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Music / Ministry

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Ministry, back in 1992

So the only one thing that I could do was ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long...
Ministry, "Jesus Built My Hotrod"

Ministry was the Trope Maker for the genre of Industrial Metal back in The '80s and helped popularise it along fellow Trope Codifiers Nine Inch Nails. Both bands also have something else in common, having just one mastermind and constant member. In Ministry's case, this is a man named Al Jourgensen.

Current lineup

  • Al Jourgensen - lead vocals, guitars, keyboards, programming (1981-present)
  • John Bechdel - keyboards (2006–2008, 2011-2013, 2014–present)
  • Cesar Soto - guitars, backing vocals (2015-present)
  • Paul D'Amour – bass, backing vocals (2019–present)
  • DJ Swamp – turntables, electronics (2017–present)
  • Derek Abrams – drums (2017–2018, 2018–present)

Current live members

Former members have included:

  • John Davis - keyboards (1981-1982)
  • Stephen George - drums (1981-1985)
  • Robert Roberts - keyboards (1981-1983)
  • Marty Sorenson - bass (1981-1982)
  • Shay Jones - backing vocals (1982-1983)
  • Brad Hallen - bass (1983-1985)
  • Paul Barker - bass, keyboards, programming, backing vocals (1986-2003) - classic lineup
  • Bill Rieflin - drums, keyboards, programming, guitars (1986-1995) - classic lineup (deceased)
  • Chris Connelly - backing vocals, keyboards, guitars (1987-1993) - classic lineup
  • Mike Scaccia - guitars, bass (1989-1995, 2003-2006, 2012) - classic lineup (deceased)
  • Louis Svitek - guitars (1992-1999) - classic lineup
  • Michael Balch - keyboards, programming (1991-1992)
  • Zlatko Hukic - electronics, guitars (1995-1999)note 
  • Rey Washam - drums, percussion, programming (1995-1999, 2003)
  • Max Brody - drums, percussion, programming, saxophone (1999-2004)
  • Mark Baker - drums (2004-2005)
  • John Monte - bass (January 2004-September 2004)
  • Paul Raven - bass, keyboards, guitars, drums (2005-2007) (deceased)
  • Tommy Victor - guitars, bass (2005-2008)
  • Casey Orr - bass (2012)
  • Aaron Rossi – drums (2007–2008, 2011-2013, 2014–2016)
  • Roy Mayorga - drums (2016-2017)
  • Jason Christopher - bass, backing vocals (2016-2017)
  • Thomas Holtgreve - drums (2017)
  • Joey Jordison - drums (2006, 2018) (deceased)
  • Tony Campos - bass, backing vocals (2007-2008, 2011-2012, 2014-2016, 2017-2019)
  • Sin Quirin - guitars (2007–2008, 2011-2013, 2014–2021)

The band was formed in Chicago in 1981. Their initial material was largely New Wave Synth-Pop, as shown on their first album With Sympathy. Jourgensen considers the album as Old Shame and Canon Discontinuity, referring to Sympathy as "an abortion of an album" and blaming Executive Meddling for its existence. Fans largely follow the Word of God on this one, although it is notable that the follow up and somewhat looked down on album Twitch was a harsher-sounding industrial album with no traces of the "Synth-Pop" sound that was so prevalent on the previous album.

Ministry as we know it began when Jourgensen decided to add aggressive Heavy Metal riffing and recruited who would become his main collaborators for a while, Paul Barker and Bill Rieflin. The resulting album, The Land of Rape and Honey, proved to be a landmark recording, combining harsh, electronics-heavy production with loud metal guitars and lots of sampling from old movies. Its follow-up, The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste, refined this formula by hardening the sound even further and introducing a political slant. This period also saw the band adopt its now-famous leather-clad cowboy/biker appearance.

