Wednesday, September 19, 2007


The Last Sucker
Thirteenth Planet

Here’s to another great big 'fuck you' to the Bush Administration. Ministry may be going out, but they aren’t going out without getting the final word in.

After more than 2 decades of writing music, changing the face of industrial and metal, changing band members, changing styles (anyone remember the 'With Sympathy' days?) and being the craziest muthafucka in music, Al (Alien) Jourgensen is retiring the Ministry outfit. But at least he is going out with a bang. The last and final (and he does mean final) collective album under the name Ministry is a monster to say the least.  Personally I think the man is trying to get himself shot.  “The Last Sucker” is an all out verbal attack on the current Commander in Chief and his entire entourage.

The line up for the final go around is without a doubt the most versatile to date. On bass we have Dave Ellefson (former Bassist of Megadeth), kicking out the beats is Jimmy DeGrasso (also from Megadeth, drummer), backing up the 6 strings we find Tommy Victor (front man and lead guitarist of Prong) and lending his dry lung vox to the mix is Burton C. Bell (Fear Factory, Lead Vocals). Top that off with the man himself (Alien) and you have a veritable league of extraordinary assholes.

The Last Sucker is a deadly crossover of speed metal and hardcore industrial, a genre blender that few have successfully managed to combine. Politically charged with a very anti Bush agenda, The Last Sucker tends to come of as comical with songs like “The Dick Song” (calling Cheney Satan’s emissary), “Death & Destruction” (poking fun at our Presidents public speaking ability) and the comical (but somehow appropriate) cover of the Doors "Roadhouse Blues." But the Last Sucker also leans on the dark side, you’ll find quite a bit of anti war anthems and your general god given angst themes as well. Al is not pulling any punches this time. He has a message to send and he is going to have his point made.

As far as the music goes. It sounds like what you would expect from Ministry. He's not exactly reinventing the wheel here. With fast paced muddy guitars, thumping combinations of drum machines and live kits, distorted vocals, and a general feeling of doom and gloom. It's like a punk rock-speed metal-industrial ménage à trois with really angry vocals. So if you like that classic "Ministry" sound this album will not disappoint.

Personally I think the band has run its' course. They say it is better to burn out then fade away, but in this case I think he is doing neither. Everything eventually must come to and end. Can you really picture Ministry pulling a Rolling Stones on us? Al is doing the right thing by ending it at the right time. Al Jourgensen's Ministry will always be remembered. It's not burning out, it's not fading away, it is just ending.

- Alex Pagan

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