ministry, who I first saw ten years previously on their "farewell" tour, took to the stage in all the multi media madness that has become their trademark, beginning with the song, "Twilight Zone," just one of many from "AmeriKKKant." I've previously described a Ministry show as a virtual similulator of how it must be to completely lose one's mind and that was just as true tonight, as the imagery and soundbites from the show which gave the song its name was mixed with footage and quotes from America's most divisive commander in chief in recent history.

From then on, Trump took shot after shot from Jourgensen, almost literally in the song, "Punch In The Face," while "Victims Of A Clown" and "We're Tired Of It" also delivered scathing critiques of the man who couldn't even sell a stone cold stunner. All in all, Ministry performed no less than seven of the nine tracks from "AmeriKKKant," including the interlude, "TV5/4chan," though their old favourite target George W. Bush was still on the receiving end of some knocks from Uncle Al, this time from the "Rio Grande Blood" album, namely in the forms of the title track, "Señor Peligro," a condemnation of American involvement in Venezuela and the 9/11 truther anthem, "LiesLiesLies."

As expected though, Ministry dedicated the final third of their set to old favourites and classics, beginning with "Just One Fix," heroin's most honest love song from the legendary, "Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs" album, from which they immediately returned to for "N.W.O.," an audible and in the case of a live setting, visual summary of Earth in chaos. "Thieves" and "So What," unquestionably two of Ministry's absolute best anthems then filled the hall with bedlam and movement, before an encore consisting of "Psalm 69," delivered as only as Al Jourgensen can, like a sermon that the church would rather you not hear, before "Bad Blood" from "Dark Side of the Spoon" capped off an unforgettable evening of protest and metal. "Refuse/Resist" may be Sepultura's mantra, but it sums up Ministry just as well.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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