From Beer to Eternity is going to be the last album, at least for now, released by Al Jorgenson’s Ministry, following the death of guitarist Mike Scaccia. It’s the industrial metal titans 13th album and will bring to end a career filled with a fair share of controversy.
Opening with “Hail to his Majesty” this album instantly feels a bit meandering. This feels like an introduction track as it never really gets going but it’s over five minutes long and you can’t help being a bit bored by the end of it. Thankfully this doesn’t continue into “Punch in the Face” which is an attempt to live up to it’s title. While Jorgenson feels a bit low in the mix this is a good pounding industrial track with a nice riff and it finally feels like this album is on course.
Sadly that is a feeling that only lasts for the first few songs on this album. “PermaWar” has vocals that will remind you of Devin Townsend and “The Perfect Storm” is an industrial banger with a thrash edge. After that however, things begin to go off the rails. “Fairly Unabalanced is an angry rant aimed at Fox News that is so on the nose that it feels a bit pointless. Lyrics like “The other day I watched the Fox News Network, I swear they’re all on crack” could have been written by an angry 13 year old and it’s sample laden sound just gets a bit tedious, particularly as these same samples will pop up throughout the rest of the album.
From this moment on tes album turns into a bit of a meandering mess. The best parts nearly all come from the guitar of the late Mike Scaccia, while a lot of the rest of it feels disconnected from what is going on. “Lesson Learned” features female vocals alongside Jorgenson, but it all feels like a completely different song from the music running underneath while “Thanx but no Thanx” and “Change of Luck” both have about two to three minutes of decent music in the middle of seven, eight minute sprawling tracks.
This is a pretty awful album to be honest. Jorgenson is as political and charged as ever but his attacks against Fox News are about as intelligent as American Idiot. While the tracks more often than not disappear off up their own arse as they meander through a variety of electronic beeps and samples. It’s all a bit of a shame really, as on the likes of “Punch in the Face” and for some moments during “Thanx but no Thanx” this sounds like it could be a great chugging industrial metal album, sadly there is just not enough of that.
For Fans Of: Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson
Choice Cuts: “Punch in the Face”, “Perfect Storm”