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Ministry - "Adios...Puta Madres" (CD)

Ministry - "Adios...Puta Madres" CD cover image

"Adios...Puta Madres" track listing:

1. Let's Go
2. Watch Yourself
3. Life Is Good
4. The Dick Song
5. The Last Sucker
6. No W
7. Waiting
8. Worthless
9. Wrong
10. Rio Grande Blood
11. Senor Peligro
12. Lieslieslies
13. Khyber Pass

Reviewed by on April 28, 2009

"Jourgensen has always been one to use his middle finger at a whimsy and toward anyone, and this album is no different."

Ministry leader Al Jourgensen officially ended Ministry in the early part of 2008, and the last hurrah was the “C U LaTour” Tour. The live album “Adios… Puta Madres” chronicles both that tour and serves as a farewell, as it is Ministry’s last official album.

The music throughout is energetic and focused, with Jourgensen backed up on the tour and on this album by some Metal All-Stars, including Tommy Victor (Prong), Tony Campos (Static X), Sin Quirin (RevCo), John Bechdel (Killing Joke) and Aaron Rossi (Prong). These guys are all presumably Ministry fans, and they play like it, as each part sounds inspired. Rossi’s drums in particular are well done, as it is easy to picture him knocking the drum kit over from his excitement.

In a vacuum the music is pretty good. It is vintage Ministry that has been slightly updated. The songs still feature the industrial elements from Ministry’s early years, but they mix in some sludge elements as well. The songs are strong compositions and played tightly, and the production is clean and crisp.

However, this album should have been much more. As evidenced by the need to add shows in various cities throughout the “C U LaTour” Tour, the end of Ministry after more than 20 years is not something the fans take lightly. But this album has songs only from Ministry’s last three albums, which form a trilogy of albums that bash George W. Bush almost exclusively. Furthermore, the songs on “Adios” appear in the exact same order as they do on the studio albums.

Combine that with the excellent production, and this plays more like an incomplete best-of album than the final live farewell. A live album shouldn’t sound almost like the studio, but this one does. Even the canned elements for songs that go beyond the instruments on stage sound perfect. All the spontaneity of a live performance is absent. Live albums should also have crowd noise, of which this has effectively none. There is the obligatory cheering between each song, but that’s it. Furthermore, there are no between-song comments from the band, save a couple three word introductions. No remarks about the last tour, about Jourgensen’s political bent, just the songs. It doesn’t sound like the music is live at all.

The overtly political nature of the music is almost overwhelming. Jourgensen was always open about his dislike for George W. Bush, but this album has songs that only bash Bush, and they aren’t subtle. Politics are a large part of Ministry’s music, but there is so much more to the music too. It is a shame that this album focuses only on the overly politicized end-game of Ministry’s career.

Jourgensen has always been one to use his middle finger at a whimsy and toward anyone, and this album is no different. During the tour through the summer of 2008, it looked increasingly likely that Barack Obama would win the White House. The idea for this album seems to be that Jourgensen wanted to remind everyone how much he hated Bush and what effect that had on getting Bush’s party out of the Presidency. Even the title of the album, “Adios… Puta Madres,” has a double meaning.

The promotional materials for the album talk about Jourgensen’s trademark Stetson and mic stand, the relentless strobe lights, and the almost rave-like frenzied excitement of the crowd. Unfortunately the only thing that is clearly apparent on “Adios” is Jourgensen’s hate for Bush, and not the fans’ love for Ministry’s 21 years of fantastic metal music.

Highs: The music itself sounds great.

Lows: The album is just another political statement, and not a fitting closure to Ministry’s career.

Bottom line: Unless you have to own every Ministry album, avoid this one.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)