Ministry, Land Of Rape and Honey
A 1988 album that transcends simple genre tags like “industrial,” “alternative,” “electronic” — and, some would argue, “music”
Though it's widely regarded as the biledriving genesis point for industrial-metal, Ministry’s 1988 album The Land Of Rape And Honey is such a headachey anomaly that it transcends simple genre tags like “industrial,” “alternative,” “electronic” — and, some would argue, “music.” After having spent the ’80s as a Depechey synth-pop trifle, front-snarler Al Jourgensen and noise-monger Paul Barker gave their sound a grease-spattered monster-movie makeover. Monolithic and venomous, guitars grind like gears and drums pound with the impersonal precision of factory machinery — woe to the hapless Sire executive who first encountered Jourgensen’s rubbed-raw, glass-gargle screech 20 seconds in.
Ministry would sink into even deeper abysses of heroin-fueled bummer-crunch in later years, but Rape And Honey kept a loose and totally weird grip on the group's dance music past. Tracks like “Hizbollah” and “Golden Dawn” swirl with apocalyptic noise and haunting Aleister Crowley samples, but their beats could have been nicked from an especially cranky Art Of Noise breakdance 12″. Tracks like “Flashback” are downright funky, using sampled shouts from Platoon in the same way that rap songs of the era recycled shouts from soul singles. “Flashback” could even be a cousin to Prince’s 1987 steamy love letter “Hot Thing” — well, it could if it wasn't built on a gory revenge fantasy wherein a distortion-clogged Jourgensen schemes to rip off someone’s head and defecate down his neck.