It’s not often these days that Al Jourgensen brings the Ministry behemoth to these shores, hence despite being on a school night the Institute in Birmingham is packed to the rafters for this special showing of Uncle Al.
Ministry are long time stalwarts if the industrial metal genre and it’s good to see 37 years into their career they are going from strength to strength.
The three band affair kicks off with local quartet deadfilmstar who are without doubt the perfect fit for the bill. One of just a handful of industrial acts from the UKs second city they have built up quite the following locally and the venue is filling up early on for their performance.
The stage doused in smoke, front man Gary appears from the shadows, his eyes a haunting pure black as his dark demeanour flows forth. The old school industrial sound the band produces is quite something, brutal and awe inspiring. The cover of Suedes ‘Film Star’ a unique song to choose but fits their persona perfectly.
Next up are 3teeth, a Los Angeles ensemble who fit the industrial mould perfectly. Fronted by what seems to be the bastard son of Freddie Mercury who cuts quite the daunting figure front and centre. Their sound is menacing, at times gruesome and down right dark. It’s a different take on the industrial genre but wonderful to both watch and hear. Mixing elements of black metal at times with an industrial feel, full of samples and blood curdling vocals. Quite the warm up for what’s to come.
The headline act have split their show in two halves. For the first half Ministry play their 2018 opus AmeriKKKant in full. A novel idea, usually bands play albums in full on milestone anniversary’s so to hear a new album in full is something special.
The tattooed, dreadlocked front man stands tall behind his artistically eccentric mic stand, harmonica in
hand as his band kick the album off. The star studded line-up includes Paul D’Amour (original Tool bassist) and John Beshdel (former Killing Joke) on keyboards. The recorded album is fantastic and in the live arena this translates perfectly with the fans lapping it up. Closing the first half of the show with ‘AmeriKKKa’ Uncle Al warns us “We don’t want you on the same path to destruction as us. Fuck Nigel Farage”!
After a short hiatus the band return for act II, the greatest hits; “We’ll celebrate the 4th July by playing some old tunes from when days were crappy but not shitty” says Al as they kick off into ‘The Missing’. The second half of the show has intensity, angst and aggression all built in and the crowd go mental. Through ‘Jesus Built My Hotrod’, ‘Just One Fix’ and ‘Thieves’ the band put on the ultimate display of industrial light and music. Apocalyptic images displayed on the screen behind them as they tear Birmingham a new arsehole. Live shows don’t get much better than this and to top it all off they close with ‘No Devotion’ a classic Revolting Cocks tune. Magical!