[sic] Magazine

Ministry – Adidos… Putas Madres

To call Ministry a band is a vague concept. ‘Adios Putas’ is a snapshot of Ministry as was on their final tour, a compilation of their determinedly current mindset. For the wary, this album is a fierce 67 minutes of viciously performed and sonically immaculate semi-metal, the bastard offspring of industrial which Ministry came from two decades, and the evolutionary result: an angry, articulately furious beast that rages against a world gone world, a world in a state of Koyaanisqatsi: constant war, a world which has brutalised its inhabitants into a state of unwilling defensiveness. These songs are a shield, a rant, and a complaint.

With Bush now out of office, Ministry it seems, have spent themselves: with the age of misrule over, these songs to an extent seem already obsolete. But whilst being of their time, the songs also recognise the eternal truth of reality: there will always be idiots at the wheel and in the driving seat of power.

‘Adios’ is no nostalgic look back. There’s not one song here that appears on either of Ministry’s previous live sets (the glorious, definitive ‘In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up’, the car crash brilliance of ‘Sphinctour’). The line up of the group has evolved completely beyond the glory years with Al Jourgenson as the sole constant. I don’t know who’s in Ministry anymore, and I don’t really care. Whatever sound there is in the maelstrom, the constant is the consistency of spirit and vision. When I saw them in 2003 they were brilliant and boring, and there were enough members for me to mistake Ministry then for a platoon on patrol, some kind of metal assault squad storming the embassy of a foreign nation to get the hostages out.

Al Jourgenson, the sole constant in Ministry, has steered his way to eleven albums in six years, no artistically redundant old age, and this is Ministry’s grand finale: a snapshot of Ministry’s final tour, a selection of thirteen songs taken from their end years. These songs are certainly not quite the same techno-metal hybrid that made Ministry once, briefly, a household name. But they are just as good: superior, sonic fury. Unlike most bands that slow down and mellow out in age Ministry have gone completely the other way. As if, in the final strait they sped up and intensified in a final burst of effort before they disappeared. Maybe forever.

‘Adios Putas’ is a fine record: Ministry an under appreciated creature in the mindscape that were slowly becoming marginal in an age of increasing optimism. If this is the final Ministry record, then I suppose it is a fitting farewell. Whilst, sadly, it does not contain the entirety of the final setlist (the apocalyptic version of ‘What A Wonderful World’ is absent, for a start), it certainly seems to be a worthy epitaph. Ladies And Gentlemen, Ministry have left the building. Now we get to live in the wreckage.



For more from Mark please visit The Mark Reed website