In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up (Live)

CD Review by Vincent Festa


 
Around the time of "The Land Of Rape And Honey" and "The Mind Is A
Terrible Thing To Taste", Ministry released their live release called "In
Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up", which was part of the Mind tour.
This is possibly the best of Ministry's releases, and it is one of the
most mind-blowing and aggressive live industrial show ever released.
 
You'll notice here that the show features an all-star cast. Of course you
have Ministry: Al Jourgensen, Paul Barker, and members Chris Connelly and
Bill Rieflin. You also have Pigface frontman Martin Atkins, and Skinny
Puppy's frontman Nivek Ogre, and help from former Front Line Assembly
teammate Michael Balsh. (Included in the video and listed but not on
the disc is Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedy's fame.) 6 songs are covered from
these two albums (8 in the video) and most of the sound quality makes this
CD a blow-out performance, since the album sounds like it was played
manually with real drums and guitars and very little electronics and
keyboards.
 
Ministry gets right to the point and plays the first track, "The Missing",
which starts off with a fast and killer drum start thanks to Rieflin and
Atkins. The live version sounds better, fuller, and more aggresive than
on "Land Of Rape And Honey". Jourgensen starts ripping the scene apart
with his tough vocals and the overall speed of this song is fast-paced and
hard and may cause certain listeners to kill harder. This track gears up
the listener as to what to expect later on.
 
"The Diety" works and sounds the same way as "The Missing", only it starts
off right with matching guitars. Again, Jourgensen's vocals makes the
entire song lively and some techniques are reminiscent of "The Missing".
Same aggresion, same mood, same time length, though. Very exciting song,
though.
 
Now comes "So What", and this time Chris Connelly is up at bat and is now
lead vocalist for this one song. (In the video, he scores BIG points for
donning a full suit.) This song starts easy with nice guitar work and some
interesting samples from a documentary on juvenile delinquency (which is
what the song is about) with light drumming. It waits patienly on the
listener and all of a sudden out of nowhere it explodes into a bevy of
disastorous sounds. It dies down in time for Connelly to deliver such
massive vocals, often terrorizing, menacing, and evil protest. It explodes
again with a very hard guitar and drum pattern and dies down to more
samples and lighter drums and guitars, only to explode again, with more
lyrics from Connelly, and in the next verse, with Jourgensen. In the end,
Connelly lashes out with the final vocals and all is said and done in a
very dramatic fashion. This version is longer than the album version with
an extra chorus and ends in mellow baselines.
 
"Burning Inside" opens up in suspense as if a train is coming towards your
way, closing towards until when it finally passes by with chants and yells
and raging guitars, the standout feature of this song. The lyrics are top
notch here, very visualistic and diverse, and Jourgensen does it in a
little less agressive fashion. Still, the vocals sound rugged and
experiencing. It contains few samples and the track overall is exicitingly
heart-racing as it speeds by. Overall, the guitars sound meaner and more
sinister this time around apart from the "Mind" version.
 
Here is a track that mosh enthusiasts will enjoy: "Thieves". Guitar work
is built as if it was a group protest march, with help of vocals. Then it
grows with the help of the drums. The song includes samples which lead
into an all-out stomp-fest, having all instruments never to stop until the
next verse. The vocals here are very nice and help with the action of the
song itself. Very similar to the extended version rom the single.
 
Then comes the mother of all Ministry songs, which is the last song on the
CD version: "Stigmata". It starts with a suspenseful intro, as if someone
is about to be framed, then comes the drums to help start walking, then it
all adds up into a volley of shots until Jourgensen gets underway with
the vocals, then the guitars explode out of nowhere and start the chase.
Drums and little use of samplers help intoduce each verse, as Jourgensen's
beginning lyrics act if like he knows something you don't. Later on the
lyrics are stunnig with torture and painful infliction and after the last
verse, the guitars and drums mix with each other to give the listener a
very harsh f*ck in the head. That's not all. More sustaining shouts and
yells later, the whole track goes crazy with Jourgensen over and over
again with inquisitive lines and it only goes so far as to having
Jourgensen's vocals sound like they're being carried on until the moment
where the victim gets ripped apart and brutally beaten when the drums and
guitars and electronics mix and repeat over again at their loudest. Al
curses out everyone from religious figures, minories, and world figures in
a very violent manner, keeps repeating, and declaring that "they tell me
nothing but lies", then it ends as if an entire forest or jet plane,
train, or engine is up in flames and burning miserably, dying down to just
one guitar note, and ends with the album ending. This version sounds
different as if it was remade and sounds less electronic, but more
abrasive. And what a hell of a way to close an album. Unfortunately, it is
way to short and I felt that "Breathe" and "Land Of Rape And Honey", along
with Jello's flag pledge should've been included. The entire version is on
video, though.
 
Overall, this was a live release, so all songs sound like they were
remade, and again, the tracks sound like they stick true to mostly guitars
and drums. The versions here are way more aggressive to their album
versions and is possibly the most exciting and most intense Ministry
release. Without a doubt, this is a must have for any Ministry fan, or
someone who wants that "rock-feel" in a live release. All in all, very
deadly.
 
After the tour, Al and Ogre "fell-out" and Ogre is now working with Martin
Atkins more, Skinny Puppy ended, Jello records a side project with
Jourgensen and Barker (titled Lard), Bill Rieflin and Chris Connelly take
different directions, and of course, Ministry is still alive. As if there
were any fond memories of this tour, Paul Barker quotes: "very few".
 
overall: 10/10

 


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