Dark Side Reviews
This one was sent by Verne:
Dark Side is musically somewhere between Psalm 69 and A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste, - .of course there is very little chance that Ministry will ever again sound like their Twitch or In Sympathy recordings. The guitars on this album are as deep and heavy as on their Filth Pig album but the tempo is more upbeat (if you could use that word to describe Minstry). Though Al and Paul are pretty much set in their ways, they did manage to throw in some fresh ideas. The banjo and sax in Nursing Home make for one of the first hillbilly industrial jazz songs. And even stranger, Minstry uses some standard blues rock guitar riffs on this album esoecially in "Step" and "10/10". Ministry has an interesting mix between electronic industrial and more traditional hard rock or metal sounds. Where Filth Pig may have leaned a bit too close to the metal spectrum for some, this album is more balanced to what fans expect of the band.
P. Colyette has posted a review that he wrote himself:
I believe that Ministry has changed their sound prematurely, because they had a hard sound in the Taste and Psalm69 cds. The sound was full power and craziness. Now with Filth Pig they change to for the most part to a heavy metal with a sound that few would appreciate because it's been done before. Now with the Spoon cd, it starts off with a strip down Ministry tec. sound. Which I could vibe off of. Bad Blood was a sound that should been where Ministry should took of at after Filth Pig. I'm from Chicago and I've listen to Ministry for over 15 years. In my opinion, I believe Al and Paul should cut back on the drugs and take their health and their music more seriously. They are the pioneers of this sound but they seems like they don't care anymore about the music like they use to. Don't get me wrong, I'm a life long fan. I thought they would be big time by now. They done a lot of great work from Cold Life to the 69, but they're slacking. I am hoping for something better next time.
Samuel Townsley, has sent me this review from
San Diego's Union-Tribune's "Night and Day" Section:
With its tongue-in-cheek nod to Pink Floyd's seminal "Dark Side of the Moon" album and reference to drug addiction, this nearly hour-long industrial cacophony is relentless. Along with Metallica, Ministry might be the smartest metal-sounding band around. Guitarist-vocalist Al Jourgensen knows that if it ain't broke, don't fix it, even though most of the band's material is by its very nature shattered and dissonant. Ministry sticks to what it does best: nihilism and alt-rock angst. From the opening track, "Supermanic Soul," to the closing cut, "10/10," Jourgensen and bassist Paul Barker, guitarist Louis Svitek and drummer Rey Washam crank up the volume. What is different on the new album is the slightly Middle Eastern flavor of tracks like "Nursing Home" and "Kaif," and the gallows humor laced through "Step." Ministry's theatrics and manic, all-or-nothing approach are an acquired taste. But the band's sense of experimental mischief can't help but rub off on you--whether you like it or not.The album was given 3 1/2 out of 4!
This one was sent to me by Christian Permin (written by Sandy Masuo)
With a title that sardonically flaunts main man Al Jourgensen's status as the William Burroughs of the rock world, you might expect Ministry's latest to be a wickedly confessional concept album. And while Dark Side of the Spoon brims with grim imagery and tales of harrowing angst that revolve around an addiction theme ("Bad Blood," "Supermanic Soul," "Whip or the Chain"), for the most part there's nothing on it we haven't heard before. Yet Spoon isn't entirely a retreat to the harsher ground that preceded the strangely mellow vibe of 1996's Filth Pig. Entwined with all the familiar gargling vocals and jagged edges are just enough subtle twists and turns to stir some wry intrigue into the mix. Several tracks are tinged with a psychedelic feel -- though it's more "eye of newt and toe of frog" than "incense and peppermints." "Whip or the Chain" escalates from a moody calm to a throbbing drone as foreboding as a bad trip, and "Vex and Siolence" opens crisply syncopated and spare but is soon suffused in an acid-drenched buzz. The seething stew of distorted vocals and rumbling rhythms that makes up "Eureka Pile" is spiked with pungent guitar lines and trilling Middle-Eastern-style backing vocals courtesy of Yvonne Gage. Elsewhere, oddly jazzed-up undercurrents and off-beat instrumentation surface. "Nursing Home" jolts into motion with fat, grating guitar riffs counterbalanced by placid banjo plucking and something that sounds uncomfortably like a dentist's drill. Eventually the track unravels into a bracing cacophony of clattering drums, squalling sax (wielded by Jourgensen himself) and grinding guitars that careens around the unflappable banjo. Even more startling than this free jazz flirtation is the swingy "Step," which opens like a warped Tijuana Brass striptease number, then degenerates into a train wreck of twisted metal guitars and anguished saxophone squawking-all without losing its rhythmic lilt. Engaging as these explorations are, they won't topple The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste or Psalm 69 from the pinnacle of Ministry's achievements, but they do suggest the group may find life beyond Dark Side of the Spoon. -- Sandy Masuo
Again, sent from Christian Permin
Ministry entered the studio in 1997, determined to make an album that would be a complete departure from their six previous releases. By the sound of it things didn't go quite the way they planned: After scrapping their initial demos, the band settled on nine new songs that feel more or less like a grand imitation of their own past efforts. From the lead-off "Supermanic Soul" -- a mélange of demonically hoarse vocals, steady drumbeats and distorted guitars -- to Goth-inspired numbers like "Kaif" and "Vex and Siolence," Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker (along with a roster of noise-loving studio cronies) have essentially regurgitated the same brand of gruff industrial rock they dropped on the mainstream during the late '80s and early '90s. When they try for more conceptual crunch pieces ("Step" is about a recovering addict who makes insincere apologies for his bad behavior -- a curious topic in light of Jourgensen's own well-publicized drug problems), the stammering vocals, heavy high-hats and greasy guitars make Minstry sound like a lesser Jesus Lizard or Butthole Surfers. "Eureka Pile" is the album's only moment of true vision, combining spoken word with erratic buzzes, chants and cymbal crashes to create an eerily dissonant mood piece. In the end, it's a shame to see a band that once helped pave the way for such neo-industrialists as Nine Inch Nails,Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie trade innovation for self-imitation. -Jeff Niesel, Sidewalk
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