Also in The '80s, Jourgensen and Barker formed a flurry of side projects. These included the more light-hearted, absurdist Revolting Cocks (which essentially has the same lineup as Ministry, plus Luc Van Acker and Richard 23 at first), Lard (a collaboration with Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra; tropes for their works can be found on Jello's page), Acid Horse (with Cabaret Voltaire), 1000 Homo DJs (where Trent Reznor contributed vocals to a cover of Black Sabbath's "Supernaut"), PTP (with Chris Connelly), and Pailhead (with Minor Threat guitarist Ian MacKaye).

Ministry finally had its main breakthrough with Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs. Besides providing the best example of their balls-out Hot-Blooded Industrial Metal sound and the triple guitar attack of Jourgensen, Mike Scaccia and Louis Svitek, it showed the band's sense of humour through the Crazy is Cool hit single "Jesus Built My Hotrod" (with nonsense vocals by Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers) and provided arguably one of the first Voice Clip Songs with "N.W.O." Psalm 69 gained them a mainstream audience and would prove to be their most critically acclaimed and commercially successful album.

After Psalm 69, the band almost got derailed by the members' severe drug addictions, culminating in a 1995 raid of their Texas headquarters and Jourgensen's arrest for possession. He received a five-year probation sentence and subsequently struggled to overcome his addiction. Around the same time, Rieflin and Scaccia left the band. Their next two albums, Filth Pig and Dark Side of the Spoon, stripped away the industrial elements from their sound (synthesizers, samplers, electronics) in favour of straightforward guitar-bass-drums noise. The reception from both fans and critics was poor (although both albums have since gained supporters), and the band's lineup continued to be unstable. A guitarist from this era, Zlatko Hukic, had a solo career as a Rap Metal artist and a stint in the group Dark Lotus, under the name Marz.

Jourgensen finally kicked his habit after almost losing an arm to a venomous spider bite in 2001, and with Barker and new drummer/saxophonist Max Brody began working on 2003's Animositisomina. After touring for the album, Paul Barker left and with guitarist Mike Scaccia back, Jourgensen began work on a follow up and formed a new lineup. Reclaiming his old Industrial Metal sound (but adding Thrash Metal influences) and setting his sights on George W. Bush's presidency, Ministry released a trilogy of albums about how much Bush's presidency sucked: Houses of the Molé, Rio Grande Blood and The Last Sucker.

Jourgensen finally retired Ministry in 2008 after recording the covers album Cover Up. He spent the next few years focusing on running his record label 13th Planet Records and concentrating on his side projects Revolting Cocks and Lard. However, as of late 2011 the band is active again, with old standbys Scaccia, Bechdel and Quirin, plus new guys Aaron Rossi and Casey Orr, and a new album, Relapse, was released in 2012. However, Scaccia died on December 23, 2012 onstage while performing with Rigor Mortis. Gathering recordings Scaccia made between Relapse and his death, Ministry's thirteenth album, From Beer to Eternity, was released in late 2013, and the band toured in support of the album. They also announced the release of their fourteenth album, AmeriKKKant, for fall 2017 only to later push back the release date to March 9, 2018. Ministry spent the latter part of 2019 supporting Slayer on the North American leg of their The Final Campaign Tour. A tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste was planned for 2020, but this was postponed several times due to factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic and occurred in 2022. They released their 15th album, Moral Hygiene, in 2021, to generally positive reviews.


  • With Sympathy (1983)
  • Twitch (1986)
  • The Land of Rape and Honey (1988)
  • The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste (1989)
  • Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs (1992)
  • Filth Pig (1996)
  • Dark Side of the Spoon (1999)
  • Animositisomina (2003)
  • Houses of the Molé (2004)
  • Rio Grande Blood (2006)
  • The Last Sucker (2007)
  • Cover Up (2008)
  • Relapse (2012)
  • From Beer to Eternity (2013)
  • AmeriKKKant (2018)
  • Moral Hygiene (2021)

This band provides examples of the following:

