Ministry are no longer, and whilst much of heir recent studio work wasn’t received as well as their classic albums, one thing that has never been in doubt is how much of a force they were as a live band. They were easily one of the most explosive bands I have ever seen, and of the three occasions I saw them, this tour was the best performance of all of them. This is a chronicle of the bands last tour, and after the death of long time guitarist / collaborator Mike Scaccia, this is one hell of a way to remember the band.
Released a a DVD/CD set, the DVD features the ‘DeFiBraLaTour’ set, interspersed with behind the scenes footage, interviews and scenes of the bands pre tour rehearsals at Al’s compound in El Paso. The band were on fire during this tour (Al’s collapse onstage in Europe aside) and when I interviewed Mike before the Manchester show, there was a real sense that this comeback was long term. Three songs from the “Relapse” album make an appearance in a set crammed with classics, backed up with videos and “weird psychedelic shit” (Mike’s words not mine).
The CD is the same as the DVD, and the digipak comes with a double CD retrospective, collating from a selection of shows dating from 2006 onwards. The compilation features tracks from throughout their long career, and shows just how good this bad were. Live, there is wildness and new life given to the normally very controlled and precise tunes. This sonic assault is just about held together by the bands enigmatic frontman Al Jorgensen. Tracks such as ‘Psalm 69’, ‘Thieves’ and ‘Senor Peligro’ show the range of styles the band pioneered.
Ministry have released live albums and videos before, and they have always been of the highest quality. This carries on this fine tradition and shows the final chapter in the bands history. The DVD is a fine look into their world and their incendiary live shows, and prove that the comeback was indeed intended to be more than just a nostalgia trip. The addition of the retrospective live CDs merely rounds off the story of one of the most iconic bands in metal history. Ministry may not be around anymore (or at least that is how is stands right now), but this is a fine way to remember them. Only thing left to do is turn it up, LOUD.