Political and powerful
With their second album since the death of guitarist Mike Scaccia, and the first one without his talents as 2013s From Beer to Eternity was recorded before his death, Ministry has given the world AmeriKKKant. It’s an incredibly politically charged album, with song names like “Wargasm” and “Antifa.” This isn’t strange territory for the band however as they released a three-part Anti-George Bush trilogy in the early 2000s. Though maybe not Ministry’s best album, AmeriKKKant has some great aspects to it, including a sound of anger and frustration towards the country that will resound with many listeners.
The album starts with “I Know Words” which takes audio of President Trump things like saying “we will make America great again” and “we’re going to build the wall” and remixes it, adding in some psychedelic background music along with string instruments. The music progressively gets more ominous, and considering the content of the rest of the album, it works perfectly as a nightmare-like-intro. The next song is “Twilight Zone” which features the bands typical metal vocals, and some impressive guitar and trippy background vocals. It’s arguably the strongest song on the album, as it’s both disorienting and entertaining. The title of the song seems to represent the band’s disorientation in today’s world, and they do a great job at expressing that through the music in this song.
“We’re Tired Of It,” a later song on the album starts with some great beginning instrumentals, followed by Al Jourgensen’s screaming vocals. It’s a fast-paced song, and the lyrics are hard to make out (aside from the “we’re tired of it” being repeated in the background). It’s definitely an energetic song, and it could easily be listened to both as a political commentary and as a good song on its own. It ends abruptly before launching into “Wargasm,” a title that is fascinating in itself. Jourgensen’s vocals are more muted this time, sounding like they’re being sung through a muffled radio. It’s a good style choice, however, as the song seems to be imitating an old-fashioned radio war broadcast. A lot of the song is the background talking, with Jourgensen’s vocals interspersed. There’s a refrain at one point that repeats, “This is the mother of all wars/ This is the people’s war.” The message of this song is powerful, and it’s a great addition to the album.
AmeriKKKant ends with “Game Over” and “AmeriKKKa.” “Game Over” begins with a booming voice saying, “my fellow Americans our long national nightmare is over.” The guitar playing towards the middle of the song is fantastic, showcasing the talents of Sin Quirin and Cesar Soto greatly. The final song “AmeriKKKA” is long, but it wraps up the overarching message of this album. The creepy sounding vocals as well give the listeners the band’s view of the future, which was an intelligent choice on their part.
Though it falls flat in places, the concept of AmeriKKKant is pertinent and some of the songs make for a great addition to Ministry’s large catalog. AmeriKKant can be purchased now and the band will be touring the US and Canada throughout the spring.