  • Ambiguously Bi: Al himself is probably at least somewhat bisexual, if he’s not engaging in outright Unreliable Narrator shenanigans; see Ho Yay on the YMMV page.
  • Appropriated Appellation:
    • Revolting Cocks got their name from an incident where Jourgensen, Richard 23 and Luc Van Acker got drunk off their arses and started a bar brawl. The owner threw them out and shouted "I'm calling the police! You guys are a bunch of revolting cocks!".
    • When Jourgensen played the demos for what became the first 1,000 Homo DJ's release, Wax Trax! label owner Jim Nash said "No one's gonna buy this. It'll take one thousand homo DJs to play this for one person to buy it."
    • The title of Filth Pig was taken from a speech by a British MP attacking Jourgensen.
  • The Band Minus the Face:
    • Al's other band, Revolting Cocks, has been touring without him since 2010.
    • Ministry has continued after the departure of Paul Barker, the band's second key member, in 2003.
  • Binge Montage: The music video of "Just One Fix."
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents: The cover for "Filth Pig" shows a guy with his head covered in blood, who's also holding an American flag and wearing a badge saying "Don't Blame Me".
  • Break-Up Song: "I Wanted to Tell Her" is a duet about a girlfriend finding out her boyfriend cheated on her and leaving him.
  • Car Song: "Jesus Built My Hotrod." The actual lyrics are scatted nonsense, but the spoken intro and Spoken Word in Music samples are themed around fast cars and drag racing, and the music video and single artwork also run with the concept.
  • Cool Shades: Al Jourgensen.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: "N.W.O." (though the lyrics are... strange), "Lieslieslies" (bukkakeing the listener with stupid 9/11 theories and uses clips from Loose Change, one of the foremost 9/11 conspiracy theory films) and "99%" (focuses on the Occupy movement).
  • Content Warnings: 1990 Live Album In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up has a Parental Advisory warning that the band didn't want. The band protested it by putting a dotted line around the warning and giving a message encouraging the reader to remove the warning and send it to Congress with a letter supporting the First Amendment.
  • The Cover Changes the Meaning:
    • The Revolting Cocks' covers of Olivia Newton-John's "Let's Get Physical" and Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" Both become grimy, gross songs about sleazy prostitution.
    • Ministry's supremely sarcastic cover of Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World".
  • Cover Album: Cover Up.
  • Cover Version: In addition to the entire Cover Up album, they also performed a version of The Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" on The Last Sucker.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: "Flashback", a Misogyny Song about a man who wants to kill a woman in the most sadistic way possible.
  • Darker and Edgier: Twitch, which exchanged the campy electronic pop of With Sympathy for a harder Industrial sound. Al hasn't looked back since.
  • Dead Artists Are Better: Discussed Trope in "Ghouldiggers", which doubles as a Take That! at music managers and the music industry in general.
  • Demonization: "The Dick Song" blasts Dick Cheney, calling him "son of Satan" and stating "You know he's evil, he's not of this race!". These are actually two of the nicer things Al says about Cheney.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • With Sympathy is a synthpop album that sounds very little like the rest of the catolouge, while Twitch is arguably heavier than what comes after it.
    • Debut single I'm Falling / Cold Life also sounds a bit different from much of anything they'd later do: "I'm Falling" is a Post-Punk song influenced by British groups like The Cure and Joy Division, "Cold Life" is a funk song, and "Primental" is a disco instrumental (albeit one that would be repurposed With Lyrics as the With Sympathy track "I Wanted To Tell Her")
  • Epic Rocking: "Cannibal Song", "So What", "Scare Crow", "Impossible", "Leper", "Worm", "Khyber Pass", "End of Days, Part Two", "Ghouldiggers", and "Thanx but No Thanx", to name a few. There are many more.
  • Exact Words: Their 2019 "Wax Trax Era" mini tour. While they're certainly playing tracks from that era, they aren't necessarily the tracks released on Wax Trax.
  • Fan Disservice: The cover of Dark Side of the Spoon, depicting an obese woman wearing nothing but a dunce cap, sitting in front of a blackboard with the phrase "I will be god" written over and over on it. The "Bad Blood" single, released ahead of the album, featured the same woman from the front, with her hands held up in front of her chest. In contrast to the From Beer To Eternity cover, the band actually claimed there wasn't an intentional deeper meaning: Paul Barker said in an interview that he wanted a nude obese woman on the cover and Al had wanted a child in front of a blackboard, so they just combined the two concepts.
