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Ministry

News flash: Al Jourgensen is pissed. On Rio Grande Blood, Ministry's frontman (the closest thing industrial music has to an elder statesman) continues to whack away at his trademark formula: drill-bit guitars laid over jackhammer beats, with spoken-word samples providing context for Jourgensen's man-with-a-megaphone diatribes. The sound is typically brutal and angry, yet what's surprising about Rio Grande is that Jourgensen doesn't seem like he's coasting here. Credit George W. Bush: The President's foibles have so inspired the singer that he appears as engaged as he did on Ministry's first few albums, back when a lack of cheap recording gear meant that industrial rock actually took some work to make. Jourgensen's best when he's letting Bush hang himself; in the opening title track, while a drum machine boxes your eardrums, he chops up Dubya's voice so the President admits that he's "a dangerous, dangerous man with dangerous, dangerous weapons." In a remix of "The Great Satan" (which somehow earned a Grammy nomination earlier this year) Jourgensen rails against the government's ineffective tactics in America's war against terrorism. Unlike Bush, it's clear who he sees in the titular role.


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