Ministry’s much-anticipated 6th record, impishly titled Dark Side of the Spoon, is an appropriate suc-cessor to Psalm 69 (more than the panned Filth Pig), as a musical journey so relentlessly hard, it could squeeze carbon into diamonds. “Supermanic Soul” (indicative of Ministry’s fondness for wordplay) comes on like stereo machine guns Jourgenson’s “super-manic”vocals coming as close to hard-core punk as Ministry gets. Lurking nearby, the brain hammer of “Bad Blood” – with descending guitar chords and a driving kick-drum beat – nudges you further into the mortal combat. The swing beat of “Step” (as in 12-Step Program) launches Al Jourgenson’s platform to mock “I’m Okay/You’re Okay”platitudes, as he repeatedly bleats “I need help/ help me”with no trace of sincerity.
Jour-genson begs you to remember: He is a drug user, not a used drugger. Moods turn sober toward the album’s close with Kaif, a non-harmonic cut- and-paste dirge of impending doom that holds hands with “Vex” and “Siolence”, the token gloomy Goth song. Resolution comes in an instrumental gem – a syncopated groove called 10/10 that loops hypnotically but knows when to explode. There is more of the classic Ministry sound to sink your teeth into on Dark Side of the Spoon, providing the perfect soundtrack for making out in fetish clubs at 4 a.m. or destroying your enemies in one of those ultra-violent, death-obsessed video games. But it also has a beat, and you can dance to it. Post-anachronistic fun.