"Ministry's best record since we were all young and good-looking": Hopiumforthemasses is a triumphant return from Al Jourgensen

Metal machine music is back and it sounds surprisingly fresh

Ministry: Hopiumforthemasses cover art
(Image: © Nuclear Blast)

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Maybe it’s because we no longer live in a world where everybody from Danzig to Limp Bizkit is actively ripping off Ministry’s signature clang, but this record sounds fresh and invigorating, like thrash-metal riffs and chopped political samples are some wild new thing. 

Hopium is an almost surgical-precision suture of Psalm 9’s power-saw dynamics and Twitch’s electro-groove. There are even a few pleasant B-side curve balls, like the Thrill Kill Kult-ish disco-sleaze of Cult Of Suffering or the synth-pop flashback of Ricky’s Hand.

I don’t know how a goddamn senior citizen who opened his auto-bio with a story about shitting a gallon of blood into an old army helmet is even alive, never mind capable of making a record with this kind of kinetic teenage energy, but that’s the magic of rock’n’roll, man. 

This is Ministry’s best record since we were all young and good-looking.


Came from the sky like a 747. Classic Rock’s least-reputable byline-grabber since 2003. Several decades deep into the music industry. Got fired from an early incarnation of Anal C**t after one show. 30 years later, got fired from the New York Times after one week. Likes rock and hates everything else. Still believes in Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction, against all better judgment.