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Rio Grande Blood

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Album Review

Outraged, out of control, and a little bit out of ideas, Ministry unleashes their second attack on President George W. Bush with Rio Grande Blood, number two in Al Jourgensen's promised Bush-hating trilogy, which when finished will bring his Ministry project to a close. The manipulated Bush samples and hate-filled revolution lyrics utilized on 2004's great Houses of the Molé are back, and if there's an easy way to differentiate that album from what is essentially Molé, Pt. 2, it's the contribution Prong guitarist Tommy Victor makes to this edition of Ministry, giving Rio Grande Blood a tauter crunch, a sharper thrash. Victor's influence extends past the tracks he appears on, as evidenced by the opening title track, which finds Jourgensen creating a Prong-ish juggernaut on his lonesome. While lumbering numbers like "Fear (Is Big Business)" and "Yellow Cake" will do little to attract new fans — and the reappearance of the Rantology compilation's "The Great Satan" feels like a cheat — there's plenty of that smart, topical bile that's uniquely Jourgensen to steady the album. Vicious thrash-punk of the highest order, "Lieslieslies" isn't afraid to question the "truth" about 9/11 and the way "Gangreen" parodies the Marines' cry of "Ooh-rah!" makes it a charming moment for pipe-bomb revolutionaries. If they happened to skip the last full-length, Ministry fanatics would do well to start here and then work their way up to the superior Houses of the Molé. Save a couple brilliant tracks, this is just the usual "satisfying follow-up."

Customer Reviews


Rio Grande Blood is a definitive addition to any collection of music. Not just for Ministry fans-- this CD contains eleven tracks of fury that kick off initally with an NBC-station ID-like jingle that is basically a warning sign before a musical nuclear attack. The track "Rio Grande Blood" kicks off the CD as a call to war against the Bush administration, as well as peoples' ignorance to who the country's true enemies are. From this point forward, the listener is pummled with some of the sickest riffage and aggression put to a recording device. Imagine a dot matrix printer spitting out page after page of government documents crucifying the Bush administrations' politics as if its internal mechanics sound like double kick drum fury with the explosive sounds of Marshall stacks as opposed to plastic gears. The CD is a call to arms. Main Ministry frontman/songwriter Al Jourgensen has recorded a musical history lesson that also serves as a blatant reminder of how history has been repeating itself the past six years with no hope of change in sight. "Fear (Is Big Business)" should be playing in every high school and university classroom as students enter their morning classes. The CD serves not only as an awesome, groundbreaking soundscape of perfectly orchestrated industrial thrash metal, but is also one of the most outspoken, and gloriously conceived works of musical art to fall upon this listener's ears in a great while. It's a definitive masterpiece of aggression, politics and musical carnage that must be heard to be appreciated. The album's relevance will only grow in time. Don't look back on it later. Experience it now. For the cost of three gallons of gasoline your mind can be challenged and your body energized with a new found anger.

If it feels good, believe it?

An album review is useless unless you know where your tastes differ from the review writer's. To point, my favorite ministry albums are Twitch, TLORAH, TMIATTT, and Dark Side of the Spoon. I'm also a fan of several of the side projects including 10,000 Homo DJs (I love the last two songs on that EP). It should be apparent that my taste tends to run more to the "industrial" side of ministry and less to the "metal." For instance, I enjoyed some of the tracks on Psalm 69 like NWO and Scarecrow. Unlike some others, I think Dark Side of the Spoon was an absolutely FANTASTIC album: there isn't a track on there I don't like. Given all that, there are only a few tracks on Rio Grande Blood that I really like, while most pass as listenable, and a few seem so lyrically immature as to demand skipping them. Musically, my personal favorite is Yellow Cake. Khyber Pass also stands out musically. Palestina also works in a classic ministry fashion. On the other hand, a few of the tracks fall short: Fear (Is Big Business) for example feels a bit like a failed Godflesh track... the tremolo in the end of each riff strikes me as just a tad too cheesy. Senor Peligro's main riff doesn't work for me and comes across more as a futureanthem for a WWF pay per view event. Worse still, Gangreen and Sgt. Major Redux feel like pointless filler. I also didn't enjoy the metal sylings of "The Great Satan" Remix. <SoapBox> Worst of all is probably the track "Lies Lies Lies." Firstly, it is not particularly good from a musical standpoint. Secondly, its ponderings on the world trade center collapse being a US government cover-up, using samples from the recent documentary with the same premise, hits a bit too close to "If it appeals to your sense of outrage then believe it" insanity than I can stand. Bush can be bashed on plenty of things, why resort to such fantasy? Its that type of intellectual submission to emotional convenience that leads to so many problems in the mid-east to begin with. This track is just too plain embarrasing to listen to. Its almost as immature and sickening as what Ogre did with his decapitation sketch during the Greater Wrong of the Right Tour.</SoapBox> So in conclusion I would recommend that if you share my musical taste when it comes to Ministry, save some money and buy the following tracks: "Yellow Cake" "Palestina" "Khyber Pass" "Rio Grande Blood" if you don't mind a bit of the more Psalm 69 style sample based metal If you liked Jesus Built My Hotrod and TV Song (not a big fan here) you might enjoy Fear (Is Big Business). Personally I preferred the William S Burroughs sample songs from the JBMH era and would love to here more like that. Also, if you hate moderately lengthed customer reviews, you will also not enjoy this review very much. Perhaps I should have put that at the beginning?

Insanely good!

Inline with the Psalm 69, Mind is A Terrible Thing To Taste Albums Def. will rank up there with those albums. Wsnt too crazy with the newer stuff they have been releasing but this one is a different beast. \m/


Formed: 1981 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Until Nine Inch Nails crossed over to the mainstream, Ministry did more than any other band to popularize industrial dance music, injecting large doses of punky, over-the-top aggression and roaring heavy metal guitar riffs that helped their music find favor with metal and alternative audiences outside of industrial's cult fan base. That's not to say Ministry had a commercial or generally accessible sound: they were unremittingly intense, abrasive, pounding, and repetitive, and not always guitar-oriented...
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