Rio Grande Blood

Release date: May 5th 2006
Label: AFM Records
Distribution: Soulfood Music

Industrial Metal

Rating: 90/100
Cover artwork rating: 80/100

Reviewed by: Thomas Nielsen
Date: April 4th 2006

Man, if I didn’t want to go to Wacken before, no one can hold me back now! Why? Because Ministry will be there, and if their live performance is anywhere near as fuelled as “Rio Grande Blood”, you simply wouldn’t want to miss it.  

The album starts out with the title track, a blast-speed hammer including priceless manipulated samples of Al Jourgensen’s favourite aversion, George Bush. And from there on, Tommy Victor and Jourgensen show that they’ve found the Slayer guitars somewhere at the back of the closet where they were left after “Psalm 69”, and they’ve certainly been retuned for action.  

Second track, “Senor Peligro” is a veritable lesson in thrash guitar added that industrial coldness that is one of the Ministry trademarks. Next up is the stomping staccato anthem “Gangreen” that sounds a lot like Clawfinger’s nineties hit “Warfair” with the addition of Sgt. Major, a nasty sounding marine corps officer.  

Fourth track, “Fear (is big Business)”, combines the stomp with ultra-speed thrash guitar and machine drums. “Lies Lies Lies” grooves appropriately, whereas the next three tracks, “The Great Satan”, “Yellow Cake” and “Palestina” are full-on thrash tunes. “Ass Clown” features Jello Biafra which of course guarantees some extremity. This track is the one on the album that reminds me the most of Ministry’s early glories circa “The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste”.  

Closing track, “Khyber Pass” features an ethereal female voice and Arabic tunes and like “Gangreen”, this track stands out from the rest with an altogether different atmosphere (and less aggressive guitars).  

The partnership between Jourgensen, Prong head honcho Tommy Victor and Killing Joke bassist Raven is really a marriage made in hell. The blend of thrash metal and industrial is near perfect. It grooves and moves and should ensure a bunch of new fans when Ministry tours Europe in the summer. Come join the Ministry of fun!  

Oh, if your vote goes to Mr. Bush, you should probably avoid this album altogether…be warned.