“Houses of the Molé” failed to keep my interest up due largely to the fact that it felt a bit simplistic in all its punk anger, lacking the crushing power that I look for in a Ministry album. At first I had doubts about “Rio Grande Blood” too, mainly since I felt it slightly low on electronic elements, the metal guitars firmly in place in the foreground. However, all criticism of the kind swiftly evaporated when I got knocked down by tracks like “Fear (Is Big Business)”, “Señor Peligro” and “Gangreen”, the latter being driven along fabulously by a mock-drill routine courtesy of Sgt. Major – allegedly a retired drill sergeant. The guitar riffs are at least ten miles wide, the drums pound with relentless power and I can barely make out a word Al Jourgensen is singing.
All this makes “Rio Grande Blood” such a monumentally intense experience that it could probably make a skyscraper crumble into dust. Jourgensen’s rage is still fuelled by his contempt for George W. Bush and his mindless cohorts, and “Rio Grande Blood” feels more like a try at blowing the White House to pieces with sheer sonic force than anything else.
I sadly don’t think the Ministry batallion will succeed with dethroning the devious, diabolical Dubya, but at least this attempt makes for a brilliant racket. “Rio Grande Blood” may well be the most solid Ministry album so far.
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