  • Genre Shift:
    • From Synth-Pop to industrial for Twitch, and straightforward industrial to Industrial Metal for The Land of Rape and Honey.
    • "Test" on The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste is a strangely upbeat rap-rock-metal song. Part of the reason it's so different from the rest of the album is that they decided to do it on the spur of the moment - after meeting rapper K-Lite, who happened to be recording his own material in the same studio complex, the band decided it might be interesting to have him appear on a song.
    • "Happy Dust" is a very different piece for the 90's era of the band, being an Ennio Morricone-influenced instrumental with no overt industrial metal elements. It was used for intro/outro music for concerts supporting Filth Pig, and years later appeared as a B-Side to the "Bad Blood" single. Furthermore, the song shares a similar guitar melody with an obscure demo from the With Sympathy era called "Let's Be Happy".
    • "Lesson Unlearned" is an Industrial Funk Metal song in the middle of an industrial thrash metal album (From Beer To Eternity). The song is still heavy enough to not completely clash, but the rhythm and guitar parts are clearly funk-influenced, and there's even melodic female backing vocals that wouldn't feel out of place on some of the more disco-influenced tracks on With Sympathy.
  • Grand Finale: "End of Days, Part Two" for The Last Sucker and Ministry, at least until Relapse.
    • From Beer to Eternity was also this until Amerikkkant was announced years later.
  • Gratuitous French: "Le Stupide", an early song that was seemingly only performed once, at one of the recorded concerts that were later released as Chicago / Detroit 1982: The lyrics are basically a series of insults rendered in bad, basic French.
  • Green Aesop: "Perfect Storm" and "Breathe."
    • "Isle of Man" depicts a future where civilization has collapsed due to pollution and depletion of natural resources.
  • Harsh Vocals: Al Jourgensen uses this as his primary vocal style, with added electronic effects to make it even harsher.
  • Halloween Songs: "Every Day is Halloween". More of a defense of the gothic subculture than a celebration of the holiday, but it's basically been adopted as a Halloween song- it has appeared on Halloween themed compilations and tends to be played at Halloween parties.
  • Hidden Track: The CD editions of a few albums have them, usually hidden after a series of short, silent tracks:
    • Dark Side of the Spoon has a strange piece of seemingly found audio (variously called "Everybody", "Summertime", or "Dialogue") as track 68 - it's an unknown woman, introduced as Linda, singing a rambling acappella song about the summertime.
    • the original release of Houses of the Mole' had "Psalm 23" (an alternate mix of opening track "No W") as track 23, and "Walrus" as track 69. Later editions removed "Psalm 23", and added a different song, "Bloodline", as track 13.
    • Cover Up has alternate versions of "What A Wonderful World" as tracks 23 and 44, and "Willie Stigmata" (An anonymous fan singing the lyrics to "Stigmata" In the Style of Willie Nelson) as track 69.
  • Hillbilly Horrors: "Goddamn White Trash" depicts far-right terrorists this way, albeit in a way that's Played for Laughs in the music video. The song itself depicts such people as Boisterous Weaklings who are "uneducated and ready for war" and "manipulated into civil war". The music video, meanwhile, depicts a group of far-right racist terrorists as pathetic losers who act tougher than they really are. They dress in tactical gear while riding hobby horses, pretend to knife fight imaginary enemies in their underwear, and act tough while using a mobility scooter just to get anywhere.
  • I Am the Band: Al Jourgensen IS Ministry. He was already the only remaining member by the time he recorded his second album, but Ministry was solidified as being first and foremost Al's project when he made Houses of the Molé as a new start for Ministry after his split with longtime production partner Paul Barker.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: You'd never guess that this was Al in his younger days without being told.
  • Iconic Item: Al Jourgensen always wears sunglasses and a bandanna or a hat. Always.
