The problem with being one of the heaviest bands on the planet (non-Swedish, death-metal division) is that once you’ve made it to the top of the misty mountain, there’s nothing left to destroy. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, Ministry fused precise guitar thrash with distorted samples, military-time drum loops and unrelenting distorted vocals. But the group seemed to lose its way shortly after its commercial breakthrough, taking years to record follow-ups that just went through the mechanical motions.

However, getting dropped from Warner Bros. and watching industrial rock become a sad parody of itself while nü-metal goons pilfered its riffs must have given Al Jourgensen and company a wake-up call, because Animositisomina rages with renewed vigor. Ministry mixes its guitar chords so thoroughly that they become percussive, and it creates an off-balance atmosphere by making sure that no components quite fit in the same time signature. The foreboding feel eventually becomes oppressive, but it’s good to see Ministry getting back to putting some heart into its hate.

Categories: Music