DARK SIDE OF THE SPOON
ALBUM WARNER RELEASE: JUNE 8, 1999 REVIEW: JUNE 11, 1999
The title of the album says it all. This time core members Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker want you to smile. And it doesn't really come as a surprise. Their last album, "Filth Pig", was as dark as they'll ever get - one step further and it just wouldn't be Ministry any more.
"Dark Side of the Spoon" is something like a classic Ministry album. The power combined with a twisted sense of humour takes the band back to the realms of their most successful album yet, "Psalm 69". Add portions of "Filth Pig" and moments of frenzy, in the vein of songs like "Burning Inside" and "Stigmata" and you'll end up with a pretty good description of what "Dark Side of the Spoon" is about. With such a statement you would perhaps think that this is some kind of greatest hits album. But that isn't the case.
You just won't find any obvious hit singles like "Jesus Built My Hotrod" or "Just One Fix" on this record. They still sound much too dirty and oil stained for such kind of successful adventures. Instead the focus is on a slower and more metal driven form of atmospheric crossover. A field in which they are the indisputable champions.
"Eureka Pile" sounds like an excellent extension of the side project Revolting Cocks and is one of the better Ministry songs I've heard in a long time. The jazz and oriental influenced "Nursing Home", and bombastic "Vex and Siolence" brutally confirm their position as THE crossover band.
Perhaps "Dark Side of the Spoon" isn't Ministry's best album, but it sympathetically emphasizes that the band is slowly ageing with dignity.