Very much like an ambush, critics never saw Ministry's latest coming. Off the radar for four years, Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker stunned skeptics in March by delivering Animositisomina, an album replete with renewed drive and hostile intent (in Jourgensen's own words: "I got pissed off again!"). In a genre mired in clichés indistinguishable from SNL's "Goth Talk" sketches, the duo's return is a much-needed shakeup, rekindling some of the scene's intensity and recklessness.
Ministry's aggression levels translate into berserker-fury live, demonstrated by the 1990 live EP and video "In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up." Onstage, Ministry's battery of guitars, electronics, and mechanized rhythms generate a maelstrom lethal enough to level small island nations. Hardcore fans insist that you haven't really lived until you experience the classic "Stigmata" detonate already volatile crowds. As its frighteningly solid album indicates, Ministry can be expected to remind audiences -- with each increasing decibel -- that they're back.