  • Iconic Outfit: The band's leather cowboy/biker appearance, Al's sunglasses and bandanna.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Aside from opening track "No W", all of the song titles on Houses of the Molé start with W - even the Hidden Track is officially called "Walrus". The constant use of "-tour" puns for Ministry and Revolting Cocks tours also counts.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: Jourgensen's vocal style is very gravelly to begin with, and the electronic distortion makes it even harder to understand.
  • Industrial Metal: Trope Makers.
  • Lead Bassist: Paul Barker, from 1987 to 2003, was Ministry's co-producer and second core member alongside Al.
  • Lighter and Softer: "Test" - at least, for Ministry. The lyrics are standard "be who you want to be" fare, free of violence, and it is a rap-rock fusion.
    • Lyrical Dissonance: It sounds like somewhat standard Ministry fare, but the lyrics are lighter.
  • Loudness War: Most releases going back to at least Animositisomina have been affected.
  • Macho Camp: Sometimes, but without the muscles.
  • Metal Scream: Al uses a Type 1 with electronic effects on top.
  • New Sound Album:
    • Twitch saw the band abandon synthpop in favor of a harsher industrial techno sound.
    • The Land of Rape and Honey introduced guitars and upped the harshness of Al's vocals.
    • The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste added Speed Metal elements that would carry over into Psalm 69.
    • Filth Pig traded in the speed for a slower, Groove Metal-esque sound.
    • Houses of the Molé introduced the Thrash Metal sound that has defined the band since.
  • No Indoor Voice: Al loves shouting in his songs.
  • Obsession Song: "WKYJ"
  • Protest Song: Most of Ministry's output, especially in The Noughties, was basically political ranting set to pounding Industrial Metal.
  • Punny Name:
    • Albums: Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs (see below), The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Tastenote , Dark Side of the Spoon, Houses of the Molé and Rio Grande Blood.
    • Tours (for both Ministry and Revolting Cocks) since 1996: SphincTour, CliTour, FornicaTour MasterBaTour, C-U-LaTour (Ministry's last tour before their 2008 retirement), LubricaTour (the follow-up Revolting Cocks tour).
  • Rearrange the Song: Nearly every song they have covered.
    • In 2010, they remade their old Synth-Pop single "Everyday Is Halloween" in a more Industrial Metal style (although the result is still more melodic than much of their other recent material). In 2019 they did an Unplugged Version of the same song with Dave Navarro - it's not fully "unplugged" as there's a synthesized string section.
  • Sampling: Mostly from movies and other media instead of music, though the original version of "No W" sampled "O Fortuna".
    • Several songs from Rio Grande Blood and The Last Sucker cut and pasted together samples of speeches by George W. Bush, resulting in ridiculous Strawman Political statements that make Bush sound evil. Blood's title track includes "I've adopted sophisticated terrorist tactics/And I'm a dangerous, dangerous man/With dangerous, dangerous weapons" and "I'm a weapon of mass destruction/And I'm a brutal dictator/And I'm evil"; "Death and Destruction" has "I am the decider, and I decide what's best, and what's best is death and destruction, death and destruction".
    • The Epic Rocking conclusion to The Last Sucker, "End of Days, Part Two", samples Dwight Eisenhower's farewell address, including the famous part warning about the "military-industrial complex."
    • "Victims of a Clown" from AmeriKKKant prominently samples Charlie Chaplin's famous speech from the end of The Great Dictator.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Ex-bassist Paul Barker's glasses occasionally.
  • Series Fauxnale:
    • The Last Sucker was promoted as the final Ministry album. The track "End of Days (Pt. 2)" was intended to serve as a Grand Finale, climaxing with a lengthy sample of Dwight D. Eisenhower's farewell speech as President. However, Al had a near-death experience in 2010 that inspired him to restart Ministry the following year and record Relapse.
    • Al later said in interviews that From Beer To Eternity was going to be their last album, due to the death of Mike Scaccia. He'd later claim he had no intention of retiring the Ministry name this time, he had just said it because he quickly got fed up with journalists asking him about the future of the group so soon after Scaccia's passing.
  • Short Title: Long, Elaborate Subtitle: Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs. More on that title below.
