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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Ministry - Bad Blood: The Mayan albums 2002-2005 [HNE Recordings/ Cherry Red - 2021]

Bad Blood is a CD boxset bringing together four early 2000’s albums from US industrial metal sluggers Ministry. With these taking in live, studio and remix focused releases- featured here are: Sphinctour(2002), Animositisomina( 2003), Houses of the Molé (2004), and Rantology( 2005).

The boxset appears on HNE Recordings, which is one of the Cherry Red family of labels- who focuses on metal/ rock reissues. The set takes in four discs, one for each of the albums- with each presented in their own card slips. We also get a glossy twenty-page inlay booklet- this takes in a new seven-page write-up about the band and these four releases by Malcolm Dome. As well as full liner notes for each release. All four of the albums here were originally released on Sanctuary Records- with no extras/ bonus tracks on any of the CD’s, though a few of the albums have rather lengthy runtimes anyway.
 
First up we have 2002’s Sphinctour- this is an eleven-track affair, and it’s a compilation of live recordings from the bands 1996 tour. We kick off with “Psalm 69” which it’s a preacher/ religious sample-heavy track that shifts between dramatic mid-pace metallics and thrashing chug alongs. There’s the gunning psycho-billy industrial metal of “Reload”. We have the head-spinning riffing, slamming drums, and gang vocals of “Hero”. Moving towards the end of the album we have the even pounding and moody industrial metal stomp of “Scarecrow”. With the disc playing out with an eight-minute version of “The Fall” which blends tight snap drums, atmospherically rolling riff, tinkling keys, and slowly bayed punk vocals which have a very Jaz Coleman(Killing Joke) quality to them. I’ll have to admit, I’m not normally a big fan of live albums- but this is a surprisingly consistent affair, with a good blend of urgency and mood over the album's runtime.
 
Next up we have Animositisomina- this was from 2003 and is a studio album. It features ten tracks in all, and while it’s hardly rewriting the industrial metal rule book, we get a good/ even selection of tracks. We go from snapping drums and looped rolling guitar layers of “Unsung” with the vocals moving between shouty blunt & Coleman like sing-song punk. We have the chugging ‘n’ darting riff bounce meets meaty slide guitar tones of “Broken”. And there’s the brooding  'n' darting bass guitar tones meet searing sinister guitar ambience and light glitching electronics of “Stolen”. As I said early on nothing world-changing, but a competent enough studio album.
 
 
Onto the third disc in the set and we have 2004’s Houses of the Molé- this again is another studio album and takes in eleven tracks in all. The sound here is often quite frantic, thrash tipped and dense in its industrial metal sound. We kick off with the galloping and slamming “No W” which features manipulated George W Bush samples and samples of The Omen theme. We have the tight bounding bass guitar meets chugging guitar riffing and hissing drums of “Wrong”. There are the roughly thrashing meets chiming eastern guitars of “WYKJ”. With the album playing with the looped fanfare meets backwards vocals of “Walrus”. All in all, another consistent album.
 
Finally, we have Rantology- this is fifteen track/ seventy-six-minute compilation album from 2005, which is a blend of remixes & live tracks. The material here dates from between the years 1987 & 2005- and it's fair to say it’s the most mixed in quality of the four discs here. The updated/ remixed tracks have their moments of interest/ great-ness, but largely there’s not enough about them to appeal to a passing fan like myself. And the live tracks, again have their moments- but are largely rather uninspired. In all this album feels very much like keeping up with your release schedule/ getting out of a record contract affair. 
 
It’s certainly nice to have all these early 2000’s Ministry albums all in one place- with the around £20.00 price mark getting you three good/ fair albums, with one less consistent release...so you can't complain.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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