Download of the Week: Ministry

I'm with Ministry's Al Jourgensen; The Land Of Rape And Honey is my favorite Ministry album.

Released in 1988 on Sire, The Land Of Rape And Honey is the band's third full-length and a turning point of sorts with the introduction of metal amid the industrial. I've loved this record since its birth o-so-many years' ago and it has recently rejoined my play list as a regular player. Its heavy, dark, in-your-face-ness speaks to something deep inside telling my brain to release all the right chemicals. Badness so good, it hurts.

This is empathy-cleansing music, the band sampling from some of my favorite places including Ken Russell's mad beautiful film The Devils ("You are being found guilty of covenants with the devil," "State your confession," "Confess! Confess!" "The Anti-Christ"), Aleister Crowley chanting, and dialog from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Fistful Of Dollars, Aliens, and Platoon. A magical mystery tour of a different sort.

Here's Jourgensen on the origin of the title:

Everyone reads into the title like there's an underlying premise, but we were touring Canada and wound up in a place named Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Just some truck stop. We weren't even playing there. The one coffee mug on our bus had broken when the driver hit the brakes, so I went in and bought a new one. It had a picture of a little bee and a bundle of wheat, and it said "Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: The Land Of Rape And Honey".
And here's his response to this album being "credited for having a seminal influence on industrial music" (see "Revolting Lots: Al Jourgensen's Favourite Ministry Albums"):
"I don't give a fuck,"
The album cover is a manipulated photo of a burned corpse taken from a TV documentary by Jourgensen. "It was originally rejected by the record label but they later changed their mind after Jourgensen presented a head of a roadkilled deer he had found on the road; he cut off the head, put it in his truck, drove from Austin to Los Angeles, went into the Sire Records building, threw the deer on the desk of the head of the art department and said, "here's your new fucking [album] cover."

I can admire that kind of determination.

If you prefer your music listening experience shaken not stirred, check out MInistry's The Land Of Rape And Honey available from Tidal.

otaku's picture

This is one of my favorite albums. Was listening to it last night. I remember when I bought it: I was browsing at HMV, and brought it to the classical department to listen to it on their preview machine. The salesguy in Classical said it was a great album, so I bought it. Still have it.

nocnoc811's picture

I got into Ministry that way at clubs by the 12" Halloween. They did a 180 degree turn after that album, which was very good, but certainly not what Alan Jourgenson was about. I preferred their live album they put out in 91 or whenever? Great review and every kid should go back and follow the electro music trail. Ministry and Wax Trax played a huge part in that scene.