  • Shout-Out: The title of Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs, is taken from chapter 69 of Aleister Crowley's The Book of Lies, and is basically an Incredibly Lame Pun about 69ing. The reference goes further, as the album covers don't have any text and the title written on the spine and the liner notes is ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ, which is the heading of chapter 69 of The Book of Lies. (ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ is basically a combination of the Greek word "kefali", which means "head" - think of the English meaning - and "ΞΘ", which is "69" in Greek numerals.)
    • Rather improbably, The Land of Rape and Honey was actually the official motto of the city of Tisdale, Saskatchewan, until 2016, referring to the town's significant production of rapeseed and honey. Al chose the title after seeing the motto on a souvenir mug and being amused at what how completely wrong it sounded.
    • "Run, run, run, Cheney's got a gun!" from "The Dick Song".
    • Several of their albums are Puns on the names of classic rock albums: Houses of the Molé on Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy, The Dark Side of the Spoon on Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, and Rio Grande Blood on ZZ Top's Rio Grande Mud. Then, of course, From Beer to Eternity is a pun on the classic novel/film From Here to Eternity.
    • The second verse of "End Of Days (Part 1)" is a nod to "Ball of Confusion" by The Temptations. As a quick comparison:
      • Ball of Confusion:
        "Segregation, determination, demonstration, integration,
        Aggravation, humiliation, obligation to our nation
        Ball of confusion
        Oh yeah, that's what the world is today
        Woo, hey, hey"
      • End of Days (Part 1):
        "Revelations, dissipation, condemnation, dissolution, do you feel like you're under a gun?
        Desperation, condemnation, indignation, terror nation
        That's what the world is today!
        Hey! Hey!"
  • Self-Deprecation: The middle of Linger Fickin Good".
    • "Unlistenable" by Surgical Meth Machine, another Ministry side project, includes Take Thats to various other bands, but also has Al exclaiming "Ministry? I hate fuckin' industrial bands!" (for added Hypocritical Humor, this is said in the middle of an Industrial Metal song)
  • Sequel Song: "TV Song", a B-Side to "Jesus Built My Hotrod," was followed by "TV II," "TV III," "WTV," and "Side Fx Include Mikey's Middle Finger (TV 4)" note . It's something of a Thematic Series - The songs all include Spoken Word in Music samples from television, a lot of Stop and Go, and usually also lyrics about television spreading paranoia and consumerism delivered at Motormouth speed.
  • Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: Revolting Cocks.
    • Check the "Fix: The Ministry Movie" trailer on YouTube. That is all.
  • Shrouded in Mystery: The video for the unreleased song "Same Old Madness", an extremely rare song from 1982, predating the release of With Sympathy by one whole year. If it wasn't because the video appeared on YouTube on 2006, the song and its video would've been largely forgotten by now. As a side note, it's the only video with the original line-up.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Filth Pig, Dark Side of the Spoon and Animositisomina each had a token track where Paul Barker had a lead vocal: "Useless", "Vex and Siolence", and "Stolen", respectively.
  • Stop and Go: "TV II" is a frantically fast track that constantly goes off and on again, while Al shouts lyrics during the pauses.
  • Subliminal Seduction: at the beginning of Just One Fix. The "Never trust a junkie" sample sounds very much like "Christ is so stupid" when played backwards.
  • Supergroup: Pigface, who evolved from a touring lineup of Ministry into their own revolving door project.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: Asked to play an afternoon set for Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit charity concerts, the band opted for a set list that was almost all acoustic Cover Versions note  - a surprisingly faithful version of The Grateful Dead's "Friend Of The Devil" was included on one of the accompanying Bridge School albums, marking one of the few times Al could be heard singing softly and melodically on an officially released Ministry song since the 80's.
  • Take That!:
    • A lot towards George W. Bush, especially with Rio Grande Blood.
    • "N.W.O." (New World Order) is about "Papa Bush", according to Al.
    • The "Jesus Built My Hotrod" single pointedly lists the radio edit of the title track as the "Short, Pusillanimous, So-They-Can-Fit-More-Commercials-on-the-Radio Edit".
    • "Fairly Unbalanced" towards Fox News, and "The Horror" towards a number of Republicans (particularly Todd Akin) who made extremely horrifying statements about rape in the 2012 elections.
