The industrial evolution: Surgical Meth Machine – Tragic Alert


Industrial noise terrorist Al Jourgensen has been on the metal outskirts for 30-odd years, as leader of Ministry, Revolting Cocks and Lard.

Uncle Al’s main day job is Ministry, whose albums The Land Of Rape And Honey, Psalm 69 and Filth Pig are up there with some of the most brutal major label music of the last few decades. Ministry veers between hi-bpm speed metal, sample-heavy mechanical noise, gothic pop and EBM – generally with a nasty sick joke attached.

Ministry’s last two albums Relapse and From Beer To Eternity were a bit toothless though, as Jourgensen lost a bit of his rage after a trilogy of albums about the Bush administration. Then in 2012, Ministry’s guitarist Mike Scaccia died, with Jourgensen calling time on the band, even though last month he reanimated the Ministry corpse once again, and is hititing the road in the US and Europe this summer.

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In the meantime, he’s released the solo album Surgical Meth Machine, which is basically Jourgensen, his mega-processed guitar, a load of samples and a drum machine that’s permanently stuck on 220bpm. For anyone who got bored of Ministry turning into straight-up metal in the last decade, it’s a brilliantly riotous boot in the head.

Tragic Alert sounds like classic late 80s/early 90s Ministry – the machine gun beats, thrash riffs and chants of “EXECUTION” could easily slot right next to Thieves, Jesus Built My Hotrod or TV II. It’s good to have him back on board.