I distinctly remember sitting back in my seat on a Chicago-to-L.A. flight back in April of 2009, watching ADIOS… PUTA MADRES, the DVD companion to MINISTRY’s 2008 C U LaTOUR – what was supposed to be the band’s swan song. But, if the years have taught us anything, it’s never say “never” when it comes to the sonic activities of Uncle Al Jourgensen and the gang. After all, 2007’s THE LAST SUCKER was MINISTRY’s “final” album, until 2012’s RELAPSE and 2013’s FROM BEER TO ETERNITY arrived. So here I sit, just five years past viewing the DVD of MINISTRY’s “final” tour, and having in my possession what is now being touted as the “final live MINISTRY release,” LAST TANGLE IN PARIS – a 1 DVD/2 CD combo pack featuring video from the band’s 2012 DeFiBriLaTour, and music from the 2006 and 2008 incarnations of the band.
LAST TANGLE is indeed an important time capsule, if only to reveal the final footage of longtime guitarist Mike Scaccia (RIGOR MORTIS) in the days leading up to his untimely death in December of 2012. Reaction from his bandmates is present here, woven into the live footage which appears a bit uneven at times. In comparison to it’s predecessor, ADIOS is the better of the bunch in terms of overall presentation – it’s video portion far superior to LAST TANGLE, the latter of which seems too clean, as if the audio is more polished than it should be when paired with what’s on screen. But LAST TANGLE is still a worthy purchase.
Where this set shines is in it’s 2006 and 2008 “Retro CD” portions, unearthing recordings from an era in which MINISTRY had evolved into an all-star lineup of players from many of my favorite bands – with members of PRONG, FEAR FACTORY, KILLING JOKE, SLIPKNOT and STATIC-X all reporting for duty.
While he’s already announced that his next musical project will be DUBWEISER, it’s pretty evident that Al’s sort of the “grumpy old man” of industrial rock at this point – and I heartily believe that MINISTRY will never be dead until Jourgensen himself kicks it.
So what should we say, 2019 when I throw down some virtual ink on the next “final” MINISTRY live set?