Metal fans are still reeling from the loss of Bruce Corbitt for metal legends Rigor Mortis and Warbeat, who passed away on January 25th following his two-plus year fight with esophageal cancer. He was 56 years old. Now a public memorial will be held for Bruce on Saturday, March 9th at the Ridglea Theater in Fort Worth, Texas. More details below. In addition to his musical work, Corbitt was a dedicated hearthealth advocate following the passing of Rigor Mortis guitarist Mike Scaccia, who died of a heart attack in 2012. Corbitt also had hearthealth issues but would go on to perform Rigor Mortis material with the band’s remaining members under the moniker Wizards Of Gore in tribute to Scaccia. Corbitt took home the Best Documentary Rotscar Award at Housecore Horror Fest 2014 for his Rigor Mortis Documentary Welcome To Your Funeral which documented the rise of the band, their history and more. Bruce was working on a book which will be released initially as a limited hardcore edition with all proceeds going to the support of the Corbitt family. More details on this coming soon. Continue reading
After the death of Ministry bandmate Mike Scaccia in 2012, the band’s frontman and former walking heroin and alcohol repository Al Jourgensen came to the decision that, after one last release, it was time he retired the Ministry name from active recording duty, keeping the band alive solely as a touring entity.
So, after the release of final studio album ‘From Beer To Eternity’ (AFM, 13th Planet), and with the aid of engineer Sam D’Ambruoso, work began on a brand new project. The eponymously titled début, Surgical Meth Machine’(Nuclear Blast) is the result, and anyone foolish enough to wonder if age or recent events might possibly have led to Uncle Al calming down or mellowing out is going to be in for quite a rude awakening.
Listening to Surgical Meth Machine is like having an aggressive, urine-soaked vagrant grabbing you by the collar and shrieking random shards of broken-toothed, spittle-flecked abuse into your face through cracked, vomit encrusted lips for forty horrifyingly disorienting minutes.
The ranting begins with ‘I’m Sensitive’, which, after a sarcastic opening monologue, bursts into life with all the actual sensitivity of a breeze block as Al screams ‘I DON’T FUCKING CARE!!’ at the top of his lungs. The jagged tirades continue with the Ministry-esque ‘Tragic Alert’ which climaxes with some stupidly fast electronic beats, and things continue in the same vein with ‘I Want More’ as the drum machine really starts to panic.
More bile is spewed as Jourgensen demands ‘Rich People Problems”, and although he clearly doesn’t need any help getting his feelings across, he enlists the help of an equally irritated Jello Biafra on ‘I Don’t Wanna’. “Blah blah blah blah blah!” barks Al on ‘Smash and Grab’ and by now, you really want him to leave you alone.
Things get seriously demented with the aptly titled ‘Unlistenable’ as the poor drum machine finally suffers a complete nervous breakdown and goes to sit in the corner and cry before the boisterous punk of ‘Gates of Steel’ bounces its way into the room like Andrew WK covering Black Flag‘s ‘TV Party’.
Things taper off sharply with ‘Spudnik’ and ‘Just Go Home’, all widdly guitars, drum machines and samples, but with all the impact of a rambling alcoholic losing his way halfway through a sentence. ‘I’m Invisible’ rounds things off. A very different, trippy, but strangely compelling track which sounds like a 3am drive with Timothy Leary and Hunter S Thompson.
With both feet still planted firmly in Ministry territory, Jourgensen shows no real interest in wanting to change or update his sound. If you enjoyed his particular brand of fast, obnoxious, Industrial noise before, then the chances are that this will float your boat just as much. If you want growth or innovation, then you’re probably going to be disappointed. But something tells me Uncle Al doesn’t give one single, solitary fuck about that.
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In some circles, Ministry are spoken of in tones reserved elsewhere for Slayer. Reverence for their classic material combined with dissatisfaction over their current direction marks them as one of the “Untouchable Greats” in their field. This live DVD shows them touring their 2012 comeback album Relapse shortly before the death of guitarist Mike Scaccia, and is dedicated to his memory.
Having not paid serious attention to the band since 96’s Filthpig, my first observation about Last Tangle In Paris (UDR Music) was how the band have changed. Focussing heavily on tracks written without Paul Barker, we see a band operating comfortably somewhere between generic Groove Metal and mid-period Sepultura – crunchy, thrashy Metal built around repetitive grooves and simple choruses. Where Al Jourgensen once adopted a different vocal style for each song, he now employs the same angry sneer throughout, and their genre-defining “industrial” elements are now largely restricted to the use of samples and effects.
No band with their reputation can completely ignore the past, of course, and a barrage of four tracks finishes the set. Certainly crowd-pleasing, this section unfortunately raises its own problems; not only the contrast with the newer tracks, but also the authenticity of Jourgensen’s vocals. Put simply, the vocal performances on the classics are absolutely note-perfect imitations of the versions recorded two decades ago, and sometimes visibly out of synch with what Jourgensen appears to be singing.
A live DVD is about more than just the music, of course, and Last Tangle… aims to show us a band struggling to come to terms with their grief. Rehearsal footage featuring Scaccia is interesting for fans, but the poor sound quality reduces the value of these sections. Interviews with most of the current line-up cast light on their grieving process, and Jourgensen in particular speaks humbly and openly about the impact that Scaccia’s loss has had upon the band and his own life. Laudable and occasionally genuinely touching, but overall Last Tangle… is unlikely to be of much interest to anyone other than serious fans of their recent material.
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With Ministry on the verge of disappearing the vaults are opened once more and this time around Jourgensen and Co decided to release a live CD/DVD package entitled, Enjoy The Quiet – Live At Wacken 2012. Continue reading
With 2007’s The Last Sucker Ministry mainman Al Jourgensen claimed it would his band’s final act of musical defiance. Yet in 2012 another album emerged under the Relapse moniker. Al wasn’t too happy being cajoled in another Ministry adventure by his bandmates, but it was a far more inspired effort than its predecessor and an excellent album to go out with a bang. As with 2013, you guessed it Al released another Ministry album, entitled From Beer To Eternity… Continue reading