    • AmeriKKKant towards Donald Trump, his administration, and his supporters.
    • "Step" sends up condescending press releases that tend to accompany the news of celebrities going to rehab, with Al sarcastically drawling out lyrics like "I'd like to apologize to all my wonderful fans / For sticking by me through such troubled times / I love all you so much /I wish I could take you all to the Betty Ford Clinic"
  • Thrash Metal: From Houses of The Molé onwards, though they also flirted with thrash on previous albums.
  • To Absent Friends: Dark Side of the Spoon was dedicated to the memory of former touring guitarist William Tucker, who committed suicide in 1999.
    • The self-titled album by Surgical Meth Machine, a side project of Al and occasional Ministry co-producer Sam D'Ambruosa, was originally meant to be a stylistic tribute to Mike Scaccia: The whole album was originally meant to feature tempos upwards of 220 bpm and be performed in a similar Industrial Metal-meets-Thrash Metal style as the Ministry song "Side FX Include Mikey's Middle Finger (TV 4)", because Al considered Scaccia a great "shredder guitar player" who excelled at fast songs. The original concept is still prevalent, but the second half of the album includes some slower tempos and more experimental or psychedelic influences, which Al attributes to moving to California and getting a medical marijuana card.
  • Uncommon Time: The main riff of "Animosity" is in 9/4. The verse riff of "Impossible" alternates between 4/4 and 7/8. Main riff of "Kaif" has three bars in 4/4 and one in 5/4. "Just One Fix" keeps the same time signature throughout, but adds extra kick drum beats in the last section, which makes the riffs sound off-kilter.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Al in his own book, which opens with a paraphrase of the famous "if you remember The '60s you probably weren't there" quote updated to The '90s; likely played deliberately as it contains interviews with everyone around him during his life, including bandmates, his then-wife Angie, even his father, telling differing accounts of his childhood, tour stories, and his relationship with Paul Barker.
    • There's confusion about who directed the "Over The Shoulder" video, because in different interviews Al has alternately credited Storm Thorgerson or Peter Christopherson as the director - both were involved with Hipgnosis at the time. for what it's worth, Christopherson gets sole credit for the video in the Tapes Of Wrath DVD.
  • Video Full of Film Clips: The video for "What About Us?" is basically an extended version of their cameo in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, wherein they appeared playing the song. Oddly, "What About Us?" wasn't even on the A.I. soundtrack album, so the video was really promoting the Greatest Hits Album Greatest Fits.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Ex-vocalist and keyboardist Chris Connelly was rail-thin and almost effeminate in appearance with a baritone voice.
  • Vocal Evolution: Al initially used a Fake Brit accent; when The Land of Rape and Honey was recorded, he introduced his trademark and influential distorted screaming vocals. The accent briefly came back for a cover of Magazine's "The Light Pours Out Of Me" - Al presumably wanted to sound similar to Magazine vocalist Howard Devoto.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Found in the "Just One Fix" video.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Al's not exactly on the best of terms right now with the other members of the classic lineup, bar Mike Scaccia. It has gotten to the point where he is now denying that they ever were friends despite a lot of evidence to the contrary.
  • With Lyrics: "Destruction" from The Land Of Rape And Honey is primarily instrumental, with the only vocals being a repeated title drop and some looped wordless screaming. An early version included on the Trax! box set, called "Self Annoyed", had actual lyrics (but still included some of the distinctive screams).
    • The With Sympathy track "I Wanted To Tell Her" is based on "Primental", an early instrumental B-Side.
  • Word Purée Title: Animositisomina is basically the word "Animosity" turned into a palindrome.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: To the point where it would be easier to list the lyrics of songs that do not fall into this trope.


Video Example(s):


"(Every Day Is) Halloween"

The meaning of this song is fairly obvious, it tells the story of a guy who dresses like a freak and gets stared at and made fun of.

In the 80s, this was something of a banner song for the emerging goth scene.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / HalloweenSongs

Media sources: