Preview: Ministry at the Egyptian Room

Industrial Metal Pioneers Ministry Storms Indy’s Egyptian Room on April 12th.

If there’s one thing musicians love to do, it’s combine things. They just can’t help themselves. Why just play rock or blues when you can play blues rock? It definitely has the potential to go very wrong, but if you do pull it off it’s genius. The audience gets twice as much bang for their buck, and you get to expand artistically. A win-win, as they’re so fond of saying business. That same logic also applies to industrial metal, combine the harsh weirdness of industrial metal with the harsh anger of metal and you have a winner. Speaking of which, Ministry, one of the first industrial metal bands, comes to Indy on the 12th.

A Brief History

Ministry actually goes back to 1978, the year future frontman Al Jourgensen left Denver for Chicago. Initially only intending to attend the University of Illinois, his girlfriend at the time introduced him to the city’s underground scene. Jourgensen subsequently joined a succession of bands in Chicago, until finally breaking away on his own. After showing a few demo tracks to Jim Nash, founder of Wax Trax! Records, Nash offered to record with him, and suggested that he from a band. That band was Ministry, or an early incarnation anyway.

Ministry would not become the Ministry of today until their third studio album, The Land of Rape and Honey, in 1987. Up to that point, they had simply done synth-pop with a post-punk flavor. With their 3rd album, they more or less invented industrial metal.

Since then, Ministry has installed themselves as elder statesmen of the metal scene, influencing everyone from Nine Inch Nails to Linkin Park. A worthy career indeed.

Their Sound

Ministry’s particular take on industrial metal reflects their synth-pop origins, but also has just a hint of post-punk to it. It actually makes sense that a synth-pop band would think or giving metal an electronic element before a metal band would. After all, electronic music has been something of a musical magpie from the beginning. Likewise, the hint of post-punk makes sense considering that Al Jourgensen was in a few post-punk bands before Ministry took shape.

In feeling they have all the aggression of metal, enhanced with industrial’s harsh tones and penchant for sampling. Even so, there’s a pervasive humor throughout, with much or their over-amped aggression strictly tongue-in-cheek.

So, as always. The Venue is the Egyptian Room, door’s at 6:30.

See you there!


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